Momentum Podcast: 702

The Most Important Relationship in Your Business

by Alex Charfen

Episode Description

An entrepreneur with a team never walks into a room alone.

Alex Charfen, a business growth coach who helps entrepreneurs grow and scale their businesses, gives practical, tangible, and actionable tips that you can implement into your business right now.

Are you an entrepreneur growing a team? The relationship you develop with the people who are helping you in your business is going to dramatically improve your ability to make your greatest contribution.

By the end of this 29-minute sneak peek into the Charfen Summit, you will understand:
– How CEO's and Operators can work together to create momentum in a business.
– How an Operator can support a CEO to be the visionary leader of the business.
– How a CEO can hire the right people to support the growth of the business and create momentum quickly.

The Momentum Podcast is created specifically for entrepreneurs like you to get into momentum and take the rest of the world with you. If this episode helped you do that, take a moment and leave a review. Let us know how we have helped you make a bigger impact on the world.

This sneak-peek into the Charfen Summit is a rare opportunity to experience what this exclusive Mastermind is like. If you're ready to join us, go to to get started.

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If you are an entrepreneur who is listening in and you can relate, then be sure and head over to and gain access to some of my most requested business tools to grow and scale your business in any market condition, even in this one.

Full Audio Transcript

The Most Important Relationship in Your Business.mp3

This is the Momentum podcast.

An entrepreneur with a team never walks into a room alone, if you're an entrepreneur that's going out and hiring and growing a team, the relationship that you develop with the people that are helping you in your business is going to dramatically improve your ability to make your greatest contribution. This episode is another sneak peek into the Charfen summit, specifically a panel between Alex and our director of operations, Hayley Hart. The two of them have a conversation about how CEOs and operators can work together to create momentum in a business, how the operator can support the CEO to be the visionary leader of the business, and how the CEO can hire and support the right people so that the business can grow and create momentum quickly.

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.

There's a few questions left on how to hire an operator. We're going to kind of do these in a speed round, then I want to go around the room, just get your biggest takeaway.

So be thinking about that and let's finish these. Hailie So here's the first question. I want to I'm going to start with the easy one. How do you build trust with an AA? Or an operator, because here's the here's the key guys, this relationship has to be relationship based solely and completely on trust. You can't challenge trust with your operator. So what would you say is important?

I was well, I would say it from our experience starting off in an easy position versus jumping straight to an operator and operations manager position has allowed us to thrive in our relationship, build that relationship and really determine like I think him build trust in me and build trust in him. Yeah, because we we got a chance to learn like each other's tics. We got a chance to learn, like, how we should communicate with each other. And that takes time and energy. And also I feel like had I been put directly into an operations manager position, I would have let him down because we wouldn't have built that foundation. So they like giving it time to understand it and also just time and understanding with each other because it's not going to come easy and it's not going to come immediately. It takes a lot of time to be able to build that relationship up and figure out how to communicate with each other and how to.

I don't know how to work through different scenarios, we understand each other's personalities. The other thing that's crucially important, like here's what I would say about how to build trust with the.

I don't cancel meetings with Hayley.

I'm not late to meetings with Haley, and if I say I'm going to do something, I do it, and the last place that I'm going to miss something is in this relationship, in the business, because if I miss stuff here, then that challenges her trust in me doing anything anywhere. Now, that being said, we've gone through some really crappy weeks in the past couple weeks and I missed a bunch of stuff.

It's the exception, not the rule. So she knows that this is an exception and she knows I'm going to get back to my real self soon and everything will be OK. But like, I think the key to building trust with your estate or your operator is just doing what you say you're going to do and being in the meetings you're going to be in. Here's what will happen if you're just rolling out the cards. And if you're new to this in your first couple of weeks, everything in the world is going to try and break your cadence. I just want you to know that for those who have implemented, you already know this. Here's what happens. You go Monday at four is going to be our weekly planning meeting. And 20 minutes later, you get Monday at four. I've got the biggest opportunity I could ever have. Right. And that happens constantly. And what will happen is you will have this constant bargaining with your cadence. And here's what I would tell you. If you're starting this out, the way you build trust is doing what you say they're going to do.

