Momentum Podcast: 565

Part 2: The Marriage Process

by Alex Charfen

Episode Description

Welcome to the second part of The Marriage Process. In this episode, we share more audio of the panel Cadey and I did for our clients at our Billionaire Code Summit. Listen in as we begin to break down the rules we have when it comes to entrepreneurs in relationships, especially in marriage. Learn with us how to have a relationship that goes the distance, lasts, and changes the world. 

This episode is all about how to put more time into your business to help your marriage grow. If you do things the right way, you will find alignment with your partner and start to enjoy your company and relationship again. In this segment, Cadey and I stress the difference between time and quality of time. We get real with you on what our relationship looks like now and what it’s taken us to get there. Tune in to learn how you can start planning strategically with your partner, develop processes in your relationship, and create forward-looking goals. 

Full Audio Transcript

Alex Charfen: This is the Momentum Podcast. Eddie: Hey everybody, this is Eddie with Alex Charfen's team, and I'm so excited to welcome you back to another episode of the Momentum Podcast. Today we have more of the audio from the panel that Alex did with his wife Katie at our high level mastermind event. And during this episode, they begin to break down the rules that they have for entrepreneurs in relationships, and particularly in marriages, to make the marriage one that goes the distance, one that lasts, one that changes the world. I think you're really going to get a ton out of this episode. Enjoy.

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.

I'll share this with everybody. I have two rules for entrepreneurial success. Number one, your marriage is most important, and number two, be transparent in your marriage. Absolute, 100% transparency and it should be proactive. And notice I said for entrepreneurial success, not business success. The most successful entrepreneurs I've ever met who are happy with their wealth and excited about where they've ended up, are the ones who are happiest in their marriage. And so if you are in a marriage and you put it first, here's what naturally will happen, you will not do (beep) in your business.

Because if you explain to your spouse everything you're doing in your business and you put it first ... I hear from entrepreneurs all the time, "I can't talk to my spouse because they don't understand my business." I'm like, "That's your responsibility." How are they going to understand your business? They don't work there. You have to sit down and explain it to them in a way they'll understand. "Oh, but then they're not supportive." Yeah, they're not supportive, because they're scared, or there's ambiguity there.

So if you are willing to sit down with your spouse and make it so that they support you, explain enough so they're willing to support you, you're going to win. And if your plans are clear enough and your strategy is clear enough that you're willing to sit down and lay it all out for your spouse, and then defend it, and answer questions, and get them in with you, and put them on your side, you're going to win at such an extraordinary rate. And here's an absolute that I've seen in the entrepreneurial world. If you're not telling your spouse about your plans, it's probably because they're dumb.

You probably have some crazy Hail Mary loaded up, and everything is going to have to work out perfect. And it's like you're hiding it from your spouse and the world because if you let anybody know about it, something's going to go wrong and it won't end up perfect. And so the more willing you are to share it and put it out there, the faster your business will grow. So Anthony, it's a roundabout way of getting there, but the more time you put into the marriage, the more the business will grow.

And then the second thing, and I'll let Katie talk in a second, but ... Sorry. There's a difference between time and quality of time. When Katie and I sit down in the morning, some mornings it's like seven minutes, some it's 35, but some mornings it's like seven or eight minutes, but it's seven or eight minutes where there's no noise in the house. There's no electronics on, there's not even electronics on the table. We both have pens and a notebook in front of us and there's a real dialogue that happens, and it's not passing in the hallway. And so that seven to 12, or 20, or 30 minutes, or whatever it ends up being, in the morning. Even when we're both a little bit rushed and we have to sit down. It's like, "Hey, we only have 10 minutes." There's a quality to that time that changes how expansive it is in our lives. That seven minutes feels like way more time.

And the fact that we do it every morning makes it so that as we're walking into that room, both of our physiologies are in exchange information mode. And so putting a process and a routine to it makes it so it's infinitely more effective. And you don't have to use the time balance argument.

Katie: We also have ... Just like we have in the Cadence, we have the annual, we have the 90 day targets, we have the 30 day goals, we have weekly alignment, and we also have daily alignment. But it's essentially like a daily marriage huddle. And so there's different things that we're looking at in our personal lives throughout each of those. We're using the same lens that we teach in the Cadence for your business, and the Cadence for a marriage is just tweaked a little bit. And so I think that that time is really leveraged. And Alex and I are so aligned on the outcomes that we want. We're so aligned on the thing where we're going and what we want to achieve, that I believe in us, and I believe that we're unstoppable. And I know that we achieve more together.

