Momentum Podcast: 530

Push Yourself Forward with Karina Arnal

by Alex Charfen

Episode Description

This is a very special podcast. I had the privilege of interviewing our very own Graphic Designer, Karina Arnal. Karina has been on an incredible journey since she started working with us. Throughout this episode, she shares how her life has been completely transformed over the past year. 

Here's a sneak peek into her episode:   

Karina used to struggle with her personality type and perception of the world. She was constantly told she was weird, and her behavior wasn't normal. Karina felt like no matter where she went, she just never fit in. These urges were so strong that she moved from Venezuela to Ireland! 

She was diagnosed with clinical depression and was told she had it her whole life. She began therapy and shortly after joined Charfen as our Graphic Designer. She started to apply the content we teach in Momentum Masterclass and began experiencing massive changes in her life. Karina went from barely talking at all when she first joined to now recording this podcast! She quit smoking and has been smoke-free for over three months now! She has the desire to keep working towards having a better quality of life, wakes up happy, and wants to be alive.    

The world needs to hear Karina's story. If this helped you or you know someone who it may help, please share!   

Full Audio Transcript

Today is a really special podcast. I have the privilege of interviewing someone who's become one of the most important people in my life and someone who I look to on a daily basis for positive feelings and motivation and momentum. She happens to be our graphic designer on our team, but if you asked anyone who works with her, they would tell you she is so much more. I can't wait to introduce you to Karina Arnal and the incredible journey she's been on since she started working with us.

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.

I get excited about a lot of podcasts, but I don't know that I've been as excited about this interview that we're doing today. I think that this is just going to be a tremendous amount of fun and very enlightening. Today I'm joined, like I said in the intro, by Karina Arnal, who is our designer on our team. I asked her to be on this podcast because she is such an incredible inspiration to our team.

She's an amazing designer. She's completely changed the complexion of our team. She contributes in incredible ways. But all of that, even us as a company, she has consistently shared with us just how much she's gotten back from working in a company that is structured and has process and protects its team members. Karina, I'm so excited to have you here today.

Karina Arnal: Thanks for inviting me.

Alex Charfen: So, Karina, is being on a podcast and speaking in English and something that's going to be broadcast to thousands of people something you would normally do?

Karina Arnal: No.

Alex Charfen: And so that people understand, this is really outside of your comfort zone, isn't it?

Karina Arnal: Absolutely, it is.

Alex Charfen: Why did you agree to do this?

Karina Arnal: Oh, because that's what we do in this company. We push ourselves forward, for the team and for ourselves, so...

Alex Charfen: I love that. I'm so glad you're here. So first, I just want to introduce you to everyone, so they know who you are. So you're a designer on our team. Can you just share a little bit about your background, where you're from, where you live now?

Karina Arnal: Well, yeah. I'm from Venezuela and now I live in Ireland, Dublin. I was doing political science and economics in college, and I dropped out because it was absolutely not my thing. Somehow I ended up in a graphic design studio and the owner taught to me everything, like the basis of everything and I kind of like it. And yeah, then I moved to Europe, loads of different sorts of jobs and I found my previous employer, who was the guy that introduced me to you and yeah, that's what I've been doing for the past seven, eight years.

Alex Charfen: I love the fact that you're a political science major that became a graphic designer with no formal education. That's exactly right for our company. Like why do anything traditionally? And we owe a huge debt of gratitude to Josh Latimer, who introduced us to you. So, Karina, so give us a little idea of... so you moved from Venezuela to Ireland, why?

Karina Arnal: Being completely honest, I don't like the Latin American culture. I didn't feel like I belong to that place. So that was a thing for as long as I can remember, since I was a little child. I was living there and I was like, "I don't belong here. This is not... no, there must be something else." And yeah, for as long as I can remember, my only goal in life was to leave Venezuela and it became super dangerous. And the political situation, economics is just a disaster. So it's either surviving in Venezuela or actually risking everything you have to have a normal life in another country, which is what I did.

Alex Charfen: Yeah and so you got out of there and went to Ireland, so that you can lower the noise and actually have a life you wanted.

Karina Arnal: Yeah because otherwise it was just impossible. It's just the constant thoughts of like, "I'm in a place where I don't feel me, I don't want to be part of this. And that kind of consumes your entire life because it's your environment. You're there all the time and there's no escape, so yeah.

Alex Charfen: So as you described like the environment and feeling like there's no escape and having the sensitivity to it, I just, I hear all of the attributes of the entrepreneurial personality type. When you first heard the content around the EPT, did you immediately relate to it?

Karina Arnal: Yes, in a weird way because I don't feel like an entrepreneur. Just for the fact that I wouldn't do what you do. I like being part of teams and I like being the helper more than the guy with the ideas and all the job. But I was like, "It feels like a place where I might belong."

