Momentum Podcast: 549

Special Guest: Laura Alvarado

by Alex Charfen

Episode Description

In this episode, we bring on our very own Laura Alvarado. Before working with us, was running a few pretty successful gyms. Her business was doing over seven figures, and she was only working 5 to 10 hours a week. While this sounds like a dream to most people, it was the opposite for Laura. She found herself bored, feeling unfulfilled, and wanting something more. 

Typically people come to us looking for help growing and scaling their businesses, but Laura came to us because she wanted a challenge. She wasn’t in momentum and desperately wanted to be. After going through our Momentum Masterclass and implementing our tools such as the Charfen Cadence, everything changed for her. She finally found herself being challenged, feeling like she was making an impact, and she was able to grow as a leader. She launched her latest business in March and is at a $700,000 run rate. Things have been going great for her. Oh, and she’s working 40+ hours a week, happier than she’s ever been!  

Full Audio Transcript

Here's the scenario. You have two brick and mortar locations. You're making over a million dollars a year. You're profitable. You're only working five to 10 hours a week, life is good. Then why did my guest today, Laura Alvarado, change everything, go back to 40 hours a week, start a new business? Because she just wasn't feeling the momentum. I think this is going to be relatable for a lot of entrepreneurs out there.

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 am so excited to be recording this podcast today. And you're probably getting sick of hearing me say that because every time I have the honor of interviewing with one of our clients, I think I start the podcast with, "I'm so excited." But it's genuine. I get so pumped and excited to hear the inner workings of a business, to communicate with one of our clients and to talk with entrepreneurs that are doing amazing things. And today's guest is absolutely no exception.

Laura Alvarado, is one of the most intense entrepreneurs I've ever met. I'm going to qualify that in a second so you don't think I'm making it up. But she is a just a force to be reckoned with. She runs a couple of gyms that are incredibly successful. Just so everybody knows when we met Laura, she had a couple of gyms doing over seven figures, making a very nice living and working five to 10 hours a week.

We can't take credit for any of that. But we definitely started working with her, and there's been some shifts and some changes and some growth. I wanted to bring on Laura today to share her experience with you. Laura, thank you so much for being here with me.

Laura Alvarado: Thanks Alex. I'm honored to be here.

Alex Charfen: Laura, most of the time people come to us because they're experiencing challenges or they're not growing in the business like they want to. But when you came to us, your business was really successful.

Laura Alvarado: Yes, it was pretty much on autopilot. I was actually came to you because I was bored and I had nothing to do.

Alex Charfen: Instead of coming to us to grow the business or make it better, you came to us and I think the word that you used when we first talked was, challenge. You wanted a challenge.

Laura Alvarado: Yes, I wanted a challenge. I had been complaining for a long time that I was bored, that I felt really unfulfilled. And I was listening to your podcast and the beginning, your intro really resonated with me. I knew nothing about you, nothing about your systems or who you are as a coach. I just knew that that message resonated with me and I said, "Let's see what this guy Alex, is all about."

Alex Charfen: That is the first time anyone's ever told me that they joined our program because of the manifesto, but I'll take it. That's awesome. You joined our program, and tell us Laura, was there frustrations you were dealing with? What was it that drove you into the program?

Laura Alvarado: I remember talking with you on some sales calls and at first you wouldn't let me join the program. You actually told me I couldn't join the program, that I wasn't ready to work with you yet. But I think the thing that resonated with me was you were able to articulate to me why I was bored and nobody else could do that. You actually told me that I was probably about to mess up my business by trying things to get out of boredom, which was so true. I had really messed up my business-

Alex Charfen: Just another time.

Laura Alvarado: I was doing someone else's program before I met you. Yes it's self-sabotage just because I was bored. And it was just this craving where I felt I was unfulfilled and I was almost in a depression. I was having anxiety because I felt like I just wasn't going anywhere or to use your word, I wasn't in momentum.