Just go out the cadence and do it. And even if you're terrible at it, even if you're irritated in the meetings, if you show up, you're going to build trust.

I think another thing, too, is when I first started, there was so much transparency and like allowing me to like to flourish in that role that that I think really opened the door for me to explore how I could benefit him in other areas, in the business, in other areas. It was an immediate conversation. I think day one when he was like just, you know, you're going to be privy to a lot of information, a lot of personal information about me or about my life, about Cadey and about the business and about the family and knowing that, like, I'm giving you that trust and putting that trust in this guy barely knows me. I'm in all this crazy information about his life. But like, allowing me to do that allowed me to, like, step myself into that role and take ownership of it. And I was telling the end of this the other day. I was like, it's kind of like I have this closet full of just clothes. I like, pack all my baggage and tackle me from my pack, all my issues and pack all my previous horrible work experiences in this closet. And they like lock it up and Alex comes over, he opens the door, he's like, let it all fall out.

I want to go through it with you. I dig through this pile of dig through it together.

We'll pick some out, we'll talk some stuff away. We don't even talk about that. That's OK. But like, let's dig into it and let's pull out the little pieces that are like little nuggets of like gold I know are in there that like for every other job I've ever been in, I've had to close that away. And everything that I've ever gone through has, you know, that I've been either ever couldn't open or couldn't become has been closed off in this door, that he was like, no, I want to explore that. And that's allowed me, I feel like, to step into the role.

Hopefully, that was a good analogy. I think the other thing is don't hire an operator you're not excited to see succeed.

Like when I met Hayley, I was like, oh, I want her to succeed when I met Dan, I wanted her to succeed, like doesn't I want to see them succeed my whole team, anybody on my team. Like, I'm vested in their success. And it really is crucial here because you will hit tough times. We've hit tough times like we've had some really tough times. We've had crazy happen in business. We've had people walk out on Monday that had stuff do all week. We've had all kinds of stuff. But if you create trust here and you care about the person, I think it's a lot easier. The next question that we have is how do you justify an AA salary if the business revenue doesn't support it?

I want to start with this. I'll start. So here's the first thing I want you to know. You're doing it wrong. Because if you're looking here's whoever wrote this, who wrote it, by the way. OK, here's what everybody does, they go, I need an air that's forty thousand dollars a year. I don't have forty thousand dollars right now. I can't have any.

You don't need that. Here's what you need, you need something we don't know what it really is. Let's figure out what it is. And if you guys both do time studies, you might find that within 20 hours a week you can get a ton of stuff done. So years ago, when we first started teaching this content, I had a woman named Gebhard Obermeyer in my class and she had gone from having a team of like 15 people. She'd gone through the economic collapse and it was just her. And she said in our class, like, I'm never hiring anybody again because of this, because I don't have the money, because it's forty thousand dollars. Because all. And I said, Gwen, how much help do you think you need right now? And she's like, well, I mean, if I could get somebody to work 10 hours a week, it would change my life. But like, nobody wants to work 10 hours a week. And I'm like, OK, one, here's what I want you to do. We're going to give you the description for an ad and you're going to play it tonight. Like before you go to bed, I want you to put it on Facebook and we'll see what happens tomorrow morning. So we gave her a description for Anya and we said, you know, at the bottom of it, it said, twenty hours a week, flexible hours work from home. The next day she came in crying to our van. She's like, I want to show everybody what I got. And she had this package from a woman. It was a VP at at Northern California Tech Company. She sent her this profile, her resume, a sample of projects that she had done. She had been a vice president in a tech company like two hundred and fifty thousand dollars a year salary. She wanted fourteen dollars an hour.

She's wanted to be productive somewhere. She just wanted to help somebody. So my first suggestion is don't look at it as a full time position. Look at it as what can you use right now that will help rid the two of you up so that you can do more so you can afford the full time position. Because what I know working with entrepreneurs is even ten hours is completely game changing. So that would be my first comment. Do you want to add anything?

So I would adjust the idea to what you can afford. That makes sense. OK. We have a couple more.

