Momentum Podcast: 572

Passenger Status

by Alex Charfen

Episode Description

As promised in last week’s episode, in this podcast, I want to discuss becoming a passenger in your business. When I was at Taki Moore’s event this past week, I was in a room full of million-dollar+ coaches, and I shared with them the goal we have for our clients – to get them to passenger status. Since this group had a ton of questions and took such an interest in the topic, I knew it was time to revisit it on our podcast.    

Let’s be real, visionary entrepreneurs are not great at running meetings and really shouldn’t be the one conducting them to begin with. At one point in our business, we didn’t have a choice but to run them and do everything ourselves. But once we get to the place where we have a team, and maybe you are there now, it’s time to take a step back and become a passenger.   

My goal for you and any client we work with is to get out of the tactical seat and into the strategic one. Remember, the captain of the ship doesn’t sit at the steering wheel…and as the CEO of your company, you shouldn’t either. Once you get yourself into passenger status, everything becomes easier, and you will experience momentum like never before. Listen in as I share with you how to become a passenger in your business, so you can step into the strategic role you should be in.

Full Audio Transcript

This is the Momentum Podcast.

Last week I went to Taki Moore's event out in Huntington Beach, California and I was in a room of million-dollar plus coaches. So, the most successful businesses in the room. And I shared with them a goal that we share with the clients entering our programs. I told them all, you want to be able to lead your business from a passenger seat because everything's easier when you reach passenger status.

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 was at Taki's event and he invited me to share with his boardroom group, which is his upper-level group of coaches, for about an hour. And it ended up going an hour and a half. And in that time, the thing that I think got most people's attention was when I started talking about the goal that we share with our clients is when you come into our program, we want you up and running on our Cadence, on our systems, on the communications Cadence, with which you're going to run to your team. But we want you to do it as a passenger. We want you to get into passenger status. Now, sometimes, people come to us and they're single, sole proprietor business owners. They don't have anybody that they can immediately join our program with who can start running a Cadence. So, in those cases, we show them how to install the Cadence and then very quickly bring somebody in to help them run it.

And here's why I think you want to aim at passenger status in your business. Here's what I mean by passenger status. I want you to be able to run your business from a passenger seat because here's what we know about entrepreneurs. Here's what we should both know about each other is that we're not great at running meetings. We're not great at being patient and holding space for meetings. Your mood, if you walk into a meeting, if something just happened, it's going to translate to everybody in the room. You will violate process. Let's be real. You have a hard time following a process more than once. You're not going to always be in the meetings so you shouldn't be the person running it, but here's the issue for so many entrepreneurs. I know where our apprehension about giving up stuff comes from.

I get it. Here's what happened. When you start your business you have to do everything to be successful. So here's what happens is successfully starting your business conditions you to do everything. I want to say that again because I want it to sink in. See, in order to start a business and be successful, you have to do everything. But successfully starting your business conditions you to do everything because so many of us, when starting our business, we are in a really emotional place. We're in a really difficult place. It's a hard place. For a lot of us, starting our business, and this is a lot, is we start our business in a place of crisis. We start our business in a place of constraint. Taki's story is, like a lot of entrepreneurs I've worked with, he actually had a son who has special needs.

Ethan has cerebral palsy and Taki wanted to be able to have a job where he had time for his son and so he started coaching and it was a way for him to be able to make a full-time income and still have time for what he needed to do. And that is probably one of the most emotionally charged places you could do anything from. So, when you're in that place of starting a business from a place of emotions, from a place of desperation, and even if you didn't start your business from a place of really high emotion and desperation, for any of us who started our business, at some point it became a place of high emotion and desperation. And so getting through that conditions you to want to do everything. And one of the things that we all hold on to for far too long is running the meetings in your business, keeping the Cadence for your business, making sure that things are getting done in your business. You should get out of that

seat as fast as you can and get into a passenger seat and here's what I mean by that. That means you have someone in your business, we call that person an operator, who's running all of your meetings, who is operating the business so that you can show up in your meetings and not as the person running the business. Because let's get real. That is not where you are most strategic in any meeting. You shouldn't be running the meeting. You should be coaching, observing, understanding, asking questions, making sure everybody's clear, and making sure there's consensus. That is the seat you should be in. You should be making sure that the business is doing what you want it to do, not running the meeting. Not having the distraction of having to be the person in charge. That makes no sense. The captain of a ship doesn't sit at the steering wheel.