Alex Charfen: Well, Karina, you've been really open with our team and part of the reason I wanted to do this podcast is that you've been really open about struggling with your personality type, with your perception of the world. Can you share a little bit of that with us? Like in what you've gone through?

Karina Arnal: Well yeah, it's just basically that I've been constantly, my entire life, being told that I'm weird. That the way I behave is not normal, that the things I like is not normal. Something as easy as noise and by noise I mean literally sounds, they drive me crazy. I don't like going to concerts or being in noisy places because it's painful to me. So that kind of things, even though I try to control them as much as I can, there's still people is like, "You're so weird." And then I flow for a while, but at the end I just end up leaving everywhere, places, relationships because it's just, I can't bother.

Alex Charfen: Yeah, you've opened up to our team and told us and you said it was okay for me to talk about here. So I just want everyone to know I've gotten permission, that you've gone through periods of your life where you would consider that you had what most people would describe as clinical depression.

Karina Arnal: Yeah, yeah, actually when I started therapy, psychotherapy and I was like on my first session on everything, my doctor was asking me lots of questions and at the end he was like, "You've been depressed your entire life." And I was like, "What?" I know and I was like, "You're joking."

And he said, "Well, you don't remember a time where you didn't feel this way. So technically, yeah, you have been depressed your entire life." And I was like, "Oh gosh, how do I get out of here?" So it was a journey. It was pretty interesting. I mean, I got to know myself and I got to make decisions I thought I wouldn't ever do in my life.

So yeah, and all the good things, like all the good results kind of started when I started working in Charfen because I truly, like before when I started therapy, I was like, "I have to do this." And it's that kind of feeling of like, "Yeah, this is what I have to do."

Alex Charfen: Like obligation.

Karina Arnal: Yeah, yeah and then I started working in Charfen and somehow, maybe like did the good vibe of everyone or the fact that everyone is trying to do better and become a better person, it kind of inspires you in a really truly deeply good way. And I started making changes that I wanted. Ever since, my life is completely different now. I get up and I actually want to be alive and it's insane, how did that happen? I have no idea. But I know it happened ever since I've started working here.

Alex Charfen: Karina, one of the most emotional huddles I've ever been in, every day we have a morning huddle for those listening, who aren't aware of that. We get together as a team and we share a meeting and in that, at the end of our huddle we have a section called caught being awesome. And one of the most emotional days that I've ever had in the huddle was where you got on and you said, "I just want to catch the team for being awesome."

And out of nowhere you said, "I've suffered from clinical depression in my life and I've felt this way for a long time. And working on this team and being part of this has made it so that, that has almost completely gone away." And I remember almost falling out of my chair, that such a dramatic difference from working in a business where there's systems and processes and structure. Tell us, Karina, how did systems, process, structure, being on this team cause such a massive difference?

Karina Arnal: Because you see it working in business. So if it's working on a company, you're kind of like, "That might work in my life." And you're trying things and you go to a Momentum Master class and you're like, "This seems like a full-time job." But then you start applying all the things in your life and it makes everything so much easier, like to get the time and the space and everything just works.

Alex Charfen: Yeah, well you've made some massive changes. But I want to go back to before first. So before, when you were working in organizations where there wasn't as much of a structure or you didn't feel that protection, how did it feel for you, Karina?

Karina Arnal: I felt alone, to be honest, all the time. It was just like me in front of my computer, that's it. And actually, back then I used to say I was a freelancer. I don't do that anymore. Now, people ask me and, "No, no, no. I'm the graphic designer of Charfen, I work remotely. I'm not a freelancer. No, no, I work remotely. That's different." But back, before, I always felt like I was just a freelancer, doing my thing, just very like, "Yeah, this is what I do."

Alex Charfen: So, Karina, tell me how you feel differently about your work now that you've gone from like, "I'm a freelancer," to now you own your position and working with the team that we have around us? How does it feel different to just work every day?

Karina Arnal: It is so challenging, in such a good way because it's not, you kind of like feel the hours and it's like, "Yeah, I have to work eight hours a day, whatever." And you finish and you keep going with life and you get excited for Fridays and stuff. I don't get excited for Fridays. I get excited for Mondays, weekly meetings are the best and then the fact that we have the daily huddle and we get to meet every day.

Even if you're not in a company, like in a place, when you can go and talk to each other, it's still like we get to know each other, we get to meet and talk everyday and we're real humans. It doesn't feel like just computers and everyone being away. No, it actually feels like family, to be honest.

Alex Charfen: That's awesome and so, Karina, you're one of my favorite people and I share a story all the time with entrepreneurs and they don't believe me. I tell them, if you create a business where people are excited about working and you contribute to those people by creating structure and process and make sure they're emotionally safe, they will draw a tremendous amount of momentum from your business.

There was a week where you were on vacation and we didn't have you on a daily huddle and the next day you were there and Hailey said, "Wait a second, Karina, you're supposed to be on vacation." And you said back, "What do you mean, I'm not allowed on the huddle?" Why were you there?

