Momentum Podcast: 469

Avoid Fishing Expeditions

by Alex Charfen

Episode Description

Protect your focus like your life depends on it because it does. I avoid fishing expeditions like the plague and you should too. They are an absolute waste of your time. Stop allowing people to fish and have you be something that they catch. Here's what you should do. Create a strategic plan, know where you're going, commit to it and understand what it is you need. You should put up barriers to protect yourself from other people who are trying to get lucky. There's an epidemic of this going on because social media has made it so easy for anyone to reach out and get access to you. If you have a plan and you know where you're going, then you already know exactly what and who you need to acquire to achieve your outcome. Do you have a plan to focus on that gets you up in the morning and makes you excited about your day? 

If you'd like to have that you don't have to do it alone. Go to

Full Audio Transcript

Let me read you a message that I received from someone on LinkedIn. It says, "Thanks for accepting my connection on LinkedIn. I would welcome staying connected with you. I'm not sure at this point we have a reason to do business together, but I'd love to set up a call so we can get to know more about what each other does and whether or not we can help one another. Is there a time that works best for you? Thanks." My answer is always, "Absolutely not. I avoid fishing expeditions like the plague because they're a waste of my time and they're a waste of yours." 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 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.

When I get a message like the one I just read from you, I know that the person on the other end of that message is on a fishing expedition. They have no idea who I am. They don't know why they're targeting me. In fact, they admitted it in the message and I know they are fishing to see if there's possibly an opportunity for us to do something together.

When I think about the blatant irresponsibility and massive waste of time that this creates, not just for me, but for that person, it makes me sick to my stomach that any entrepreneur would do business this way. Here's why. When you look at getting a message like this from somebody ... and by the way, all you need to do is get on LinkedIn and accept a few invitations and you will get an absolutely unlimited amount of these. In fact, I've got another one that says, "Hey Alex, wanted to reach out and connect. Total honesty, I'm interested in trying to discuss a solution that I think may add value to Charfen. Regardless of your interest in that, hoping to connect, expand my network, and get to know you better. Fishing expedition. They're trying to sell me something. And whenever this happens today, in my career now, I'm offended.

When I was younger, I used to answer back. When I was younger, I thought this is how business worked. I read a book that said, "Never eat alone," and so I wanted to build my network and know more people and understand more people. So if somebody reached out to me, I looked at it as an opportunity for the two of us to connect to help each other, to see what was going on, for about the first two years I was in business. And then I remember sitting down and doing a time study and looking at a few weeks of what I had accomplished. And, I realized that 20, 30, sometimes 40% of my schedule was filled with stuff where it was the other person's agenda, not mine, where it was someone else driving my time, not me. And so, I want you to stop allowing people to fish in your pond.

I want you to stop allowing people to fish and have you be something that they catch. Because here's how it should be. See, here's what we show entrepreneurs to do. Create a strategic plan. Know where you are going, be committed to it and understand what you need. And the reality is you should never be involved in a fishing expedition. You should put up barriers a mile high to protect each other or to protect yourself from other people who are trying to get lucky. And yes, this is very similar to my podcast on why I don't do coffee, but I feel like I had to revisit it because there's an epidemic of this going on in the social world right now. Social media has opened it up so anybody can reach out and touch you. And what I've found with my clients, with my friends, with the people I'm around, is that we feel obligated to answer back and be polite and give the person some type of answer.

And a lot of times we feel obligated to actually connect with them and see what they're talking about. My answer 100% of the time is no interest. I want you to understand this statistic. The average person in a corporate position is productive somewhere between seven to nine hours a week of a 40-hour work week. This kind of crap is exactly why, because this feels productive. They're fishing, they're out prospecting, they're trying to do something, they're trying to make something happen, but reality is it's not targeted. It's not productive, and it's not going to lead anywhere. So, here's why this is so important. If somebody reaches out to you and they're offering a solution or insight or information or a product or a service that isn't part of the strategic plan you've already written out, how could you possibly commit currencies to it? And here's what I mean by currencies.

We don't just spend time. We spend time, money, effort, energy, and focus when someone else diverts our attention like this. So, it's important because other people will try to spend your currencies for you. Don't let them. See, other people will consistently try to get your time. They will consistently try to get your focus. They will consistently try and take your energy. They will consistently try and do all of those things in order to get your cash. And the reality is, is if you have a plan and you've built out that plan and you know where you're going and you know what you need, follow the plan and don't let anyone else take your currencies from you. Because here's how it works. If you sit down and you develop your client centric mission, you know that long term Superbowl goal, you know where you're going.

