Momentum Podcast: 524

Be Careful Following Runaway Success

by Alex Charfen

Episode Description

Entrepreneurs love a runaway success story, myself included. We want to know what that person is doing, how they did it, and see if we can do the same thing. The problem is, far too many people ask what they are doing and try to copy it exactly. But doing this can cause you major issues, and most likely end up hurting your business rather than helping it.  

It's okay to follow a success story, but make sure to build your company around the inspiration from it. Figure out what frameworks, what evaluations tools, etc. they are using. If you start mimicking someone's business plan precisely, it's going to cause you challenges. You will end up adding things your business doesn't even need because no two businesses are alike. Use success stories for ideas but then analyze your company to see what it needs.  

Tune in for my advice on what steps you need to take after becoming inspired by someone's success story!  

Full Audio Transcript

A constant in my career is that I have always worked with runaway success stories. Over and over again, I've worked with companies that have exploded, taken over industries, gone from zero to multiple millions in a very short period of time. I mean, heck, Cadey and I in 2011 put a company on the Inc. 500 list, 21st fastest growing company in the country and four years before that we were bankrupt when we were starting it. So I've been around a lot of crazy success stories. Now there's a way to follow them and get benefit from seeing what they're doing, but there's a way that will really hurt your business as well. Let me share with you what I mean.

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.

Entrepreneurs love a runaway success story. We love to see one of us who has just crushed it, who's gone over the top and made amazing things happen. I have been involved with some extraordinary runaway success stories just in the past few years. You know, Brandon and Kaelin Poulin at LadyBoss come to mind. When we started working with them, they were at 18 people. They were at about $10 million. Already an incredible story. They had done it in a really short period of time. We worked with them for under a year and they went from just under 10 million to over 40 million. That is incredible.

Same story with Alex and Leila Hormozi. You know, when we started with Alex and Leila, they were just over a couple million dollars a year and in the time we worked with them, they got to over $30 million a year and today they're approaching $50 million a year.

Runaway, incredible success story. Here's what happens in the entrepreneurial world with runaway success stories. As entrepreneurs, the people around the stories say, "Hey, how do I do what they're doing? How do I get a little bit of that? How do I create some of that success? How do I experience some of that same explosive growth that they are experiencing? And as a result, we want to know what they're doing and see if we can do the same thing."

But here's the challenge, far too many people ask someone like Alex and Leila or Brandon and Kaelin or any of the other groups that we've coached to massive success, they'll say, "Hey, what are you doing?" And then try and copy it exactly. They try and do exactly what either of those companies is doing and it can cause you major problems. In fact, I'll give you just one example. I don't want to talk about who the company is, but we're coaching an organization that talks Alex to Leila all the time. In fact, a lot of our clients do. And the person that we were coaching started building a customer service department just like Alex and Leila were building their customer service department. They ended up with like a 25-person customer service department.

And I ended up, I think it was in an event or at one of our events, and I was talking to the person he said, "You know, hey, I'm going to build my customer service department just like Alex and Leila." And I said, "Well, are you aware that they're now laying off their customer service department and switching to pure coaching and trying to find opportunities for the people that they had in those positions?" And he said, "No." And I said, "Well, you're about to follow them down a path where they've made a 180 degree pivot." And he was like, "Oh, I didn't know that. I mean, I'm so glad we talked, but man, I almost made a huge mistake."

I told him, "You know, here's how you should follow a success story like Alex and Leila or like Brandon and Kaelin or anyone else, you should use them for inspiration but then build your company. And rather than finding out what exactly they did, like hire a whole bunch of customer service people, figuring out what frameworks they're using, what evaluation tools are they using, how are they looking at their company to make it grow as fast as they are."

Because here's the issue, it's easy to follow or emulate or track someone who's successful, but every business is different and needs different support. And unless you're starting a franchise, every business is different. But you know what, here's what regional managers at franchises will tell you because I've talked to them. They'll say, "Every franchisee is different." Businesses are different based on who's running it. Businesses are different based on who your avatar is. Business is different based on where your five core functions of your business are.

You know, every business has different lead gen, nurture, conversion, delivery, retention, resell and upsell. So if you start mimicking someone else's business exactly, it's going to cause you challenges. And we see this all the time. Why? Because we're proximal to runaway success stories. But then I'll go to an event and I'll have someone say, "You know, I did exactly this thing that so-and-so did and it didn't work for me." And I'll say, "Yeah, because you didn't need that in your business. Your business didn't need that. Theirs did. They did the proper evaluation. They figured out what their business needed. They executed on it, you copied them, and that's why now you're sitting there having a completed project, but you didn't get any results."

So here's what I want you to know about incredibly successful businesses. Use them for inspiration, but then analyze your business to know what you need. They're building their business operations. You build your business operations. Analyze your five core functions, lead gen, nurture, conversion, delivery, retention, resell and upsell. Where does your business need attention?

Another reason why this is so important is the mixture of people, process and projects in every business is different. In fact, you could be running an identical type of business, but your people, projects and processes necessary will be different for every business. If you follow somebody else's business plan, you are going to be a derivative of theirs and you're going to experience massive challenges. Another reason why this is so important is that if you build your business around who you are as the entrepreneur, if you build your business around where your strengths are early on, if you build your business around what you're good at early on, the business will grow fast.

Now, I know whenever I say something I have people say, "Oh, I don't want to be stuck in my business forever." Hey, you know what? How about you get it off the ground and get it growing first and then adjust? Because here's what I can tell you, if you have a massive business where your name's attached to it, there's a million different ways I can show you to separate your name from the business, create space and gain massive momentum.

Now, if you are in a business where you haven't grown and you don't have any volume, then I can't really help you. You need to grow. You need to get out there. You need to create an opportunity. Then we can adjust how we address that opportunity. So build the business around you, especially initially, and you will succeed.

So here's my advice. This is how I do this. This is how we encourage our clients to do it. Number one, use the five core functions to build your business, lead gen, nurture, conversion, delivery, retention, resell and upsell. Do a deep dive every 90 days. Update it every 30 days and make sure you're moving in the right direction.

Two, create a strategic plan to minimize distraction. Have a plan in your business. Be clear on your strategic plan. Use the five core functions to analyze, create a strategic plan, and then don't deviate from the plan. Just because somebody else is doing something doesn't mean you should do it. And in fact, in most cases, just because somebody else is doing something, doesn't mean it'll work for you. In fact, something that works for them can hurt your business. So create your strategic plan, minimize the distraction from others. And then this is the biggest one, use other businesses for ideas, for inspirations, for frameworks, for analysis tools to move forward but compare yourself to yourself and analyze your business to grow. Your business is going to be different than anybody else's because it's yours. If you try and build it exactly like somebody else did, it's going to hurt you.

Here's the fact. Build your business and it will grow for you. Analyze your business and it will give you the results you want. Understand what you want out of your business and you will get there. Following a runaway success story is exciting for all of us, but if you do it to the letter, if you don't use them for inspiration, if you try and do exactly what they're doing, you're going to have a hard time because no two businesses are alike.

If you're ready to start analyzing your business like I just discussed, if you're ready to start seeing the opportunities in your business and you want to get really clear on what you should be doing and how you should be doing it, you do not have to do this on your own. In fact, go to, answer a few questions from my team, download our Ebook, the Billionaire Code Decoded, and set up a call with a member of my team so that we can share with you how we're helping entrepreneurs around the world grow the opportunity they have and serve more people, make a massive impact and change the game in their industry and let's get real, create a significant income for themselves that gives them the freedom and the opportunity to do what they want to do.

If you're ready, go to, connect with a member of my team. I look forward to seeing you soon.

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