Momentum Podcast: 51

Simplest Rules for Entrepreneurial Success

by Alex Charfen

Episode Description

I do everything I can to simplify concepts for entrepreneurs to create success. This is one of the simplest. People like us are deliberate when we make major decisions in life. We don't typically enter into things lightly and we finally choose a partner it is life changing. 

Far too many entrepreneurs forget how important this choice was and do not put enough energy into their marriage or relationship and inevitably this affects our momentum and success period. When I was younger I was confused enough that I offended saw dedication to a marriage as either a weakness for a constraint. As I gained perspective throughout my career I realized that dedication to a marriage or relationships critical to and more importantly – drives our success.

Full Audio Transcript

I'm Alex CHARFEN and this is the Momentum Podcast made for empire builders, game changers, trail blazers, 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 and 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 that there could be a better future. 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.

Thanks for being with me for episode 51, Simplest Rules for Entrepreneurial Success.

I have a very simple way of coaching my clients. You know I work with a lot of very high end entrepreneurs, very talented entrepreneurs, entrepreneurs who obsess about momentum, who want to create massive outcomes in the world, who are convinced that they will leave their dent in the universe and make an impression on this world, create a massive contribution. In working with people like that, you have to communicate quickly, have very abbreviated rules, make things happen fast, and be as clear as possible.

In my career, I've spent a lot of time simplifying how I coach. Simplifying what I teach and these are two of the simplest rules I can possibly give you for entrepreneurial success. Are you ready?

The first rule is your marriage is most important. The second one is transparency in your marriage is absolute. I'll say them again. Number one, your marriage is most important and number two, transparency in your marriage is absolute. Now if you're not married, don't go anywhere. Your first rule is, be the person that you want to be in a relationship with and two, in your relationships, transparency is absolute.

Now I didn't always feel this way. I'm going to actually share some embarrassing impressions that I have had of marriage when I was young, when I first started as an entrepreneur in my early career. You know very early in my 20s, I was a consultant. I was a traveling and fast talking and doing as much as we possible could and creating massive deals and I was all about the deal. I was all about the business. I was all about being in it and creating the growth. It's embarrassing to say today, but in my early career, marriage looked like a liability. I looked at men and women who were married and I felt like the relationship slowed them down. It got in the way. Eventually it created issues like fighting, maybe even separation and divorce. I'm mortified to say this but when my clients used to take calls from their spouse, when we would be talking and they would say, "Oh I've got a call from my wife. I need a minute." I used to think, "Gosh. How weak. How lame that their wife or husband can't wait." Today I can't even fathom that I felt that way.

Because here's what happened, over time two things really happened. One was, I was exposed to and allowed to work with and sat side by side with some of the most successful people int he world and I don't just mean financially successful. I mean successful in life. Happy and excited to be there and fulfilled and in momentum and the type of people, the type of person that I wanted to be. I very quickly started realizing this commonality with everyone that I respected. Everyone who felt present. Everyone who felt aware. Everyone who felt they really loved their lives they were married and they loved their spouse.

I also started realizing this commonality in entrepreneurs who weren't married or who had challenges in their marriage or who didn't have that foundational relationship. Whether it was a marriage or not. Some of my clients have opted out of marriage, but opted into a committed relationship and what I found was those that didn't have it, just didn't experience life the same way. They didn't feel the same amount of support. They didn't create the same amount of momentum and it was clear. It was a clear difference between those who did and those who didn't. For people like us, the most successful and happiest people were in a marriage. You know this about yourself. You don't enter into major decisions lightly. When we get married, it's not casual decisions. It's important. This is where our confidence comes from. This is where we get excited. This is what means something to us.

I think of a recent experience I had with a client of mine, Jason Hull. Jason is a ridiculously talented entrepreneur. So talented. He runs an incredible business where he helps property managers grow their businesses but really he helps them regrow their businesses from the ground up. Wherever he connects with them, contacts them, they create this new infrastructure within their property management business and then just start creating massive amounts of success. I have a ton of respect for Jason. He's in one of my private masterminds. I was on the phone with him and his wife Ashley who is just this incredible human being. She's gorgeous and full of energy. You can tell she just has this passion for life and passion for doing what she wants to do well or what she does well. I was talking to the two of them.

