Momentum Podcast: 560

Part 1: Business Building Secrets

by Alex Charfen

Episode Description

Have you ever wondered what it’s like to work with my company? If so, you’re going to want to press play. In this week’s episode, you get to hear from four of our existing clients in massive momentum. You’re going to get a real, raw take on what can happen within just a few short months of working with us… 

Amanda, Justin, Wallance, and Andrea share with you who they are, what their business is, where they were when they first started, and where they are now. Each of them has had profound transformations in their companies, and if you do what they did, you can too. Listen in as they get into specifics around the results they’ve experienced in their businesses and teams, and how it’s dramatically changed their lives. 

Full Audio Transcript

Alex Charfen: This is the Momentum Podcast.

Jeremy Bergeron: Hey, everybody. This is Jeremy Bergeron. I am checking back in from Alex Charfen's team, and I'm just going to jump right into it. I'm super excited about this week's episode, because you get to hear from our existing members, from some of the people that we've been working with. And they get into specifics around, hey, what are some of the results they get in their business? What are some of the outcomes for them and their teams? I think you're going to absolutely love this episode. Check it out.

Alex Charfen: 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.

Jeremy Bergeron: To get started, I just want to introduce you guys really quickly, and here's what I'll ask. I'm going to do an introduction for you, and then I'd like you to just quickly share with everybody who's listening what type of business you're in, how long you've been working with us, and what was the business like before and where are you now. So, where were you when you started? Where are you now? That way, everybody just kind of has context, because I know the people who have signed into this are from all over the place and all different levels of business, and I want people to know who they're hearing from.

So, if it's okay, I'm going to start with you, Amanda. So, just to give you my introduction of Amanda so you guys can understand why we brought her onto this call, Amanda is an attorney, and I don't want you to hold that against her because she's one of the good ones. We actually love having attorney clients in our company, because we work with the attorneys that are out changing the world.

Amanda runs a legal firm that processes disability claims for military members. So, every time she reports to our team that her business is growing, we know that more former soldiers are getting the disability claims that they really need. So, we're constantly excited to help Amanda grow. Amanda, thanks for being here.

Amanda: Thank you for having me. Happy to be here.

Jeremy Bergeron: Yeah, sure.

Amanda: Yeah, so you already told them what I do for a living, which is awesome.

Jeremy Bergeron: Sorry.

Amanda: And yeah, we focus on our critical number on the veterans that we're able to help, and our revenue goal isn't really about our revenue. It's more about the back pay that we're able to get for our clients, and it was kind of cool when I figured out that, in the last five years, we've gotten about $40 million of back pay for veterans that they wouldn't have otherwise got. So, it's a pretty rewarding job, but it's pretty tough as well.

I started working with Alex last October, November, right around there, so it's coming up on a year. And I would say the biggest change that's happened is, we've almost doubled our new clients from the last year to this year, which is awesome, but what's been the most rewarding for me has been building the team and really allowing them to blossom and become who they are, and Alex has coached me through that because I'm not very good at letting go of control.

Jeremy Bergeron: And, Amanda, has the firm grown financially in the year that you've been with us?

Amanda: Yeah, absolutely. Ours is a little weird because it's on a contingency. So, when we bring on new clients, we don't get paid for those for three years. So the growth is bigger in that we brought on more new clients this year, which is going to turn into revenue two to three years from now, but our revenue, this is our best revenue year so far.

Jeremy Bergeron: That's awesome. Thanks for being here. So awesome to have you here. Awesome. Justin, let's go to you next. I'm not going to steal the thunder and tell everybody what you do. I'll just tell everybody I brought you on this call because I think you're an intense entrepreneur. You've grown your business a ton, and I'm excited for everybody to hear from you.

Justin Dyson: Cool, cool. So, my name's Justin Dyson. I have an eCommerce business. We sell physical products primarily on Amazon and We came to Alex about a year ago, actually a year ago this month, actually.

Jeremy Bergeron: Yeah, that's right.

Justin Dyson: Yeah. And so, when we first came on, it's kind of sad to say, I didn't know what my last 12 months of revenue was at the time at a live event, and we had just crossed $3 million dollars in the last 12 months. So, first of all, that was kind of cool, because I didn't even know, but we should do over $6 this year, or between $5, a little more than $6 maybe. We'll see, but things are looking really good in that regard.

Primary reason we came, wanted to join this program and things like that was because my team didn't know what was going on. I had two people. I still have those two people. I'm actually looking to hire a third right now. I'm going through that whole process, but that was kind of the thing we got the most clarity on, was figuring out where we're going, why we're going there, and then how the heck we're going to get there, and it's obviously working.

Jeremy Bergeron: That's awesome. So, Justin, it's about double the size of the business? Similar to Andrea, double the size of new client acquisitions, double the size of the business in the past year?

Justin Dyson: Yep.

Jeremy Bergeron: That's intense, Justin. I've got a couple of questions for you, but I want to get everybody introduced. These are the hardest calls for me, because I'm like, I want to dive right in with Amanda. Then I want to dive right in with Justin. It's like, it's so hard to get to the introductions.

