Momentum Podcast: 405

2018 Recap - Where Are We Now

by Alex Charfen

Episode Description

What happened last year for me, my family, and my business? Here's my 2018 recap. A big part of the past year for me was working on breaking through barriers, putting myself out there and just being real and transparent. I went deep into our content and applied it obsessively to both my business and my personal life, I wanted to make sure that what we teach people really works. There are too many people out there who put together programs and coaching that they never even try for themselves.

There were a lot of highlights and things that I'm proud of from 2018. I also recognize where I can improve and I know I can work on those things in 2019. I'm excited to see what this new year brings and I can't wait to share all our successes and challenges with you.

Full Audio Transcript

It is New Year's Day. January 1st, 2019. And this is my 2018 recap and business update podcast. Everything you want to know about what happened last year for me, my family and our business.

I'm Alex Charfen and this is the Momentum podcast made for empire builders, game changers, trailblazers, shot takers, record breakers, world makers and creators of all kinds. Those among us who can't turn it off and don't know why anyone would want to. We challenge complacency, destroy apathy and we are obsessed with creating momentum so we can roll over bureaucracy and make our greatest contribution. Sure we pay attention to their rules but only so that we can bend them, break them, then rewrite them around our own will. We don't accept our destiny, we define it. We don't understand defeat because you only lose if you stop and we don't know how. While the rest of the world strives for average and clings desperately to the status quo, we are the minority, the few who are willing to hallucinate there could be a better future. And instead of just daydreaming of what could be we enter the vulnerability and exposure it takes to make it real. We are the evolutionary hunters, clearly the most important people in the world because entrepreneurs are the only source of consistent positive human evolution and we always will be.

It's so funny the imposter syndrome that is there for me all of the time. As I just did that intro and I said everything you want to know about me, my family and my business I'm like who would want to know about your family and business. But I just shared that with you just in case you're one of those people who is trying to publish, trying to put yourself out there, trying to do more, trying to publish more and consume less. If you're struggling with it, if it's hard, if there's a little voice inside your head telling you you shouldn't I just want you to know you are not alone. I heard it often and frequently in 2018 over and over again. Even in the face of success I still felt like maybe I shouldn't, maybe I'm gonna be found out. This is the podcast that finally no one's going to listen to. That was a big part of my year this year, breaking through barriers, breaking down vulnerability, putting myself out there in ways that I haven't in the past and just being real and vulnerable and transparent and telling people what was really going on. So this is my 2018 recap podcast.

I think if I had to give a theme to 2018 for me across the board the theme would be this is the year where I ate my own dog food. If you've heard my podcasts on this before. I'll give you some context. Years ago I had a really incredible H.R. manager working with me, his name was Jim Cochran, a little bit older than me and kind of became a mentor and gave me a lot of advice and insight. And he told me one time "This is the type of business, the business we have is one where we have to eat our own dog food. If we're going to show people how to grow businesses, if we're going to coach people, if we're going to put content out there then we have to use it ourselves." And it stuck with me, like that's so real.

I think the riskiest, most dangerous, most challenging coach or thought leader or author or speaker out there is the one that doesn't use their own stuff. The one that has content for everybody else but doesn't use it for themselves and this year I went deep on our content. I think that that was probably the biggest theme for me is that I used our content in our business. I used our personal content in my personal life. I used our business content in our business. Then I applied it at a level that was obsessive because I wanted to make sure that what we're teaching other people really works. That was a big theme for me.

And I think another big theme for me was coaching inception. I've shared this concept before. It's the concept of being a coach or a consultant or someone who helps other people and you hear yourself telling someone else something and as you're saying it you're like "Oh god dude, you need to do this too." And so the other theme this year was coaching inception. In working with my clients, in working with people around me, in working with helping people grow I continuously found myself telling other people things and thinking to myself "I need to improve this, I need to do better." I feel like this year that was like the underlying outcome was really using our own stuff and going deep and making sure that every time I felt that way that I applied our content even deeper and coaching what we're willing to do in our own lives because I think there's a lot of people out there that put together content and programs and coaching that they never even try and it feels like malpractice to me. So here are some highlights for 2018. I made two lists, one what I'm proud of and two what I can improve.

So what I'm proud of in 2018. I think first and foremost just a lot more honest and clear communication with Cadey. She took a six month sabbatical this year away from the business so that was a mode of conversation for us, of communication for us was being in the business and talking every day about the business and when she was on sabbatical we had to find another way to do that. And so I think this year having honest and clear communication and connecting more with Cadey was something that I'm probably most proud of. I think that's where we made a huge amount of progress.

I'm also proud of my connection with my daughters. The daily walks with Reagan and Kennedy, really connecting with them, understanding what's going on for them, spending time with them, allocating time so that we can go do fun things and have adventures and spend time together. My daughters are 9 and 12 and I realize more and more each day that they're growing up and that we only have this time with them right now. And I'm proud of how much time we spent and I think I can also improve and do even better in 2019. That was actually on both of my lists.

