Momentum Podcast: 484

Don't Take Quitting Personally

by Alex Charfen

Episode Description

People are going to leave your team, and there is nothing you can do about it. As an entrepreneur, it is going to happen over and over again.  They way that you get over this and keep it from being personal is to see the change as an opportunity.  

People are going to leave for reasons beyond your control and for reasons that have nothing to do with you.  They will get married.  They will move. They will leave simply because they want to.  

The only thing you can do is be thankful for the time you had and release them and let them go.  Then. turn to the people who are left and focus building up the team around you.  Take the energy you have and focus on the people who are still with you and make things happen with you. Don’t let one person leaving derail you and what you are doing with the rest of your team. 

If you are ready to start growing your business even faster with systems that keep your team running at the highest level, reach out to us at 

Full Audio Transcript

I got two messages from one of my clients this week. The first one was a forward from one of his team members where she wrote a long emotional letter about how much he's helped her, how much she appreciated being on his team, how much she's grown and developed as a human being and how excited she is to move on and take some next steps and perhaps even join the entrepreneurial world herself.

The second message was from my client who received that first one. He was clearly emotional. I could tell he was probably close to tears and his question was, "Alex, how do I not take it personally when somebody leaves my team?"

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 the world looks at entrepreneurs, they see people who are bold, courageous, who overcome, who adapt, who are willing to take risks at most of the world can't see, and that is the perception that the world has of people like us. When I look at entrepreneurs, I look at people who have the vulnerability of changing the status quo, who have the exposure every single day of putting themselves out there and being criticized, ridiculed, look down on like so many of us are every single day. When I look at entrepreneurs, I think about the fact that every time we run a Facebook ad, we have people say things that you wouldn't say to your worst enemy. And when I look at entrepreneurs, I look at the vulnerable human beings that are exposing themselves to more pain and more frustration and more resistance than anyone else in the world because they want to make their reality true.

They want to make an impact. They want to make a difference, and they want to change the world for the better. And they live for momentum. The world doesn't see us this way. And this week when I got those two messages, it was so telling because the resignation letter was one of the most gracious and emotional and giving resignation letters I've ever read. And at the same time, the person who received it felt defeated and clearly in pain and clearly emotional because he felt like he was being abandoned. Like the person was leaving him, like the person had quit his team and it was near impossible for him to see all the positive things that she said and all of the positive that she shared. Because all he was thinking is how do I not take it personally when somebody leaves me, I'm feeling abandoned, I'm feeling alone. I'm feeling like this person has cut me off.

And here's what I want you to know as an entrepreneur in business. That is going to happen to you over and over and over again, and people will not see your vulnerability. They will not see your struggle. They will not see the exposure that you put yourself through in order to do what you do. What they will see is the strength you present, the confidence you emote, the momentum you create, and they see you as not having emotions like a normal person. In fact, here's the epiphany that I went through with hiring people is that, we take it personal when somebody leaves, but often team members don't take it personal at all. In fact, what I've found after working with hundreds of people on my teams and then hundreds of entrepreneurs with thousands of people on their teams that often they're surprised you care.

See, once you become the CEO, once you become the entrepreneur in charge, once you become the authority figure people's opinions of who you are and how you look at the world will completely change and they won't see you as vulnerable. They won't see you as being in pain when they leave. They won't see you as asking, what can I do and what do I do to not take it personally when somebody leaves my team? They actually see you as the person in authority. The person in charge and human beings have this way of looking at people in positions of authority as just not having vulnerability and not feeling pain and not experiencing the emotions all of us do. Like I said, a lot of times team members are shocked and surprised that entrepreneurs are hurt when somebody leaves the team. Here's why this is important for you.

People are going to leave your team and there's absolutely nothing you can do about it. Now I'm going to get challenged on that. People are going to say, Oh, "If you have the right culture, if you do this, if you do that, people won't leave." That's not true. That's absolutely not true. I've had people leave for all types of reasons. I've had people leave because they married somebody and a custody situation, took them away from our business. I've had people leave because they've had a total change in their life and they wanted to do something completely different. I've had people leave because they woke up one day and decided that they weren't following their dream and they decided they wanted to. I've had people leave because they work with us and an entrepreneurial business where we show people how to be entrepreneurs and they come in one day and say, "Hey, I decided that's me. I'm going to do it too."

And so people will leave for all types of reasons and you have to learn how to thank them for their time with you and release them and let them go. I don't know if you could hear my voice just got a little emotional because this recently happened to me. We had a team member who I've invested a ton in personally. I invested a ton in and Haley invested a ton in and we bought training for the person and we help them build into a position that they didn't even know that they were capable of. And we help them build a whole new skill set that dramatically increased their value in the marketplace. And we felt like we had this really close connected relationship. And then one day we just got a letter saying, "Hey, I'm going to terminate my employment."