We all know that being an entrepreneur and running a business and being a CEO can be contradictory to having a healthy marriage. So wherever I can, I want to talk to my clients with their spouse and let them know how I coach. Let them know that one of the foundational concepts I coach around is your marriage is most important. I remember on that call, I wanted Jason to explain to Ashley what she meant to him. So I said, "Jason what does it mean to you when you have Ashley's support?" He looked right at the screen, right towards me, we were on a video conference, and he said, "It means everything to me." I said, "Okay great Jason. Don't tell me. Tell her." He turned his head to Ashley and he said, "It means everything to me" and I could hear a little crack in his voice. I don't know if Jason had ever said that to Ashley before but I could just see how much it meant to her, how much it meant to him, and how there was this recognition, maybe not for the first time but in a different way maybe of how important they were to each other and are to each other.

Here's what's happened since then. Ashley has gotten more involved in Jason's business or in their family business. I shouldn't say Jason's business. She's gotten more involved in the family business. She's more active and I think that that transparent conversation that they had kicked off a series of transparent conversations where now Jason's getting far more support from his wife and here's the predictable outcome. It's already happening. His business is going through the roof. He's doing better. He has more clients coming towards him. His company is growing. He's more excited about it and I can tell just by talking to him that he's infinitely more fulfilled.

Here's why I think that is. For people like us, the support of our spouse, the support of the person that we love, fills us with the energy to do whatever we need to do. As entrepreneurs, we get up every day and we are that small, tiny minority that says, "I'm going to change things. I'm going to make things better. I'm going to create new outcomes. I'm going to make bigger things happen here." Being that type of person, exposes us to vulnerability. It exposes us to criticism. WE become a commodity. People can make fun of us. They tease us. They tell us that we aren't doing the right thing. They judge us for being an entrepreneur. I always make the joke that if you say on Facebook that you got a new job, you have 200 people congratulate you. You say on Facebook you just started a business and your Mom asks, "Are you okay?" Because we're different and we live life different and when we have the support of our spouse. It eases the vulnerability. It makes the challenges so much less dramatic and that support creates momentum for us that translates into everything.

Just this week, Jason was on one of our calls in our group and Ashley was standing right here next to him. When I looked at him and I looked at her, they both look stronger, they both look taller, they both look more confident and I've seen this hundreds of times. When we focus on our marriage or our relationship and we create that foundational support there, we create that foundational understanding, we open communication, we're transparent about how we feel, we tell the other person how much they mean to us, everything in our lives gets easier.

So for you, if you're trying to run a business, if you're trying to grow a business, start a business, take yours to the next level. My question to you is, how much energy have you put into that foundational keystone relationship. Your marriage, your partner, your significant other. How much have you let them know they matter to you? How much have you contributed there? Have you been transparent there? It doesn't mean, what I'm not saying is you need to go out and buy flowers or do something extravagant. You can and you should but here's what's infinitely more important. You're just transparent. You let that person know what's going on that you put them first.

Here's what I know. When an entrepreneur transparently shares with their spouse enough information about the business to where the spouse feels comfortable and the spouse feels supported, there is an exceptionally high success rate. I also know when an entrepreneur holds back, doesn't share with their spouse, doesn't tell them what's going on, doesn't let them know what's really happening, there's an exceptionally challenging period coming for that entrepreneur.

For you, this may seem like a roundabout sideways way of approaching success but take a cue from Jason and Ashley. Let each other know how important the marriage is. Be transparent about how you feel and how important the support of your spouse is. Let them know what they mean to you. Then explain to them what's going on in the business so that they can support you because you need it, I need it, we all need it. If you want to create not just financial success, but life success. The type of foundational success that allows us to feel momentum for as long as we want, I believe this is a crucial component for every one of us.

Thanks for being here with me for episode 51. The simplest rules for entrepreneurial success. I'll just recap. Number one, your marriage is most important and number two, transparency in your marriage is absolute. If you haven't for awhile, take a minute later on today. Let your spouse know how much they mean to you, how important they are to you, how much their support means to you and just watch how much momentum that conversation in and of itself brings to you. Thanks for being here. I look forward to sharing with you tomorrow, episode 52.

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