Karina Arnal: I just wanted to know what was going on and like, kind of be part of the team, I'm here, I didn't go anywhere. I don't know, just working here again, it doesn't feel, maybe it's because it doesn't feel like a job as in like, "Oh, I have a job." It feels like so exciting. We're all together, building this massive thing that's helping people and you got to be there and you don't want to miss out anything.

Alex Charfen: That's so awesome. So you've made some massive changes in your life. I'm going to get emotional here, talking about it because I've just, I've watched you grow from like when we started working together over a year ago to today. The changes are incredible. But I think one of the most significant is you've given up a tobacco habit. You quit smoking, how long ago?

Karina Arnal: I've been smoke free for three months.

Alex Charfen: Nice and how long did you smoke before that?

Karina Arnal: 10 years.

Alex Charfen: 10 years, so how hard was it to give it up this time?

Karina Arnal: To be honest, it's the first time I tried. Never tried before because I didn't want to stop smoking. It was kind of like, "Yeah, I don't want to." It was also my getaway thing with social situations-

Alex Charfen: Like escape.

Karina Arnal: Because my friends smoke. So it was so easy to say, "I'm just going to go for a smoke." And then get myself like 10 minutes of silence and just [inaudible 00:14:18] and stuff. But then if you met Deanna or Haley, the massive changes they both made, it's like you can't just keep smoking. No, you're got to have something, you got to be better.

And after like, even doing cool things like the moss runs, which just made me feel so much better and the CBD oil and the aura ring and going to sleep properly and all these kinds of things. I kind of felt like the smoking thing was in the way and it's like you can't just keep improving your life if you're going to keep smoking. No, quit it. So I did and here I am.

Alex Charfen: Oh that's so awesome. What do the people around you, have they noticed a change? Have your friends, your family, the people you talked to, have they seen you?

Karina Arnal: My friends, my friends, they say I look a lot more positive and that I smile a lot more, which is kind of nice to hear. And they can't believe that the smoking thing. They seriously can't believe I've stopped smoking, they're all the time, which I understand. But they're all the time saying like, "Oh, you're going to go back to it, you'll see, everyone does. They stop smoking and they go back to it." And I was like, "No, I told my team I stopped smoking and I'm not going to let them down. I'm not going to go back smoking." And I'm not going to, so...

Alex Charfen: When you tell your friends that all the positive changes are because of where you work, do they find it weird?

Karina Arnal: Yes, they find weird everything about my job, like the fact that I work remotely, the fact that we have meetings every directly, the fact that I like my meetings. Well somehow, most of them listen to your podcast.

Alex Charfen: So they start to get it.

Karina Arnal: Yeah, yeah, yeah, somehow they ended up in your podcast and are like, "Oh, your boss is pretty cool." And I'm like, "And you know, everything he says on the podcast is applied on our company. So he's not just like the guy talking lies or no, no, no, no, no, it's legit."

Alex Charfen: That's so awesome. So, oh Karina, this has been so good, just one or two more questions. So you've given us kind of an insight as to how your life was before. What do you think is the biggest change in your life now, after being in this environment?

Karina Arnal: I think the fact that I want to have a better life. The fact that I actually want to be alive, which is something that I didn't feel before, that's a massive impact for me. This is not lying to myself, it's not waking up and being like, "Yeah, yeah, I like my job, hahaha." No, no, no, it's legit. I truly want to be here. I totally want to contribute to the team momentum and the people we help and the businesses that are growing because of also, it's so good to be alive.

Alex Charfen: Oh, Karina, thank you so much for doing this. I just want everyone listening to know something. When Karina first started working with us, she would not even talk on our daily huddle because she was embarrassed about her accent and didn't want to share. And so she would type everything in and then I gave her a really hard time about that and told her that Latin Americans have to be proud of our accents, if we have them.

I'm from Mexico, Karina is from Venezuela. So I told her I love her accent and I wanted to hear it more. And to think a year ago that we would be on a podcast that's going to go out to thousands of people and you would appear and feel this confident, is just blowing me away, Karina. I just, I love the progress, I love the change, I love working with you. You're absolutely extraordinary.

Karina Arnal: It's all thanks to the team, you guys are like... it is a team effort. Everything, it's a team effort.

Alex Charfen: Absolutely, for anybody listening, I think as I listened to Karina, I heard almost all 10 attributes of the entrepreneurial personality type and the extraordinary nature with which she gets things done is such a clear demonstration of who people like us are. And if you're interested in finding out more about the entrepreneurial personality type and how we react to the world, go to and we will pay for the book, you pay for shipping.

We'll send you a copy of the Entrepreneurial Personality Type. I think it describes me, it describes Karina. It describes every person throughout history who has changed the world and made this world a better place. And it probably, if you're listening to this podcast, describes you or someone you love, Thanks again, Karina.

Karina Arnal: Thank you.

Thank You For Listening!

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

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With gratitude,


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