And I think when you talk about quality of time, I think for any woman, and I think for any man, they want to know that you care, that you all are growing together. I think that alignment solves that, maybe, that need. I'm a quality of time person too. Alex is as well, so that helps. But I think if you are aligning around an outcome and you have that focus time ... Because some people say like, "You need to go on a date night every week." And we've tried to implement that. And I'm like, "We don't like to go out that much. We're home bodies."

Alex Charfen: Then I'm in the crowd.

Katie: I'm out and I want to be at home-

Alex Charfen: Hate being [crosstalk 00:06:14].

Katie: ... with Alex. We do focus more now on going on dates, but not every week. Neither one of us have an interest in that. And so I think it's having an open conversation with your wife and going, "Hey, what do you want? What would be enough time for you?" And then it's your responsibility to get it on the calendar and make it real.

Alex Charfen: The other thing that all of you should understand is that the asking for help and outsourcing is a massive exchange for time back for the relationship. Because now Katie and I, we go into the kitchen at the end of the day and we'll hang out, we're talking, and we're joking around. And before it was like, "What are you going to eat? What am I going to eat? Who's going to cut the lettuce?" That sucks, you know? And now we go in and we open packages and we eat food that was made in the last 48 hours by a chef that was trained at the Culinary Institute of New York.

Katie: Which is much better than anything I would ever make.

Alex Charfen: So much better than what we could do. And so, Katie, nobody's asked the question, but I want you to share a little bit about, because you went through this radical shift. When Katie and I first started living together, I was in the process of lowering noise and outsourcing. So I used to have ... I went to a full serve gas station. I had a guy who did my laundry. I had people who cleaned my house. And she thought it was crazy. She was just like me flying up to New York. But now you're like a Ninja at outsourcing. Can you talk a little bit about the transition of just how much guilt you felt, and how you got past it?

Katie: Sure. I think it's part of the reason why I struggled so much in our last business is because I felt like if I wasn't showing up, and making every meal, and doing all the laundry, that my kids wouldn't feel loved. And the problem is, is that my kids feel loved when they have my time, and they have my attention, and they have my focus. They also want clean underwear.

Alex Charfen: They were super-clear about that.

Katie: But they don't care how it gets in the drawer. You know? They don't care if I'm in the laundry room, and I think that they would actually prefer that I'm not. I'm really not good at most domestic things. I have other talents, so that's good. But I just had to give that up. I had to get over that hurdle. What makes me a good mom and whoever created us, our creator made me their parent, made me their mom. And so my responsibility is to be the very best version of myself that I can be. And it is not doing laundry, you all. I am not good at laundry. I'm not good at cooking. I am domestically challenged in most ways and Alex still loves me, which is fantastic. But he loves me for who I am, not because I was going to be a gourmet chef.

And so, I can hire a gourmet chef, and we can all eat better, and we can all spend quality time around the table. And I cannot not be showing up irritated and frustrated and feeling a deficit where I have a deficit. I'm not a chef. I don't even like cooking. So if I would go into the kitchen to make a meal, I'm usually pissed off about it because I don't feel good at it. And so I need to honor that and understand that I'm good at other things. And not have that expectation on myself. And so I realized that I wasn't showing up in a way that made me proud. I wasn't showing up in a way that I was modeling what I wanted for my kids, and the relationship that I wanted to have with my husband over cooking. I can outsource that, and show up in a way that everybody likes me better, including myself.

Alex Charfen: We'll definitely get to your questions. I just want to share real quick. To give you guys an idea of scope of what it takes to outsource your life. So when you look at just our household staff. So Katie and I have a chef. We have a cleaning person who comes four times a week. We have a personal assistant. We have a handyman. So I don't change light bulbs, and people laugh at that. They're like, "You really don't change light bulbs?" I'm like, "Why would I change a light bulb?" I have a guy who comes by once a week and he changes all the light bulbs that need to be changed, and he fixes anything else that needs to happen in the house.

And for those of you who have been to my house, it's almost 10,000 square feet. Which when we bought it, I'm like, "Yes, 10,000 square feet." Then I counted up all the lights and I'm like, "I'm going to change a light bulb every day." 600 lights in my house, we're screwed. And so we have an entire staff that does all of that stuff. And if there's something wrong at the house, I don't even think about picking up tools anymore. It's a text message. And so look at your life and figure out who are those people you need in your life. We have a lawn service, we have a pool service. Literally our whole house is taken care of by somebody else. Again, if I'm doing something at the house, I'm like, "This is a mistake. Something went wrong somewhere. How did this happen?" There was a question over here. Yeah, let's go for it, Hassan.