So next, Wallace, I'm going to come to you. So, just for everybody who's watching, Wallace is an intense entrepreneur. He's also somebody that I look up to as a father and a husband and a family person. He's amazing and his business is pretty intense. I'll let him tell you about it.

Wallace: Thank you, Alex, and thanks for letting me be on today. Charfen's been such a huge part of my life the last year plus, but the business that I'm in, I actually am second generation in a 40 year old company, and we sell business to business in the research, development, and manufacturer of nutritional supplements.

So, for us, our mission really is to change the world by changing lives, and every time we get the sale, the cool thing for us, we kind of sell one to many. We sell to an entrepreneur or business, and then they reach thousands of people that they serve. So, it's fun to have a huge impact in natural medicine by working business to business.

And we have been working with Alex for about 15 months now. Where we were at when we started, I was just about a year into taking over this company fully from my mother, who was the founder of the company and had formerly been my partner, and without pulling any punches, I absolutely hated it. We were stagnant.

I loved the work we did, I loved the impact we had. I thought what we did was important, but we'd been stagnant in our revenues for three or four years, and just every disaster you hear about in a company. Our management meetings where these grinding three and four hour affairs that went nowhere and resolved nothing, and I literally dreaded walking into the office every year, or every day. Excuse me.

And, in the time since we started working with Alex and installed the systems, it could not be more different. It's a dynamic and enjoyable environment. I love my team, I love the people that I work with. I love our customers more, because we're getting along better and better with our customers, and everything has changed in how we're running the company, but also in our results.

So, we had stagnated right at $6.8 million. When we started with Alex and we ran through the first half, we had almost a $10 million run rate. So it's dynamic added value for us.

Jeremy Bergeron: So awesome, Wallace. I want to come back to you on some of that stuff, especially on the familial stuff, because so many people have like the pain of that type of a business, but let's get the last introduction out of the way here. Andrea Maxim, so excited to have you here to share with everybody. I didn't realize there was four of you, and I've been like completely out it, because everything that's going on in my life, and I didn't realize it was these four people, so I'm a little overwhelmed with the awesomeness. I'll let you introduce yourself.

Andrea Maxim: I'm Andrea Maxim. I'm a naturopathic doctor. So I run three brick and mortar businesses, and I own one, and then I'm also helping, online, other healthcare practitioners so that they don't have to feel health-preneur poverty, which happens so often with practitioners because we're not business minded. We're health minded.

So, I have been in the Charfen Code since the end of March, so I'm basically in my six months, and I went into it knowing that I needed to implement right away. I started as a team of one. I had a part-time virtual assistant. In the first three months, I doubled my team. So I hired a project manager. I also hired an associate who is now training, onboarding right now in my Caledonia clinic, which I own, and she's going to take over for me in two months. So, in two months, I will have gotten 20 hours of my clinic time back, so I can be a better manager.

And so the biggest transformation for me is, now I'm stepping away from practitioner into, basically, like a leader and a manager of my business. And it brings tears to my eyes even when I talk about it, because the day that I signed up, I didn't know what I was capable of doing, and I went so far outside of my comfort zone, and I had like a call with some of the coaches. Right? Just bawled for 20 minutes, because I felt so unsure and stressed out about all of this responsibility that I felt.

But onboarding my project manager with the Charfen Method, it was the easiest onboarding that I've ever had onboarding new people. Now with this new associate, I was freaking out equally. She's onboarded completely, and in fact, Laura has like guided her into the whole process. So I've literally stepped out of all of those managerial things now, and I just focus perfectly on sort of my level of the business and let my team run the rest, and I cannot say enough.

Again, as I'm saying this, there's tears rolling behind my eyes, that I didn't know that this lifestyle was possible in such a sort period of time for me to be implementing. So I just have to say kudos to Charfen and your team, because from a practitioner, like the biggest thing that we worry about is that we're irreplaceable, and I'm proving that I am not a unicorn. I now have someone who is pretty much ready to go. I don't think I would have onboarded her nearly as quickly, and we're developing processes, we're writing out all of these things that I didn't have before.

So the sky's the limit now. If I do this correctly, I can have practitioners in all of my clinics, just be the clinic owner, which is what I want to be, and we could even start franchising this whole process as well. I didn't have these options before.

Jeremy Bergeron: Andrea, is it fair to say, because I remember some of our exchange, you and I, is it fair to say that six months ago you didn't think there was any way you could get out of being the clinician in the practice?

Andrea Maxim: No way. It was a dream. It was a pipe dream.

Jeremy Bergeron: Pipe dream.

Andrea Maxim: I didn't know how I could possibly do it, how I would train the person, what I would have them do, what it would even look like, and I just trusted the process, because we were at one of the live events, and I've put that ad out at the live event, and said I've-

Jeremy Bergeron: I remember.

Andrea Maxim: Yeah, remember? So I just forced myself to do it, and because I've done it, now all the stress is away and I'm like, "Holy bleep, this actually materializing. I just can't believe it." Yeah.

Jeremy Bergeron: I like that you used a clinical term there, because it is, right?

Andrea Maxim: It is professional.

