Momentum Podcast: 467

Fake Success Takes Away Momentum

by Alex Charfen

Episode Description

We are all part of the social media experiment. We live in this world that is so overexposed, social media has created an entirely new dynamic to the way that we interact and communicate with each other. Entrepreneurs now feel multiple types of pressure. There's the pressure to succeed but there's also the pressure to appear successful on social media. We now feel that we need to be putting out this image that we're always happy and things are always great, at the same time as building our businesses. Here's my argument, too many entrepreneurs are spending a ton of their time, effort and cash to LOOK successful, and if they re-routed that into actual activities that create success, they would get there. The energy it takes to look successful could actually be used to build real success. Creating fake momentum and fake status will only cause you pressure and noise that will slow you down. 

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Full Audio Transcript

The world of social media has created an entirely new dynamic when it comes to being an entrepreneur. In fact, it's crazy how many people are struggling but work daily to look successful on social media. If only those people would channel that energy used to look successful into a business, they would actually create success.

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 day dreaming of what could be, we endure 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.

Social media has created an entirely new dynamic in the world and communication and how we interact with each other and how we experience relationships, friendships. Even family and marriages have changed due to social media. And I think one of the most dynamic changes that we have given this always on, constantly broadcast social media experience that we are all part of.

And I should probably say social media experiment that we are all a part of is that entrepreneurs now feel multiple types of pressure. There's pressure to succeed but there's also pressure to look successful and to appear successful and to do the right things on social media so that your image is the right way, so that people buy into what you're saying, so that people believe you. We now have created this impression that as entrepreneurs, we need to always look happy, always look successful and be putting ourselves out there at the same time that we're building our business.

But here's my argument. So many entrepreneurs are spending a ton of their time, effort, energy, focus and cash to look successful. When if we would just reroute that into actual activities that create success, you would get there. See, as a company, we help people create massive success but by focusing on growing your business and on solid business foundation and solid business principles and it has nothing to do with social media.

In fact, here's the irony. The challenge with this is that the energy it takes to look successful could actually create real success. Here's why this is so important. First, if you're one of those entrepreneurs, if you're like me and this was a few years ago, I would look at social media and it would frustrate me. It would irritate me. I would be irritated with myself. I would be frustrated with myself.

And it wasn't until I started getting in the same room as a lot of these influencers that were doing so "well", and I'd ask them a few questions and realize that there was nothing there. They weren't doing that well. They didn't have businesses. Some of the most well-known people online and I'm, of course, not going to name names, but some of the most well-known influencers, people online, people that have tens of thousands of followers, "household" names aren't making any money because they haven't actually created a business. They've just created attention.

And it doesn't matter what anyone tells you. You cannot take attention and buy anything. Attention isn't worth anything unless you have a conversion model for it. That attention isn't worth anything unless you can take that attention, funnel it into lead generation, create a conversion and actually sell something. Now maybe you can monetize on YouTube or monetize somewhere else, but the fact is if you're getting a ton of attention trying to be successful, it's just not going to create the success you want.

It's important because I want you to stop comparing your worst day to somebody else's fake best day. That's what happens to so many entrepreneurs today. In fact, there's study after study that shows that social media exposure creates depression and frustration and feelings of anxiety and feelings of not being enough and inadequacy because on social media, what we do is we go look at the snapshots of everybody's best part of their day or, let's get real, we look at the snapshots of made-up days. We're looking at rented houses, rented cars, made-up success that isn't even real.

And if you're an entrepreneur who's been feeling like you're not successful enough because you're watching social media, take a few deep breaths and get away from the computer screen. Because the reality is, is those people who are making it up and if you go create success, you can actually have it.

Another reason why this is important is fake it until you make it is something that people quote these days as like this excuse to make up a persona, make up success, lie about who you are, lie about what you have. That is not what that quote was originally intended. Fake it until you make it is about confidence, not lying. Fake it until you make it is about you telling yourself, "I'm going to get there," and taking one step forward, killing the impostor one day at a time.

But it's not about lying about who you are. It's not about making up success you don't have. It's not about renting exotic cars and standing in front of them and taking pictures so that you look cool. Fake it until you make it is about mentally putting yourself in the space where you're already successful so that you're willing to do the things that it takes to get there.

And here's a big one. If you fake success, it's going to be anticlimactic when you succeed. If you go around telling everybody you're a millionaire with your fake cars, in your rented houses and not really having that success, when you actually hit a million dollars, who are you going to tell?

It's like if you were younger ... I remember when I was younger, I had a fake ID so I started going to the same bar when I was 17 years old all the way through 21. And the problem is when I was 21, my friends were all celebrating my 21st birthday at that bar and everybody was looking at me funny because ... We probably should have gone to a different place. Of course, I don't drink anymore, I quit drinking when I was 32 not because I didn't like it, because I liked it too much and decided this shouldn't be part of my life. But it was the same thing. Here I was 21, but in that place, I'd been 21 for five years because I was making it up.