Alex Charfen: Yes. Laura, this is a really interesting situation I want to dig into a little bit. Because let's look at this from the outside, looking from the outside looking in. Laura, is the CEO of a two gym business. There's two brick and mortars. People are changing their lives every day. There's a really engaged team. You're making over a million dollars a year, you've got... not making, but your gross is over a million.

You're profitable, you're working five to 10 hours a week. From the outside looking in, anyone who heard you say I was bored and frustrated and felt stuck would say, "What are you talking about?" But the reality is, when you're an entrepreneur, the situation really, it's the feeling of momentum. It's not the situation that you're in, right?

Laura Alvarado: No. When I was actually pregnant is when I came to you, which is probably one of the worst times to start launching a new endeavor, or working with somebody new.

Alex Charfen: Do you remember when I told you that I was excited you were pregnant? I actually love working with pregnant women. They get it, I mean to me, it's like this bonus. You have tons of energy, there's a boost, you're excited. I mean, we'll get into it just a minute, how much you've accomplished while you were pregnant and having a baby and joining our program. But I felt that was kind of a driver for you.

Laura Alvarado: It was. And it what was funny. I was laughing with my husband the other day because I launched my first business when I was pregnant with my son, and my second business while pregnant with my daughter and he's like, "We cannot get pregnant again. Two businesses is enough."

Alex Charfen: I was just having that conversation with Emily [Hirsch 00:06:14]. The same thing she was saying that her first baby, she had a major up-level in her business. Second baby, major up-level and in business and that's it. It really does kind of reframe if you approach it the right way, it reframes what's going on.

Now, I want to talk a little bit about what's happened since you joined our product, and really why you joined. You joined because you wanted to be challenged. The manifesto spoke to you, which is so awesome. What's happened since you joined our program?

Laura Alvarado: Well, I've launched a whole new business and had to launch, create new systems, new procedures, hire and train a new team. I've gone from working 10 hours a week, to 40 to 50 hours a week. It's just been a big adjustment for my family, and just it's feels so exciting to be in that creation stage where you're building something new.

Alex Charfen: Let's talk about that creation stage because you make it sound like it's really early and barely anything's happened. But tell us a little bit about this business. In fact, take us to the moment you knew the Cadence system and the planning system was working in the new business.

Laura Alvarado: I think the biggest way that I know that it's working is just launching. I launched the business in March. We launched a mastermind component in July. And my normal way of launching things is just verbal diarrheaing all over my team, saying, "We're going to do this." Throwing things out and saying, "Oh, crap, we need this," and scrambling at the last second, versus now that I've implemented your cadence and your process.

My team is less stressed out. My team is able to provide structure and anticipate where we're going. We can launch something with an actual plan. For forever I did not understand what your OTA is, why I kept saying, "I don't get it." And then when I realized, "Oh, it's a project plan." You're not scrambling at the last second during a launch, like, "Oh, that's what that's supposed to be." It's really helped me just be more methodical and anticipate needs, and my staff to anticipate needs as well.

Alex Charfen: I want to just clarify for everybody, OTA, is what we have as a minimum effective dose project plan. It's spelling out clear outcome, accountability. Outcome, what are you going to do? Accountability, who's going to do what? And transparency, what are you going to measure to see if you're successful prior to launching a project? OTAs typically take 15 to 30 minutes to fill out. Right about that, Laura?

Laura Alvarado: Yes, but they save you hours of time because you actually know what you need to do and are not waiting till the last second to get it done.

Alex Charfen: Yes, and I love that you said that because here's what we always tell people is, if you exchange 10 to 20 minutes at the beginning of a project, it will save you hours and sometimes dozens of hours throughout the project. Have you seen that, Laura?

Laura Alvarado: Absolutely. Especially so in preparing for my first live event in October, I think if we didn't have an OTA, we would just be drowning.

Alex Charfen: All right. I want to get some results. I want to understand, because you didn't just launch this business, it's been somewhat successful, hasn't it?