Hassan: My biggest challenge, I guess you could say, so lucky with the business. I'm even lucky I have this genius as a partner. But my biggest challenge is, when I work, I get completely obsessed. And my wife, she's also this incredible genius, and I sometimes catch myself ... Not sometimes, not going to lie. All the time, I can't ever stop talking about the business. Because it's kind of like you guys, I just get excited. I get excited about the growth. I get excited about what's happening with customer service. Just anything that's good about our company is just like a small win. I just get so excited about it. So I don't know how to turn that off. And my biggest goal in life is to be a good example for my children, and be a good husband obviously. But I can't ever stop talking about work.

We go out together, I can't shut up. We go out do anything I can never stop talking about. She always gets upset. Sorry. I know it's like I'm ranting right now. She gets upset and then it goes into, I'll get like super mad, like, "Who does she thinks she is getting mad at me for getting upset about our success?" You know? And then I have to walk away and cool off, and like, "Actually, you know what? I need to act like a human for a second." So is there any advice ... And again, I don't know if it's in the course or anything. Is there any device that you guys could share of how the best ... Not the best way, but what has possibly worked for you on how to try to act like a married couple every now and then? That's probably my best question.

Alex Charfen: You want to do this first?

Katie: [inaudible 00:12:39].

Alex Charfen: Okay. So I'll start Hassan. So what I-

Hassan: And I know it's personal. [crosstalk 00:12:46]

Alex Charfen: Yeah, for sure, man. For sure. So what I think happens in entrepreneurial careers where that happens, is that there's not a lot of process in the marriage, and you don't have a place where you have a place to have that conversation. So you just have the conversation all the time. And as a result, what happens is it starts to sound like noise to your spouse, because they're not in the business with you, and they don't understand all the shifts and turns and twists that you're talking about. And so you're talking about stuff where they really don't have a conscious understanding of what you're saying. And so when you create process, when you have a morning marriage alignment, and you're going through saying like, "Here's what was really good for me yesterday, here's where I felt uncomfortable yesterday." You can encapsulate that stuff to a point where your spouse will start to understand it and they'll hear it different because you're in a process of communication.

And what you just shared, I want you to know is one of the biggest challenges that I work with, with every one of my clients. Who doesn't have a spouse working in the business, and who does. Because if it's not working in the business, they hear about it all the time and they're frustrated with it. If it is working in the business, it's the only conversation they have and it's getting old. And so the more you build process around that, the easier it is for that not to feel like a constant drone to her. Does that make sense?

Strategic planning as a couple is crucial because here's what happens. If you sit down with your wife and you say, "You know what? If we have a higher net worth and we get out of debt, we're going to feel a lot more stable as a couple. So let's pursue this together." And then if you set up and say, "By the end of the year, here's where our net worth's going to be, or here's where we're going to reduce our debt to." That gives you a totally different conversation where now you're in it together and the business is helping the two of you. And that'll create a different level of connection there. So if you don't have forward looking goals with your spouse, that changes everything.

Katie: I also want to add to that, because we're working through content that we want to create and share. And one of the tenets that we brought up for entrepreneurial couples that work together, or just entrepreneurs that are married, is that you have to separate the momentum in your marriage from the momentum in your business. And I don't know that a lot of couples do that. And so if the business is going really well, and the business is in momentum the marriage is good. But as soon as the business hits a speed bump, and you all, every business has them. We've already said, if your business is broken in, and if things go well, it always will be. And so there's always going to be new business challenges, and there's always going to be something that you didn't see coming. It just happens.

But if you separate momentum in your marriage from the momentum in the business, those speed bumps in the business won't affect your marriage. Your marriage will be stronger around them, you'll be more aligned around them, you can get through them easier. Alex and I have seen a ton of challenges in our businesses. And just because we're growing, we're doing really big things. We want to make our biggest impact that we can while we're here. And that's not easy. And so there were times where we didn't separate the business and marriage momentum. And now we make a definite effort to do that through systems and process. And so I feel like we can get through anything.

Eddie: Thank you so much for listening to this episode of the Momentum Podcast. If you want to learn more about these systems and processes and how they can generate massive momentum for you, your relationships and your business, check out That's

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