If you go out and make up all of your success, you actually psychologically set up a massive challenge for yourself, an almost inconceivable challenge, and almost unovercomeable challenges because you have now set up psychologically that when you hit a million dollars you already have, there's no celebration. What are you going to whisper to yourself, "I made it"? Because you can't tell anybody. You're already supposed to be there.

This fake success is hurting entrepreneurs in so many ways, in ways that we can't even understand. When you fake it like this, when you lie like this, when you make things up, you don't understand what you're doing energetically to yourself and to those around you who think that you may have this level of success. Here's what you need to know. A fake persona, a fake success is going to attract fake clients, fake friends, and fake followers or at the very minimum, they're going to be attracted to your persona and not you. They're going to be attracted to what you made up, not who you are.

And if you're in any type of thought leadership position or in any type of product sales position, or if you're in agency or a service company or any of those things, you have to understand something. If you're not acting like genuinely yourself, you're going to attract clients that are not actually attracted to you. And then you're going to have delivery issues and retention issues and cultural issues and all kinds of challenges between the people you're working with and who you made yourself up to be.

Another reason this is so important is any attempt to be anything other than yourself will only create pressure and noise. And the more you try and be someone other than yourself, the more of a difference there is there between who you are and what you're making up, the more pressure and noise you cause until it's literally unbearable. Because the pressure and noise of lying on a daily basis, of not telling the truth, of not being able to be transparent, of not just bottom lining and being real with people, of not just being transparent is overwhelming, completely overwhelming. And it will break you down eventually. It's like you have to keep two trains of thought open. One is who you really are and the other one is who you've made yourself up to be.

And then one last thing I want you to know and really think about is if you've fallen victim to this, if you've done some of this, if you've made some stuff up, if you've been doing it some fake it till you make it, I want you to understand if you just let go of all of that and you tell people the truth and you level with them and you tell them who you really are, things will be completely different for you. In fact, if you are honest and real and you tell people what's going on, it will work to your advantage. And when you're working on moving yourself forward as an entrepreneur, compare yourself to yourself and use everyone else for inspiration, not comparison. Compare yourself to where you were. Compare yourself to how much you've grown. Compare yourself to what you've moved forward.

In 2007, Cadey and I went bankrupt. It was one of the most embarrassing and most anxiety provoking and absolutely devastating times of my life. We lost everything. We lost tens of millions of dollars in cash and equity. That is a lifetime's work that was completely gone in about a nine-month period. And we started a product called the Certified Distressed Property Expert. I was selling a product about how to avoid foreclosure having just gone bankrupt. I walked into every room I sold in and I shared the story of building a massive real estate empire, having the mortgage crisis hit, losing absolutely everything and realizing how many other people around me were losing absolutely everything. And that's why we wrote the Certified Distressed Property Expert.

And not only did we share our bankruptcy, we made it a part of the story of why we were out helping people. Within a year, we were liquid millionaires. We trained almost 50,000 real estate agents in the Certified Distressed Property Expert designation. And according to the Obama administration, we pulled the foreclosure crisis forward five to seven years. That started with me telling everybody I was going bankrupt.

Be real and people will actually respect you. As a company, Cadey and I had a partnership with RE/MAX. It was a handshake partnership with Dave Liniger, one of the most successful people on the planet. The guy owns the largest private residence in all of Colorado, the second largest in Arizona. But I recently heard he built on, so he might actually have the largest. When Dave and I were hanging out, he didn't have a plane. He had a couple of planes and helicopter and hundreds of cars and all kinds of other stuff. This is one of the most successful people in the world.

And when I flew up to RE/MAX and he introduced me to his executive team who I trained in the CDPE and who all became Certified Distressed Property Experts, he introduced me and said, "Alex is here for several reasons. One, because I think he understands foreclosures better than anybody else. He's put together a course that makes this process clearer than anything I've seen. And because he was personally affected by this market, so I know his heart is in it to help us all through it."

And I remember as he said that thinking to myself, you know there was a time when we first started selling the CDPE where I considered hiding the bankruptcy. There was actually a couple-week period where I thought to myself, "Do I really want the whole world to know this?" I actually went back and forth thinking, "Do we pretend like it didn't happen? Do I create another story? Do I just leave it out conveniently," not leave it in as part of what I share with people about who we are and how we got here. And I remember in that moment when Dave said that, I'm thinking to myself, "Man, I'm glad I just decided to be who I am and be real," because just like every other time of my life, it worked in that one.

Create success instead of trying to look successful. Focus on the things that will help you move forward and you will actually create the momentum you're looking for because fake momentum, fake status, making things up only will cause you pressure and noise and create constraint and slow you down.

If you're ready to create more momentum than you ever thought possible, if you want a strategic planning process for yourself for you as a human being, if you want to have clarity on a daily basis as to where you should be putting your time and efforts and what you should be focusing on, let us help you. We work with entrepreneurs all around the world to create clear personal strategic plans that will help you in your life, in your business and in your relationship.

Go to and check out our product. Thousands of entrepreneurs around the world had used these strategies to create massive focus to understand exactly where they should be putting their time, effort, energy, focus and cash and they've used it to create success greater than they ever thought possible., check it out.

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