Laura Alvarado: Yes. We're currently at about a $700,000 run rate and we launched it in March, so it's grown faster than I could have ever imagined.

Alex Charfen: That's so crazy. You launched it in March. You're at a $700,000 run rate now, your live events in October and the business is growing, right?

Laura Alvarado: The business is growing every month.

Alex Charfen: Okay. Laura share with everyone, because there's someone listening to this podcast right now who's like, "Wait a second, this woman's crazy. She was working five to 10 hours a week. Now she's working 40 hours a week and she's excited about it. She's happy about it. What is happening?" Explain why this is so much better than where you were before.

Laura Alvarado: I just feel, I don't know any other word besides for lack of better word to steal yours, momentum.

Alex Charfen: You can use it as much as you like.

Laura Alvarado: I feel like I'm having an impact. I feel like I'm creating something. I feel challenged by what I'm doing. I feel I'm being pushed to grow as a leader. Yes, I don't want to say that my gyms weren't fulfilling because when I walk through my brick-and-mortars doors and I hear the success stories from my clients, and they come up and give me hugs and tell me how the place has changed their life.

Of course, that's important to me, but it wasn't challenging. I had done it for so long and I just felt I was sort of... I felt I had a bigger purpose and that I could help more people and have a bigger impact I guess, than just what I was doing before.

Alex Charfen: Before, you actually said earlier in the podcast that you felt like there was a little depression.

Laura Alvarado: Oh, yes.

Alex Charfen: Here's what's awesome, five to 10 hours a week, profitable, making money didn't really have to do much feeling depressed. Now, in a full-time job or more working like crazy, trying to get a new business off the ground and hitting the $700,000 run rate. It feels like it's a complete 180 degree shift.

Laura Alvarado: Totally. I don't know why, but whenever I don't have something that is challenging that I'm working towards in my life, I feel really depressed and a lot of anxiety. I've always felt that way and I think that's why your manifesto resonated with me. That can't turn it off part and don't know why you'd want to.

And before I had a business, I would do all these crazy extremes like running 100 mile marathons, or just insane stuff to try and fulfill that need. I feel it's one of those things where either I'm growing or I'm dying, I feel depressed or I'm excited about what I'm doing.

Alex Charfen: I love what you just said, "Either I'm growing or I'm dying." Because if you, and I just want to play for a minute with our metaphor of the evolutionary hunter or huntress in your case, and the metaphor of this biologically programmed human being that needs to be a momentum, needs to be moving forward. Needs to be achieving and accomplishing, making things happen, or we actually feel chemically depressed.

And when we get into the place where we have a hunt that we're on, when we're in that process, when we're making things happen, when we're in momentum and the world's falling in our wake, we actually feel physiologically boosted. I mean, you've pretty, you've articulated exactly that feeling more. When we talk about the evolutionary hunter and that need to move forward, it sounds like you live that every day.

Laura Alvarado: I live that everyday in my life. Yes, totally.

Alex Charfen: When we share the huntress, does that resonate with you?

Laura Alvarado: It really resonates with me, yes. I wasn't until I heard you say it, or that anybody had really articulated that. People would just say that I was crazy or that I didn't really understand, especially when I was younger, when I had so much anxiety in my life, where that was coming from. I always just thought something was wrong with me. When working with somebody who I feel gets me and can articulate it for me was just life changing and eye opening for me.

Alex Charfen: That's so awesome.

Laura Alvarado: It made me feel more normal.

Alex Charfen: Yes, you make me feel more normal. I love listening to you. When you look at an evolutionary hunter, and this is how I would explain it. As an evolutionary hunter, you have to be on the hunt. It's being in the process, on the hunt, moving forward and achieving that makes us feel we're alive. And when we are not on a hunt, no matter what our circumstances are, we will not feel we're achieving and alive.