Another thing that I'm really proud of in 2018 is our business hit 2 million dollars in recurring revenue run rate right at the end of the year. We got to 2 million and we billed over 2.5 million in the year. So this business that we started in July of last year and as I sit here today it's about 18 months old hit well over 2 million dollars in the last year and we have a 2 million dollar recurring run rate which means we have contracts where at least 2 million dollars is going to come in in the next year so we know we're going to be ahead of that. And I'm exceptionally proud of where we are as a team, of the people we've been able to recruit, the team members that we have. I think this is by far the strongest, not the biggest, but the strongest team of true believers I've ever had in my life.

The people I get to sign into my huddle with every day are so incredibly amazing and inspiring and motivating that oftentimes you hear entrepreneurs talk about needing to be held accountable. This year I felt accountable to my team. That is the most magical accountability for an entrepreneur. When you feel accountable to your team, when you show up for your team, when you don't need motivation outside of just knowing that there's a team of people working with you, working on the outcomes you all want together, working on making a massive dent in the universe. That was amazing for me this year. Our team is absolutely extraordinary.

Another thing that I'm really proud of this year is the relationships I was able to build with clients and the results that our clients got. In the last twelve months we've gotten results for clients that are otherworldly, that people would say are just impossible, that there's no way you can do this. We've helped more people reach seven figures this year than I think I ever have before. We've helped more people who were at seven figures get to multiple seven figures and we helped a handful of companies get to eight figures, the 10 million dollar plus range. It has been amazing.

We've watched some of our clients go not really having a team, not really having an organization around them and then starting to build those first few people and then feeling the explosive growth of finally having people supporting you and people protecting you and people helping you make your greatest outcome and that has been incredibly rewarding to watch. It has been fun to watch. I love our clients.

I think one of the other things I'm really proud of is I built some really close relationships with our clients. I have the opportunity to work with some of the most talented entrepreneurs on the planet today. There's really no question. Some of the fastest growing companies, some of the most impactful organizations, some of the most well-known individuals out there are clients of ours, are people that we get to work with every day. And it has been amazing not just to see the result but to build relationships with them, to learn from our clients.

I think one of the things I'm really proud of is my clients have had a massive impact on me, my marriage, my children, my entire world, because we are working with people at such a high level you can't help but learn from them as well. And even the clients that have come in who have been in the six figure range. In our Billionaire Code Accelerator Program we accept clients who are at six figures and building a team and it's been incredible to watch some people come in in the low six figures and crush through a million dollar run rate within a year. It's just so rewarding and so exciting to watch.

And then the last thing I'm proud of in 2018 and this is a big one and this is one of those coaching inception things. Cadey and I made our net worth a major focus this year. Improving our net worth and improving our cash position and improving what we have in the world because I always share with entrepreneurs if there's one metric you're going to track it should be net worth because net worth will make you more responsible in your business, net worth will make you more responsible in your life, net worth will eliminate the fights around money in your relationship and your marriage and it will help you with perspective as to what you're really doing. Like are you really making things happen or are you making a lot of noise and moving a lot of energy around but not actually creating results. Income, revenue, will show you whether you are making results or not and it will show you that you are creating a contribution because capital flows to the greatest contribution.

And in all candor the years where I've made really dumb decisions, the years where Cadey and I have lost money, the years where I have not made the progress that I wanted to and honestly the years that like when I look back I don't really want to talk about them are the years where we weren't tracking net worth. It was the years where I wasn't looking at the most important metrics. It was the years where I was looking for the metrics that would confirm that I was doing OK but not looking at the right numbers. And I'm proud of the fact that this year I got real, looked at net worth, focused on it and drove our business from at the beginning of the year what was around a million dollar run rate all the way past a 2 million dollar run rate and collecting 2.5 million in the year. That's a huge accomplishment for me.

And this is not the size business I'm used to working with. I'm really proud of the fact that we grew a business from 0 in last July to 2.5 million today and it's on a curve where it's going to grow to exponentially greater than that because as a business owner, as a CEO, as an executive, I'm best in businesses that are well over 10 million. I'm best in businesses with a full strategic team. I'm best in businesses that are much much larger. So for me getting a business off the ground and hitting that escape velocity, getting to a million dollars is not easy and I'm really proud that we made it happen this year.

So in 2019 there's some things that I want to improve. Number one, this was the first thing that I wrote down, time in nature. This is partially inspired by my client Stephanie Karlovits who runs EPIC Fitness, a gym up in Ottawa Canada. And she advocates for four hours in nature a week. And every morning I go out for a walk with my kids and we walk on the grass through our neighborhood but that's not really being in nature. And I think when I do get time in nature, when we go skiing or when we go on vacation and we get out and there's hiking or we're just in open spaces I feel so much more revitalized and refreshed and more present. And so 2019 I want more time in nature.

