Momentum Podcast: 6

Understanding Evolutionary Hunters

by Alex Charfen

Episode Description

Let me confirm your suspicions, you are not like the rest of the world. You are driven to move forward, hardwired to contribute and you need, momentum. People like us are physically, cognitively, and chemically wired to challenge the status quo and create new outcomes in the world. When the crowd is going in one direction, we are compelled to go in the other. While the rest of the world strives for average and clings to the status quo, we get up every day to imagine a greater future, and demand it becomes real. What is this evolutionary quality that compels us forward? You are an evolutionary hunter. Welcome to the most important club in history. There is nothing wrong with you, and you are not alone.  Download the EPT book: 

Full Audio Transcript

Welcome, and thanks for being here. This is episode six of the Entrepreneurial Personality Type podcast. We are evolutionary hunters, and today I wanna thank anyone who's listening to this; if you have listened, if you've downloaded, if you've subscribed to this podcast, or reviewed. We have had some pretty amazing news; in our fifth day of existence we cracked the top 200 on iTunes, and yesterday we got down to as low at 75, so I wanna thank you all for being here, for sharing this podcast, for helping us have people hear it, and for downloading it and giving us your review, letting us know what you think.

Today, in this episode, we are evolutionary hunters. I want to share with you a chapter from my book, the Entrepreneurial Personality Type. I can still remember back to the day where Denis Welch, my close friend and someone who helps me with writing, called me and said, "I have something I wanna read to you; I call it The Hunter, and it's based on a conversation you and I had." And he said, "I think this may mean something to you." And I remember Denis reading this ... it wasn't exactly this, it was the previous draft of this, but I remember Denis reading this to me, and feeling moved. I was moved to tears. It was like he had encapsulated this argument, this presentation, this theory I had, and he had made it feel so real. So, with that, I'd like to read to you the preface of the Entrepreneurial Personality Type, in the book it's titled The Hunters: The Evolution of Entrepreneurial Behavior.

Years ago the tribe knew them as hunters. You know the people, right? Can't sit still, motor always running, kill a wholly mammoth then barely get it back to the cave, thinking about their next adventure. They wake up energized every day, sharpen their weapons, and go out to meet the sun, and whatever peril that day may bring. The tribe loved the hunters. They knew the truth; the hunters were essential for survival. Yes, they were different, but their differences were what made them great. Those differences made them to do the work no one else would, and accomplish exactly what the tribe needs to survive. The hunter was one of us. I know, because I've always been a hunter.

From early as I can remember, I've gotten up before the sun, biologically compelled to track down my prey, or the opportunities and challenges ahead. I started in the business world when I was eight years old, working for my dad; an awkward kid who was isolated and bullied at school. I found much needed solace and acceptance in the sales conversations and transactional nature of business. I understood the market place far better than the classroom. Even then I sensed that business is what changes the world for the better, and I knew I wanted in. It quickly became clear I had no choice, business and commerce chose me, and I'm glad it did, because it probably saved my life.

I found comfort in the commerce, and built my life around business. Through the years I've made a fortune, lost it all, then I made another fortune, and this time I figured out how to protect it and build it. Now, I'm no savant; I've made big mistakes, bigger than most, but I've been right a few times too. My prey wasn't just business opportunities and sales, but knowledge. I've read thousands of books and studied every great hunter; from Plato, to Benjamin Franklin, to Albert Einstein, and even Steve Jobs. I'm constantly consuming data and information, discovering new hunters, more people like us.

Society tells us how different and unique we are as humans, but hunters are much more alike than they are different. While incorrigible, inpatient, frustrating, confusing, they all have been relentless in their pursuit of what's next. 10,000 tries to invent the light bulb? A completely natural pursuit for Thomas Edison, master hunter. Build a car that redefines possibility on four wheels, while simultaneously developing a space exploration companY? Not a problem for master hunter Elon Musk. Even Bill Gates, famed for his achieved goal to put a computer in every house, has changed his energy towards enhancing lives around the world, including the elimination of AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria in the developing world. Having developed the Gates Foundations into the largest transparently operated private foundation in the world, do we really think he can't do it?