I'd also say I do have one thing so that there's there's something to be said about opportunity to if someone buys into what it is that you're doing, like I would say, they'd be willing to take something a little less for knowing the opportunity in the growth position that they could end up in as well.

Here's a good one for you, Haley. As an operator, how do you break an empty loop or spiral when you recognize that your boss is stuck in one?

Well, I'm never in a luper spiral, so she doesn't know how I address it lightly.

I think that after developing a relationship with Alex in the way that we have is I can have those really I can have those conversations with him easily. Now, in the beginning, that maybe would have tiptoed around it. I know Alex tics. I would say I would know like what? What way that he likes to be addressed in conversations. I always come with solutions. I always come with options. And I never just throw a problem at him. And I know that that would overwhelm him. So I know that if I'm going to address a situation with Alex, that I'm coming with solutions. I'm coming with a reason, an explanation why I think that this is a problem and then how it affects him and the team. Those are like the three big things that I come with him if I'm going to address any issue.

Yeah, I think that's everything that he just said. And I would just add, if you communicate your displeasure to yourself, we never hear that it's just an annoying person. And I don't care about annoyed people. Honestly, most people are annoyed. So if you present as annoyed, I'm like, oh, look, you're like most people, right? And so I don't it doesn't it doesn't have any impact on me if you come. So if somebody on my team comes and says I'm really feeling like and right there, I'm already like, OK, good at your problem, not mine.

Right. You're feeling it goes on feeling right.

And so but if somebody comes to me and Haley says there's a vulnerability in the company, we're going to let clients down. I'm listening. Right. And she says this is something that's going to damage our ability to hit the numbers on our waterfall or there's something here that's threatening our team or something here is threatening our outcomes. And then I hear it. So I think one of the biggest challenges with communicating with CEOs is far too many operators trying to communicate from a MySpace and not a MySpace. If you communicate the vulnerabilities in the company, you're going to be hurt a lot better than if you're communicating your discomfort. Is that fair?

OK, let me just say it's always nerve wracking to it. Like never gets like an easier conversation. I always like to tell them something is probably not going to like to hear, but like, I had to do it this morning. But like and before I had the conversation, I was like, I hope you respond well to this. And he immediately took it. And he I think that building that trust, like he he trusts my my my judgment on things, too, and he takes it into account. And so I never feel like I'm not heard.

And I see. And this is for the other side of the coin. If you're the CEO in the conversation, here's the key, guys. Don't ever shut your operator down.

That's a lot of operators become ineffective over time because they present negative information, they get negative feedback or negative attitude back, and then they're like, well, I don't want to go back to that. Well, and so when Haley comes to me with anything that's broken, I'm like, I'm so glad you find found this. Let's figure out what it is. She comes to me with a personal criticism. I literally I sit there and I'm like, breathe through your nose. Don't react like accept this. This is real. She's doing this because she cares about you and your business. And like I'm telling myself those things because I don't even want to have a physiological reaction that's negative. I don't ever want her.

You heard what she just said. We've been working together over a year. Like there's a tremendous amount of love here. Can you guys see that? And even though there's a tremendous amount of love and respect and trust when she has to something negative to me, she's nervous. So I have to accept that she's always nervous and it's always difficult for her. And then I make it easier for her. And then that makes it so she's more willing to come to me because here's what a lot of operators do. Operator brings you something. They get yelled at like now that part of their brain that looks for problems kind of starts getting shut down like it's not something that you can consciously do or undo. It's an unconscious issue that an operator will literally start ignoring stuff because their brain goes, I saw something going to fix it, get me out that OK, just keep going.

So don't yell at your operator, like, do not ever react here. This is a love relationship. This is a respect relationship. This is a trust relationship. If I'm irritated, I actually say, Hailey, I am so irritated with this. I'm glad you brought it to me. So I'm like I'm irritated with the thing. I'm glad with you. You're still important to me.

We always make sure we have that conversation, too, it's not you like we're having a conversation about this situation and I think we always kind of joke around it, like if I want to tiptoe around something with Alex.

So how do you feel? I always know I'm going to get so be like, yeah. So I feel insecure and he knows what I'm saying. Little things like that. He'll be like, oh what did I do today. What do I do.

Like what, how did I react. Like he'd be like did I react. Was that rude.