You see people that are wealthy beyond means, that have massive followings, that are successful in our eyes more than anybody can be successful and they check out. The reason is if you're not in momentum in the present, that's the frustration. That's the irritation.

Laura, what would you tell the person who's out there right now who's surrounded by what appears to be success? Who feels frustrated, stuck, depressed like you were before, and is feeling the judgment of everyone around them telling them they're crazy?

Laura Alvarado: Listen to that inner voice and follow your need. You're on the cusp of creating something awesome.

Alex Charfen: No doubt. I love that. Thank you, Laura. I love talking to you. I think when it comes to the entrepreneurial personality type, I feel everybody's on a spectrum. And to me the most important people are on the far side of the spectrum and are true evolutionary hunters, and since the day you and I met, I felt that way. You exude the feeling of needing to move forward, needing to make things happen.

And it's not just wanting to do that for you. I think from the day we met, what I've heard from you every time is, "If I'm not making a contribution, if I'm not making a difference, if I'm not changing people's lives, if it doesn't feel significant, I just don't feel like I'm doing what I need to be doing." And I think that's one-

Laura Alvarado: 100%.

Alex Charfen: I think that's one of the most exceptional ways to look at the world. Closing question. What do you think has given you the most progress in Momentum? For anybody who's listening what would you say that they should do?

Laura Alvarado: The first thing you had me do was to do your Momentum Masterclass. And I was actually kind of annoyed that you had me do it and I really didn't want to. And you told me that I wasn't really passionate anymore about helping people in weight loss, and I sort of kind of half-assed what you asked me to do and I think I lied to you and said that I was passionate about it and that was my mission, just so that you would let me work with you.

I think, actually going back now and doing the work and finding out what I am passionate about and something that's exciting me and challenging me has just made all of the difference. Just because you're successful at one thing or you've had success with it in the past, doesn't mean that's the only place that you can achieve success or that you're on the right path.

Alex Charfen: Yes, that's awesome. You know what, Laura? I just had the memory that we had that conversation about Momentum Masterclass, and what I think I told you was, "I need you to go figure out what you really want to do because we have a hard time working with entrepreneurs that don't have an outcome."

We're not the let us help you find your outcome company. We're like, once you know, let's get you there. And that's interesting that you bring that up because we use Momentum Masterclass with our highest level clients even though it's a 997 course, we use it with our highest level clients to get them really clear on what they want from their business personally. Like what is my exchange with the business? What do I want out of my relationships and what do I want out of my relationship with myself? I love the fact that you've gone back and done the work because each time you do it, you discover new things about what you're looking for.

Laura Alvarado: Totally. 100%.

Alex Charfen: Thanks for spending this time with us. I know people are going to want to understand or want to know where they can find out more about you and what you're doing. This new business you have, where should we send them?

Laura Alvarado: Yes. My new business is called Gym Lead Converter, and I help gym owners who are looking to convert more prospects into members and keep them around month after month. I've got a free report for your listeners on why your high ticket six-week-challenges are not converting into EFT membership. They can grab that report at

Alex Charfen: Awesome.

Laura Alvarado: You got it. Yes. Hopefully, we can put it in the podcast notes.

Alex Charfen: Yes, for sure. And if you're a gym owner, you should go download that. I got a secret for you. It's going to mess up all of Laura's database, but if you're not a gym owner, you should probably go download that because Laura's just got phenomenal information and you'll probably get something out of it for your business, even if you're not in her business.

And if you're interested in the course that Laura brought up, Momentum Masterclass, you can actually go to It's a 997 course, and the primary focus of Momentum Masterclass is strategic planning as an individual so that you get truly clear on what you're looking for out of your business, your primary relationships, and your life, and it will help you get into momentum.

Laura, thanks again for being here. I'm looking forward to doing this again. You're at $700,000 run rate now. Let's see where you are the next time we do this.

Laura Alvarado: Awesome. Thanks, Alex.

Alex Charfen: You got it. Thanks, Laura.

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