The list of hunters and their great accomplishments is endless, and their drive to contribute to the world has no limit. Still, the strengths that makes hunters so successful also make them crazy. But that's society's way of making sense of them. How else can we explain Sir Richard Branson, Ingvar Kamprad from IKEA, and Azul Brazilan Airlines' David Neeleman all being diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and yet becoming captains of their respective industries and redefining them? Henry Ford and Steve Jobs were diagnosed with dyslexia, how did this not stop them from literally changing the world? Pablo Picasso suffered from bouts of deep depression, is this necessary to create some of the most transformative and valuable works of art the world has ever seen?

Society needs labels to understand the ways in which hunters don't conform with established standards for behavior. I suspect all the late great hunters throughout the ages would be labeled with some kind of identifier that supposedly helps the rest of the world understand them better; trouble maker, disciplinary problem, workaholic, manic, bipolar, ADD, ADHD, compulsive, obsessive, hyperactive, anxious, disordered, and even disabled. The problem is that these labels, in and of themselves, can create the pressure and noise to cause the symptoms they describe. They become self fulfilling prophecies for people like us. Many of today's star hunters were not eager students in the traditional sense. Some used their keen drive for gained advantage to game the system, or survive the system, and succeed. Others, highly sensitive, or future focused visionaries, appearing constantly distracted.

Schools were set up for compliance, and hunters just can't comply. They are constantly thinking about how to do things better, and that doesn't sit well in an organization clinging to tradition and standardization. Hunters resist and avoid this kind of constrain, because they know they can do better, and nothing will stop them from trying. I tried. I spent most of my school years resigned to the hallway or in the principal's office, rarely was I rewarded for being a hunter in school. Too many young hunters today find themselves confined to an educational system where the goal is sitting still, memorizing equations, and taking multi-day standard tests.

Those who fail to comply because they simply can't, find their natural strengths and attributes suppressed. Unable to forego their own [inaudible 00:07:33], the most sensitive and demonstrative hunters are rejected, attacked, and backed into a corner, forced to react as any hunter would. The proof is our overflowing juvenile detention facilities, and the young adults crowding our prisons. It's the nagging question, how do I get ahead, that compels us to find gained advantage in the world. Without guidance, protection and support, the question drives us to even sometimes break the law. I wonder what these people would have been, or will be, if they only recognized their so called issues as the strengths that they are. Could seeing themselves as a leader, not an outcast, have saved them?

Growing up, I struggled. I stood in the shadows a lot, I tried not to be noticed. I barely scraped by in school, and sometimes I didn't know if I would make it, or if it was even worth it. I finally found success because I realized what made me different could be used to build something amazing. The hunter is hardwired to contribute and support the tribe. Evolution has physiologically conditioned us to care, because nothing we do matters without others. Around the world we see creative works, charitable foundations, endowments, public institutions, set up as monuments to great hunters who shared their fortunes with the greater tribe, our world.

Today our tribe knows the hunter by another name; entrepreneur. Society calls him the 1%, they think he made his money fast and easy. He seems to leave one successful company to start the next, just because he can. Everything comes easy to him, right? The historical argument that the wealthy create human suffering needs to be updated, corrected, and annihilated. Entrepreneur isn't a dirty word. Hunters, entrepreneurs, are creating wealth in unprecedented amounts, and in previously impossible time rates. Through Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg has connected people all over the world, and facilitates a social revolution. Jessica Alba, unable to stop her compulsion to contribute, has transferred from the silver screen to establish the Honest company, helping families live with less toxicity.

The hunter is a momentum based being, seeking and thriving on the sensation of moving ahead, and believing the impossible is not only possibly, but it must happen. As the masses desperately cling to the status quo, hunters press on in search of innovation and contribution, the same way our species seeks oxygen after being held under water. And so, to all of you hunters, who feel broken in some way because of an itch you can just never scratch, because you constantly dream of the next adventure, because you look out the window and swear you could see what happens if only everything went perfectly, here's my call. Sharpen your weapons, rally your teams, and set your course, because here is welcome news; there is nothing wrong with you, and you are not alone.

I hope you enjoyed this episode of the Entrepreneurial Personality Type podcast. Do me a favor, take a minute now, subscribe, download, and write a review, let us know what you think. And in next episode seven, I will be going through the entrepreneurial personality type defined, and providing a new perspective about people like us. Thanks for being here, don't miss it, and I appreciate your support of the Entrepreneurial Personality Type podcast. There is nothing wrong with you, and you are not alone.

Thank You For Listening!

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With gratitude,


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