=And like yeah probably. OK, last. What do you think. Let's.

Well, guys, that's the other thing. So here's here's where this relationship has gotten to no joke. If I act in a way that's inappropriate in the business I never knew before, like your emperor's new clothes, right? You're walking around butt naked. So if I do, something is inappropriate today, Haley will reach out to me afterwards and say, like, hey, are you OK? She doesn't say, hey, why were you so she said, are you OK? What's going on? Is there something you need to. Do we need to talk? Do I need to get something off of your plate that I hear one hundred percent of the time? If Hailey left me a boxer and said, hey, you shouldn't talk to them this way, what's my instant response to a team?

Right. And so instead, she communicates it in a way where it doesn't push those buttons because believe me, every CEO in here is in here because you not following anybody else's rules. Right? Like, at the end of the day, it's because, like, guys like me, guys like like all of you women who are in here running businesses, you couldn't go comply with somebody else's rules. So you had to make up your own.

And so just understand that if you allow people to tell you what's really going on, man, you get so much better at what you're doing. It's humbling every day, but it makes you a better CEO. And if you don't have the business you want, you haven't become the person who can run it yet. By following this process, you will become that person over time.

You'll learn what what behaviors your CEO and your operator are having that are triggering for them. So, like, if he if he's reacting a certain way to people, I know that he's overwhelmed in some way. And so I know it's not an intentional thing. And he's probably completely like he doesn't know he's doing that or or that's the way it's coming off at all. And so I I'm always going to approach it in a way that like what's going on? Like, I know something's happening. I know that you're feeling something or something's going on in your brain. Like what? What do we need to do to work through that? Because it's never an intentional and he does the same thing for me. He'll be like, maybe.

Yeah. Hey, I think we should jump on a kind of like, no, I'm good. No, I think we should jump on a call and talk about let's get on a call and I'll be a little different to be like, what's wrong? Nothing. I'm like, what's wrong? Let's go to the closet. I'm going to be the new thing. Like, open up that.

So last question. And this is, I think for you, Haley, because it's the CEO operator relationship who says, how do you transfer tactical stuff from CEO to operator? And here's the tone I was asked in. Do you just go in and say, I'm taking this over now? I said, OK, good, good.

So it's a really good question, but yeah, I think I am I nurture it over the course of every couple of months we look at it. I'm constantly reviewing his calendar and his schedule and especially like I'm playing off of his mood and what he's doing and how busy he is and when he's overwhelmed. I know that there's a problem probably in his calendar. There's something he's doing that he shouldn't be doing. And it's pretty obvious to me, I think, because we've built that relationship again over time. I know when that's happening. And so I immediately know, OK, let's go look at your calendar. And then if I'm not fully seeing everything, OK, you're going to do a time study, OK? What are we pulling off? We'll look at it in depth and I'll go through on a Monday morning and I'll send him a box and I'll say, what's this appointment? What's his appointment? What's this appointment? Why are you on this? Do you need to be on this? We'll go through that. He'll be like, I don't know.

I don't know him, but can you figure it out for me? I don't know. OK, I'm taking off your calendar.

So, like, we'll go through this whole process and reevaluate probably every quarter what he's doing, what he should be doing and what he shouldn't be doing. And I will automatically Justin I'm taking this. Yeah, I will. I'll go and I'll just take it. Yeah. All us. So we do that every quarter.

Yeah. No it's constant. Hey, we'll say. And we just had this conversation two weeks ago because. We were about to cross the three million million threshold and the two of us have been talking about it because we live by the billionaire code and to get to the next level from three to 10 million, I'm going to have to be really focused on building infrastructure and building leadership team. And Haley is going to have to be really, really focused on twenty thousand foot metrics and understanding the whole business, not from a personal standpoint, but from a productivity standpoint. Those are huge, huge foundations. And so I need her to come to me and say, I'm taking this stuff away. That's that's how it works, and just recently she we've decided we're going to take me down to three days of productivity in the company, like I'm going to I'm going to allow the team to schedule three days a mine. But all of my meetings are already in there. So we're going down to 15 hours a week. So that level of like the team only gets 15 hours a week. Now, that's going to have to pass through Hailie. So she says I'm going to be spending the most productive 15 hours with the team. And so, yeah, you have to take stuff away from the CEO and it eventually gets to the point where she's managing me, allows us to prioritize what he's doing.