I also, like I said earlier, I'm proud of the relationship I have with my kids but in 2019 I think we can make some major improvements. I want more connection with my kids. I want to spend more time in nature with my kids. I want to have more deliberate travel and discussions and see them developing. At 9 and 12 it's just been amazing to watch them develop. Kennedy at 9 years old is singing, she goes to singing lessons, she sings in front of crowds. She blows me away with her level of confidence. And Reagan same thing. She's 12 years old. She has never met a camera or a stage or a microphone she doesn't like. She will jump up and get in front of an audience anywhere she possibly can and speak and answer questions and share her insights. And I want to do a lot more of that in 2019.

Another thing that I'd like to improve is my workouts and biohacking. Now this is an area I'm already obsessive but I'll admit that towards the second half of the year I have so many modalities and there's so many different things that I can do. We here at the house Cadey and I have built a several 100 thousand dollar biohacking facility. We have infrared sauna. We have a wet sauna. We have a huge pool, sauna, spa outside. We have a newbie direct current machine. We have the PMF machine. We have Joovv lighting, photo biomodulation lights. We have all different types. I mean I'm not even 1/10th into what we have in this property. And this year I got a little overwhelmed trying to use it all.

And so I want to improve having a schedule with intention where I really am using the right equipment and the right modalities at the right time to achieve the maximum result. I'm 46 years old and physiological optimization to me is crucially important because I like you am an evolutionary hunter and we are physiologically sensitive, momentum based beings that are highly reactive to any type of constraint. And so I want physiologically to fight off constraint as fast as I po ... not as fast as I can but as long as I can. And I guess also as fast as I can. And I don't want to get stuck not feeling well.

And so this year for me, biohacking, working out, putting in the time in the gym, putting in the time doing what I want to do and what I what I feel like is going to make me healthiest and optimized is going to be crucial for me. And here's the key, spending the minimum amount of time to get the maximum result. That's my key now. When I was younger, three hours in the gym, no problem. I actually enjoyed it. These days with kids, with my wife, with all the other exciting things I could be doing, with spending time with clients, with building relationships, I want to get maximum results in the minimum amount of time and that's going to be a theme for me in 2019. I'm going to see just how much I can get done, how dramatic results I can get investing the minimum amount of time possible. We've got the equipment ready to go, we've got our house ready to go and I'm ready to see what I can do in 2019.

And then the last thing and this is a big one in 2019 is publishing. And I don't mean publishing content because I publish every day. I publish my podcast every day, we publish on social media almost every or at least every day but I publish almost every day. But when I say publishing I have a commitment to get our new book out. And we have a book called The Entrepreneurial Personality Type. We self-published it. I never really put it out there. We are getting that republished and up on Amazon. I just got covers for it today. So I've seen them. They're amazing, they're epic, you're gonna love them. I can't wait for everybody to see them. And that's going to be an official book on Amazon with an audio book and Kindle version.

So I'm really excited that's happening but I'm even more excited to be working with Julie Eason at Thanet House Publishing to create the book Momentum. And this is a book that I've been wanting to publish for years and it's in outline form and being worked on now and I can't wait to get it into the market. And then right behind it we have a book called Cadence which is going to be all about how we help entrepreneurs grow their business, how we help them maximize their success, how we help them keep everything straight and create massive momentum so that they can strategically plan, communicate with their team, hire the right people and work on the right projects 100 percent of the time. So those two books are coming out next year.

And so that's my 2018 recap. I think the final closing thought for me is when it comes to eating your own dog food I have this phrase that I share with entrepreneurs all the time. "There is nothing wrong with you and you are not alone." And occasionally I have to remind myself of that because especially this year running a smaller business with a smaller team and being under 2 million and growing a business it's been really difficult for me to be at this level. I am much more used to having that larger team, to having bigger exposure, to having a lot more people in an organization and having much higher level strategic conversations and so for me I'm proud of the fact that we made this happen this year. I'm proud of the fact that that we were able to grow this business, that we put real numbers up, that we had a massive impact on people.

And I'm excited to see what 2019 brings. I already have some incredible speaking set up, some amazing events setup, our calendar's already packed and it's January 1 right now. So I can't wait to share this year with you. I can't wait to share all of our successes and as you already know I'll share the challenging parts too. And I appreciate you being a listener of the Momentum podcast.

And rather than asking you to download my book or fill out an application or anything else like that I'll just ask you a favor. If this podcast means something to you, recommended it to a friend, make a post online, tag me in it, tell people about this podcast. Help me get our listenership to the highest it's ever been in 2019. Recommend a friend of the Momentum podcast. I would really appreciate it and Happy New Year. I'm glad that we spent some time together this year and I'm looking forward to 2019 being incredible.

Thank You For Listening!

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With gratitude,


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