And I can't help but every time have that flash of emotion, that flash of abandonment, that flash of feeling like I'm broken. That flash of, let's be honest, going right back to the elementary school playground when I was getting bullied and made fun of and I felt less than and I felt like I wasn't good enough and I felt inadequate. When I get a letter from a team member, that's how it feels. If you really want to know, but here's the reality. You can't stop building relationships with people. You can't stop building them up. You can't stop helping them be better because as an entrepreneur, it's your job. Let me repeat that, building people up, building relationships, helping them become better, helping them move forward and create momentum is your job as an entrepreneur. That's what you do with your team. So when somebody leaves and you feel emotional about it, you have to do what I did this week.

Sit down, come to terms with what happened and then commit to spending the time on the people who are left because here's what happens to us as entrepreneurs. You know this about yourself just like I do. For The Momentum Podcast, there are hundreds of reviews. There's a couple that are not five star. You want to know which ones I pay attention to the couple that aren't five star and that's how it always is. When I spoke for entrepreneurs organization years ago, I got a 9.8 on their speaker review. They want a 9.5 they call 9.5 excellent I got a 9.8. You know what I wanted to know? How did I not get a 10? Who were the people that didn't give me all of the points? Where did I miss? What did I do wrong? Because as entrepreneurs we will immediately focus on the deficit, the weakness, the crack in the pavement.

We will focus on the problem and when somebody leaves, the key is to focus on the people you have left, the people who have not left you, the people who are still there, and then why is this important? When somebody leaves, be grateful, recognize the time that you had and then remember something. Change is always an opportunity. It's always an opportunity. Change is an opportunity to do something better. It's an opportunity to clean up on the second time around. It's an opportunity to enhance and optimize and make things cleaner. It's an opportunity to create more momentum. It's an opportunity to review where you are. It's an opportunity to move forward even faster. And when you look at it this way, you'll treat it that way and your business will grow faster than you thought possible because so many entrepreneurs get caught up on things like this and give up their momentum.

So here's what you need to know. We all experience people disappointment. Like I said, it just happened to me. Some of the most disappointing events in my entire business career have been people issues. Some of the most frustrating events in my entire career have been people issues. When people have quit or have done something unethical or have broken one of our core values or have broken our no gossip policy or our anti-discrimination policy. Those have been the most frustrating issues in my entire business. And you just have to understand that we all experience people disappointment. It's part of the business. You just have to go back and build the relationships again. Why? Because it's your job. Think about people who have left and don't focus on them. Think about the people you have left and focus on them.

What you need to know is when you feel like you're slipping into taking something personally that's happening in your business. When somebody leaves and it feels like you're being abandoned and you're feeling that pain, that emotion, that frustration of having somebody leave, take all of that energy and focus on the people that you have left. They're going to help you grow the business. They're still with you. They are going to help you move forward faster and make things happen for you. And then here's something else that you just need to recognize. Each one of us, every person on the planet is on their own journey. Each one of us is working through something. Each one of us is going through something and each one of us is trying to create momentum in our lives. So when somebody leaves you, when somebody decides they're no longer going to work with you, honor the time you had by moving on and growing your business because this will happen to you over and over and over again.

The world where people stay in jobs forever is just changed, it's shifted. And the better you are as an entrepreneur, the better you are as a CEO chances are you're going to grow people where they want to go take bigger risks. They want to go do more. They want to go do things that they might not even be capable of in your organization. And when that happens, you should be proud of them, thank them and move on, because it's easy to get emotional over the people that have left. But when you put the time and the effort and the energy into the people that you still have, it's going to help you move forward. Remember, you will always have, you will always experience disappointment with people. It's just part of the game. When you focus on the people you have left, when you remember that building relationships is part of your job. It's what you do as an entrepreneur.

When you remember that you still have a business that you're growing and scaling and when you thank that person for the time you had with them and move on. That is when you will go back to creating massive momentum. I would tell you not to take these things personally, but there really is no way to just flip that switch. But what we can do is we feel like we're taking something personally, recognize it, understand it, understand that it's perfectly rational and normal and then move on and go back and create momentum. It's really what we do as entrepreneurs and it's what you should do in this situation. Don't let one person leaving derail you. Don't let the emotions around one person quitting change what you're doing with the rest of your team. Go back and create momentum, adapt, overcome, and grow your business.

If you're ready to start growing your business even faster and if you want systems in your company so that when somebody does leave, the team that you have left, picks up, makes things happen and without a hiccup continues to deliver at the highest level to your clients, reach out to us. You do not have to do this on your own. Go to answer a few questions from my team and set up a call where we can show you where you are. Let us help you clarify, where do you want your business to go? What are the outcomes that you're really driving towards? Where your business is today and most importantly, what is in the way of you getting to where you really want to be?

People have told me that the calls they've had with my team have clarified things more for them than anything that they've ever paid for it and it's available to you right now. Go to answer a few questions, set up a call with my team and let us show you how you can grow and scale your business fast. Surround yourself with a team that you love and get into momentum and stay there.

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,


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