And then you create your annual plan. You know your one year outcomes, what you're going to achieve at the end of the year. And then you add in your quarterly's and then your monthly's, and you make your weekly commitments. And you sit down in the morning and you plan out your day so that you know everything you're doing in any given day is going to lead to your client centric mission, to that massive outcome, to the dent you want to leave in the universe, to the reason why you're here. And then someone asks to borrow time from you. Someone asks to take your time, your effort, your energy, your focus, your money. You will deny them 100% of the time. And I want to give you permission to do that. Because when you're working back from client centric mission to annual objectives, to quarterly targets, to monthly goals, to weekly commitments, to daily productivity, you won't ever let anybody take your time from you.

So, here's what you need to know. When somebody reaches out and asks for your time and they do it in a way like the one that I just read where the person said he doesn't even know if there's an opportunity, here's a simple way to deal with it. Just delete it and move on. You don't have time. Tens of thousands of people are going to try and do this to you throughout your lifetime and the chances that one of them is holding the keys to the kingdom for you is very, very low because if you have a strategic planning, you understand where you're going and you know what you need and you built it all out, then you know what you need to go acquire. You don't have to sit around waiting for it to fall into your lap. You know, answering these types of inquiries affirmatively and giving somebody your time is you openly admitting that you might have an answer that you need fall in your lap that you didn't know was there before.

Here's the fact, I know exactly what answers I need in my company right now. And, I'm not going to let anyone, anyone, divert my focus so that they get my time, effort, energy, and drain my currencies because they have an agenda. I want you to know you have full permission to defend yourself in exactly the same way. Second, don't be afraid to consistently say no. Does it feel mean? Sometimes. But you know what? Here's the reality. The more you do it, the more you'll get used to it. And the more you do it, the more you'll get over it. And the more you'll do it, the more okay you'll be with defending yourself, defending your time, keeping your focus and moving forward with momentum. Because every inquiry you get like this takes away your momentum and the chance that you will get any momentum or forward progress or movement out of it at all is very, very low.

It's like playing the lottery with your life. Don't let that happen. The chances that a person who randomly reaches out to you has an answer that is going to change something in your life and make it better, are between zero and maybe 0.5. So, unless you want to get on 200 of these calls every time that you finally have a positive outcome, don't even start the process in the first place. So, here's what I want you to think about when somebody has you in their sights on a fishing expedition, when somebody starts asking you questions like, "Hey, I want to see if we can help you and I'd love to set up some time and I'd love to take your currencies and I'd love to go fishing in your backyard." What I want you to do is protect your focus like your life depends on it because it does.

Every time you let someone else divert attention, every time you let someone else into your space, every time you let someone draw you away from the strategic plan you've created and the plan you put together to move it forward, every single time, you are letting them take away your momentum. And the momentum we create, the forward progress we create, the strategic plan we commit to, and the outcomes that we make real, that is our life's work. That is who we are. That is how people like you and I survive this world and feel like we're alive. Getting on interactions so that somebody else can determine whether they have an opportunity or not, drains us like crazy. Don't let it happen. You don't need it. It simply doesn't work. Protect your focus like your life depends on it because it does.

Now, if you've been in the situation where you've gotten a message like this and you've answered affirmatively and you've gotten on the call and you're sitting there thinking right now, "Why did I do that?" Maybe it's because you don't have a clear strategic plan. Maybe it's because you don't have those clear outcomes outlined in a way that makes you defensive. Maybe it's because you don't have a plan that gets you up in the morning and excited about what you're doing every day. And if you'd like to have that, you don't have to do this alone. Go to, fill out our application. It will tell you more about your business than any application you've ever filled out and you'll have an opportunity to do the following.

One, download a copy of our book, Billionaire Code Decoded. It will tell you all about the billionaire code, the nine levels of success that entrepreneurs go through to go from zero to 100 million. Two, by filling out the application, we will tell you exactly where you are on the billionaire code so you get your personal prescription of what you should be focused on right now to create maximum momentum. And then, three, you can set up a call with a member of my team and let us help you put together the strategic plan and the communication system to make your future so rock solid and so clear, you don't let anyone take your currencies, take your time, effort, energy, focus, or cash, because you're using them all to create momentum on a daily basis and make the change you want to see in the world. We look forward to hearing from you.

Thank You For Listening!

I am truly grateful that you have chosen to spend your time listening to me and my podcast.

Please feel free to reach out if you have a question or feedback via our Contact Us page.

Please leave me a review on iTunes and share my podcast with your friends and family.

With gratitude,


Scroll to Top

Simply enter your email address below to get instant access to the Free 90-Minute Predictable Business Growth Training.

We hate spam, so we won't send you any...

We are excited to share the Predictable Planning System with you.

Please enter your email address below so we can share more valuable content with you in the future.

I hate spam, so I won't send you any...