He has somebody that does that for him. The captain of the ship is in charge of the entire ship and far too many entrepreneurs want to hold onto the steering wheel and run the meeting. But that's not where outcomes are truly decided. Where outcomes are decided is in the process of the meeting. So, putting yourself in the place where you can be in passenger status will change everything for you as a business owner because here's what happens. When you are trying to drive everything, do everything, run every meeting, and then get everything accomplished in the business it will make you anxious and overwhelmed and frustrated and it'll make it more difficult for your team to be able to support you. It will make it more difficult for you to be able to ask for the help and support you need. And here's what happens when you are tactically over-involved in your business.

When you are tactically over-involved in your business, you are building a house of cards. In fact, here's the phrase, the mantra that I want all of our clients to carry around that I would compel you to carry around is if your days are getting tactically harder, you are building a house of cards. Say it with me, but personalize it. Just say it. I want you to see how your body reacts to this. Watch. Watch how hard this is. If my days are getting tactically harder, I'm building a house of cards. You know that that resonates as true. You know that that's real. You know there's no argument around it. So here's my question for you. Did today get easier than yesterday? Because that's what running a business is really all about. See, most coaches don't talk about this. And let's get real, most influencers, people out there that talk about building businesses, that talk about growing businesses, even some of those who actually have, they talk about the opposite.

They talk about hustle and working 24 hours a day and staying up all night. And you know what? That is definitely one way that some people have gotten there, but I like a much more connected, a much more rational, and a much more real approach to growing a business that doesn't have as much collateral damage. And here's what that means. That means that I don't want to be the person running every single meeting. I want to avoid running any as many meetings as I possibly can and I want to participate in those only that are completely and totally necessary for me to be there to coach, to support, to help make decisions, to help create outcomes. But if I don't need to be there, my team can handle it because when you have a planning system in your business through which you and your team create outcomes that creates guardrails around what anyone can do you can be a passenger in your meetings.

I'm heavily involved in our planning. I don't have to be involved in all of the execution. That doesn't make sense. There's a difference between the military strategist and the field commander. Strategy is in one place and then it gets executed in another place. I'm heavily involved in strategy, which means that I can be a passenger through execution. I can be there to coach and support. I don't have to be running all of it. This is absolutely game changing for an entrepreneur because here's what happens when you remove tactical responsibility from anyone. When you remove tactical responsibility, it opens up strategic thinking.

Oh man. Entrepreneurs, I get it. I know. You and I and every entrepreneur I've ever coached have a hard time giving up tactical responsibility. Now, some entrepreneurs are really good at it. I've worked with a few, not a lot, but a few, and all of us have our place where it's so hard to give up tactical responsibility and for a lot of people it's running the meetings. But here's what I want you to understand. If you want to open up your strategic thinking, I want you to say this with me. In order to open up strategic thinking, you have to lower tactical responsibility. If you say that again to yourself, it will resonate as true and here's what that means.

That means you have to be consistently offloading where you've become tactical. You're giving it to somebody else. And one of the best places to start is in the navigation of setting up all your meetings, running all your meetings. You stepping into passenger status in the main meetings in your company will change everything because that's one of the biggest tactical responsibilities we have in the business and when we offload it, we immediately start thinking more strategically.

In fact, I'm at the point now where Haley has been running our meetings for over a year and she's exceptional at it. Haley, she's there every day. She's consistent. Our team loves her. She very good at showing up and keeping things in order and making sure everything's exactly the same way each time and making sure we follow the process to the letter. She is exceptional at doing this, however, and she's allowed me to be in passenger status for a year. We're now at the point as a team where we're going to transition Haley out of running all the meetings, for running all the Cadence. We're bringing in an assistant for her where she'll start to transfer some of those tactical responsibilities because I want her to think more strategically.