Jeremy Bergeron: So here's what's awesome. I want everyone to hear what we just heard. So we have a law firm that's doubled incoming business. It's going to double incoming money in a couple of years, just based on the business model. We have a supplement company that's grown by like almost double, but very close to double, after stagnating for a long time. We have a physical products company that's been with us for one year this month, and is about to double the business.

And then, Andrea, you can't say enough about being the technician or the practitioner or the clinician in a business and wanting to get out, because every person who's in that position feels like it's a pipe dream. It's like they have this fantasy in their heads that someday it'll happen, and it went from pipe dream to reality in six months.

And so, I want to now go back and come back to each one of you, and I'm going to go out of order because I don't want to keep us in a loop, but I'm going to start with Wallace. So, Wallace, one of the things that we tell businesses is, if you don't have a clear strategic plan, it's near impossible to successfully run a business without conflict and without stepping all over each other.

When we first started working together, one of the things I asked you was, "This is a mature business. Do you have a strategic plan?" And I remember you asking, "What do you mean by that?" And we talked about it a little, and I said, "Wallace, if you put these processes in place, they will actually solve what's going on. You don't have to solve it. The process will." Do you remember us having that conversation?

Wallace: I do. Yeah. I remember some pretty desperate conversations.

Jeremy Bergeron: So when you put this strategic plan in place, what was the difference in the business, Wallace, from going like we don't have a planning system to now putting one in place?

Wallace: I didn't realize how much I ran in. I didn't even know the term black ops that you use, but everything in our entire company was black ops, and it either was something that I was running, where I had an expectation that things would happen, that I hadn't communicated to anyone on my team, or it was small segmented pieces of the team chasing off after something without the knowledge or consent of anyone else on the team.

And what that led to was a ton of confusion, and that led to a ton of disharmony, not only in like the interpersonal relationships within the business, but in getting anything to function together as a unit like it should. And the process of going through, we started, the very first thing we did with the cadence was sit down and do our annual plan, and then the quarterly, and the monthly's, and then bumped that off with a culture meeting, followed by our first daily huddle, and all of that felt crazy, because we had never really done anything structured like that, but the change was immediate.

In like a day or two, the entire team knew what was going on, they knew where we were going, they knew what we were going to do to try to get there, and it's like everything started working in concert almost immediately, and the change of the feel, the change in the way our team interacts with each other, the way that they related with me, the way we relate with our customers, it was like a light switch, turning that on, and everything was better in a matter of day or two once we got the system in place.

Jeremy Bergeron: There's another phenomena you experienced, Wallace, and I hope this is okay to bring it up. You and I have talked about it together before in front of an audience, so I'm making the assumption it's okay. But one of the things that you were dealing with was, because the business had existed for so long, and I know there's people listening who have mature businesses, and anyone who's in a mature business. We just started working with somebody who has a field testing company that's been around for a few decades, so another mature business.

And in any mature business, there's usually this issue where there's people who've been in a position for a long time, so long that like nobody could ever imagine them not being in that position, but almost everybody knows maybe they shouldn't be anymore, and there's some adjustments needed and some changes needed. And one of the things that you told me was like, "I just don't know how I can possibly make these adjustments because people have been around so long."

And I told you, I remember, you looked at me like I had crazy eyes, because I said, "Wallace, trust me. This process will fix the people problems." And you're like, "Okay," like I just told you that it was going to help you walk on water or something. Can you speak to that a little bit?

Wallace: Yeah. Actually, let me flavor that just to touch more. Where you and I had that conversation was at our very first summit event with you in Austin. It was before we had started implementation of anything. It was literally within maybe a week or two of when you and I talked about finding out about the program and signing up. We just kind of hit that summit event.

And I made it through the first half of the first day, and at lunch, I had like a complete mental and emotional breakdown. I literally had to go back to my room, because I was freaking out so bad thinking, there's no way I could move some of these people into the way that you're asking me to work. And I thought there was no way that I could overcome some of those challenges we have with some long standing people. And you did ask me to trust you. I did think you were crazy.

Jeremy Bergeron: It's nice how, when you say, "You did ask me to trust you and I did think you were crazy," the other three people all nodded.

Wallace: Yeah. I don't think I'm unique in that experience. But you said something to me there. You said, "Not only will the process fix the people," but that, basically, there was a good chance they were going to take care of it themselves without me having to really approach those uncomfortable moments, and I didn't really believe you. I wanted to believe you, but I didn't.

But just like you had kind of predicted, within a couple weeks, one of the biggest sticking points that I was most worried about basically came to me and said, "Hey, I need to fire myself and move to something I'm better suited for." And it was amazing and so beneficial for what we were doing, and I completely avoided what I was so scared of having to do, because the process fixed it for me.

Jeremy Bergeron: Hey, everybody, thanks a lot for listening again this week. We always appreciate you taking the time to listen to these episodes. If you're an entrepreneur and you want some clarity on your business and where you need to go next, if you want to build systems and processes around your team, and shift from transactional leadership to transformational leadership, if you want to establish a forward looking planning and communication system that will set you up for success the entire time you operate in business, then head over to That's

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