Oh, yeah, I'm going to go for it.

Dang, that was the best thing I've ever done. Good, good teamwork. OK, so three days a week I'm doing that, too. So my question is, are you still going to attend the huddles on the other two days? Yes. Yeah. That's the only thing that's just optional, like what Emily talked about.

And so my my intention is like self care is huge for me. So I'm going to spend those days for self care. But I also I'm a content person. I create and recently I've been doing a lot of like corrections and updating and but I haven't been doing a lot of like high level creation. And when that starts happening, I know I'm doing too much. And so that's why we're reducing me down.

Plus, I also there's a point where you become a liability in the business. If you remember when Daniel said the business runs better without me, that's really true because as entrepreneurs, we are like we're. We're destructive because we want to find problems and fix the problems. And when you have a business where everybody knows what they're supposed to be doing and you throw an entrepreneur in to fix problems, you suddenly have problems you didn't have. And so part of cutting me down to three days a week, too, is it like I need to let go of a lot of stuff right now. I have to actively divorce myself from a lot of outcomes, like I'll see him on the waterfall. I'll know that they're happening and I'll get reporting on them, but I have to stop trying to be proximate to them.

So part of that is like really pushing me out of the business.

Yeah, my team does better when I'm on vacation. Yeah.

And it's not him being absent. It's him. It's him doing what he should be doing. And that's like we need him to be the visionary. We need him to figure out what it looks like down the road and be able to bring that back and make that plan and help guide that and direct that. That's what he's supposed to be and what he's built in that day to day to day to day. And he's bogged down with those meetings every day. He's not being the best he can be for us. And then we're also taking advantage of that time. That time is much better spent doing that. So this allows us to make sure that we're really focusing on those 17 hours that he has and those are spent doing what's most productive for him so that he can be the CEO that we need him to be.

Let's go to Laura and then we'll come up here.

Sorry, this is off topic, but I have to and I don't want to leave those questions that. That's the question I asked yesterday about knowing when you can afford to hire somebody and how to accurately count the total impact of hiring somebody beyond just their salary you have. So, like, how much is it cost total? Yeah, like always grossly underestimate by the time you have in, like, you know, payroll tax, worker's comp benefits, you know, I think it's going to cost this, but it really costs a lot more than that. Or just like knowing I know, you know, you can determine when you need someone based on a time study and a four hour.

But that doesn't that doesn't mean the money's there, correct? Yeah. So we use a combination or so the CEO metrics show you what you're making per person and it shows you if there's money left over to hire somebody. And then when when we look at hires hiring someone, we look at the salary plus 20 percent. So if it's a forty thousand dollar salary, we know it's going to really be more around forty eight thousand because we have just works and we have growth for us where there's a salary component. We hit the spacebar there. I might have just lost power.

Eddie, can you.

And so we use 20 percent. Laura, it's a bit of an exaggeration, it's a little too much like it really is about 16 percent, but we just use 20 to be safe. And then we look at where is where is the revenue of the business and what is the impact going to be.

And so if we have the money we hire. If we don't have the money, we don't. But it's a combination of knowing the full amount you're going to spend and then looking at your CEO metrics on a monthly basis. Molly?

Did that answer, Laura? OK.

All right. Hey there, this is Eddie Kurk with Alex Charfen team, thank you so much for listening to this episode of the Momentum podcast. Listen, if you're ready to take the next step, if you're ready to understand the systems and processes and frameworks that we teach entrepreneurs to grow and scale their business with confidence, we're ready to help you. If you go to billionaire co dotcom right now, you can get on a call with a member of our coaching team and find out which one of our coaching programs best fit the needs of your business right now. We know that when you are clear on where you're going and you're excited about the outcome, you will put the accelerator pedal to the floor and you won't let up. Let us help you get into momentum, grow and scale your business and make the impact that you've always known. You should go to billionaire coach Dotcom right now to get started. We'll see you there.

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