See, stepping out of tactical responsibility doesn't just work for you. It works for your team as well. And so if you're running everything in your company, if you're doing all of the planning, if you're setting up all the meetings, if you're leading all the meetings, if you're making sure everything gets executed, that is where your strategic thinking is going. And that is why you don't have the company you want yet.

in order for you to have the company you want, a major component of getting there is going to be you thinking more strategically more successfully over a longer period of time. And in order to do that, lower your tactical responsibility as fast as you can, get into passenger status, and you will see everything in your business and just as importantly in your life shift. One of the biggest transformations I've seen with any one of our clients ever is Daniel Rosen. And it's not just because of what I've observed, it's what he's actually said out loud. I remember when we started working together, he told me, "I'm anxious all the time. I feel like something's going to happen all the time. I'm constantly searching through things for my team. I feel like I need to work all day every day. I have a really hard time taking any type of time off."

Being around Daniel, you could feel the anxiety and the tension and everything he was describing was right there below the surface. He could barely cover it up. And in our last event, Daniel was part of a panel with a couple other of our clients, Emily Hirsh and Wallace Nelson. And Daniel shared how he had stepped into passenger status. And he said, "You know, somebody asked me like, 'What's changed?' And I said, 'Well, I'm not anxious and scared and frustrated anymore. I'm not in my support tickets anymore because we installed this thing called the Cadence and I got into passenger status and I started having fun in my business for the first time I think ever.'" And Daniel, I think, is in his fifties. He and I are pretty close in age and he said, "And then I started thinking about it and the more I think about it, this might be the first time I've had fun ever. Not just in my business but ever in my life."

And here's why I think that is. Because you and I are strategic thinkers. If you really think about who you are as a human being, haven't you always been more effective in the strategic conversation than in the tactical execution over and over again? Haven't you always been the person who sees the opportunity other people don't see or who when everybody's looking for a solution, you see a completely different way to get there? We are strategic thinkers and the challenge for entrepreneurial personality types like us who are strategic thinkers is that it takes forever to get to a point where most of the time in your life you are benefiting from thinking strategically. Because when you start a business, when you are in the startup mode, when you're growing it, you are constantly in tactical thinking But you know you're a strategic thinker.

And you're constantly in tactical execution, but we all know we're strategic thinkers. But here's what happens. When you step into passenger status, when you stop having to be involved in the tactics of what's going on in the business, when at that point normally is where you're also building out your leadership team, and for Daniel that's exactly where he is. He's building out his leadership team on his way to 10 million. And what happens is you hit this magical time in your career where all of the sudden most of the conversations you're having are now strategic conversations if you've done things right. And over the course of the past year, Daniel's installed the Cadence. He has an incredible operator. He and his partner, they just blow me away. They're two of the most intense and amazing entrepreneurs I've ever met.

And Ikey, their operator, is one of the most visionary operators I've ever met. I absolutely love them and their company. It's credit repair cloud and they certify credit heroes and just the story of everything they've done is incredible. And in the past year the company's grown like crazy. It's dramatically improved his relationship with his partner Keenan. And what has happened over the course of the past year is that Daniel's gotten into a place where he is strategic most of the time. And that is like this golden place for entrepreneurs like us. It's a place where now you can think in where you have natural strengths. It's a place where now most of the conversations you have in the day are longer term thinking conversations you can get out of the minute to minute, moment by moment. It's a place where you can let go of the addiction distress that so many of us have that we have been conditioned to have throughout our careers and we can start actually looking up, looking further forward and seeing a much larger and a much greater future.

I think it's one of the reasons so many entrepreneurs peak later in life in their careers. Buffet didn't become a billionaire until after he was 50. It's when he got into that place where he had enough people around him that he was in passenger status. He was having strategic conversations most of the time. It's what I want for you. So, if you're ready to shift your business to the place where you are in the passenger seat, it takes creating a strategic plan that your team is involved in a process that can repeat over and over again, a communication structure so everyone ... a process, so everyone in the company knows what's going on and knows what their responsibilities are. So, they have clear outcomes, they know what they're accountable to, and they have scoreboards. And it's building the infrastructure one step at a time so that everybody in the business ... so you're documenting the right processes, you are executing the right projects, and you're hiring the right people.

That's exactly what we help entrepreneurs do. We help them do it consistently over time and grow their businesses incredibly fast. So, if you're interested in hearing more about the concept of passenger status and letting go of that conditioning that you have to do everything so you can finally step into that strategic role that I think we both know you've always been meant to have go to Answer a few questions on my team. Jump on a call with Jeremy and he will go through the options we have where we help entrepreneurs grow their businesses into having a real process, a real structure, and a real team so that they can grow empires.

Thank You For Listening!

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