Momentum Podcast: 714

Why So Many Visionaries Fail

by Alex Charfen

Episode Description

“You know, I've studied a lot of systems. I just want to hire people now to run whatever systems work.”

This statement embodies the reason why so many previously successful visionaries end up failing to create success a second time. 

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.

There is no substitute for creating the systems, frameworks, and processes in your business that will sustain your growth long term. 

Predictability is the only way entrepreneurs can step into their true roles as transformational leaders.

By the end of this 20-minute podcast episode, you will learn:

– That you cannot hire your way to implementation.

– How a strategic plan can clarify what you need to do today in order to achieve your ultimate outcome.

– What it takes to be successful as a visionary entrepreneur.

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.

Your business has the potential to change the world, and the only way to see that potential become a reality is to implement a strategic plan. If you're ready to learn more, 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 one of the most requested business tools to grow and scale your business in any market condition, even in this one.


Full Audio Transcript

This is the Momentum podcast. 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. This week, I had a really clear example of a story with a successful, previously successful visionary that I think is going to really struggle or if some mindset items are not adjusted or if some some perspective is not adjusted, I think this person is going to struggle significantly. Let me paint this scenario for you. So I actually made some notes here. I got a call from a friend of mine this week. The names are being admitted to protect the innocent. I don't really like to talk about I haven't asked either of these people to give me that if I could share this story. So I'm going to do it without names. But a really good friend of mine here in Austin who I've known for a while, reached out to me.

We were on a call and he said, hey, I've got a guy here in my house. I'd love for you to meet him. He's a really intense entrepreneur. He's had a successful exit to a major corporation. He's started a charity and a foundation. He's got a ton of stuff going on. And he's he's really excited about what he's going to do next. And he's got a ton of stuff that he wants to accomplish in the world. And I think you just love meeting him because he's one of those world changing entrepreneurs. And anyone who knows me knows that's my world. That's my life. Like I have obsessed over the entrepreneurial personality type for decades. You know, there's all these these avatars in the world. There's all these archetypes in the world. There's all these different ways people are. I have obsessed over one type of person, the visionary entrepreneur my whole life.

And the more someone's on that visionary spectrum, the more out there they are. The more I relate to those people. You know, that's that's my world. That's what I that's what I work on every day. And that's who I endeavor to help create momentum on a daily basis. The visionary entrepreneurs that are going to go out and change the world and the world is undergoing this massive tectonic change right now. You know, part of the reason I'm so obsessed with helping entrepreneurs is because we are entering the age of the entrepreneur. We're in the age of the entrepreneur today, right now. Twenty, twenty one. There are entrepreneurs on this planet that individually are more powerful than governments. Let that sink in. There are entrepreneurs on this planet that individually are more powerful than government, and that's only going in one direction. And by the way, I'm excited about it. The more I spend time with governments and politicians, the more I want entrepreneurs running the world. And so this is my passion. This is my world. This is what I do. And I want every entrepreneur who's running a business, running our systems, because I know they make you a better entrepreneur.

I know they make you relate to your team, better to your family, better to yourself, better, and they help you create massive momentum. And that's so this is where the story comes in. So I'm on the front. I'm on the phone with a friend of mine that this little phone right here. And I'm talking to him and talking to him. He's like, hey, let me FaceTime you and I'm going to have you talk to this person. And so I jumped on and we started talking. And here's the story. This this entrepreneur could clearly tell he was a visionary. He's already he's not not he's he's already had a successful exit to a major corporation. And here's what the conversation went like. And this is a very common conversation for me, by the way. Not that I have the exact same conversation over and over again, but meeting entrepreneurs who've had a successful exit and then want to do a ton of stuff after the successful exit that I've had that conversation dozens, maybe more than dozens of times. And here's how the conversation went. He started telling me, you know, I had this exit and now I have I have a charity and there's some other businesses that I want to do, want to run.

And there's some other outcomes that I want to drive in the world. And then I have my own personal investing. I've got a couple of properties that are sitting vacant and I need help with and there's just all this stuff going on. And you know what I could tell through talking to him and asking a bunch of questions was that he wanted to do a ton of different things. There was there was a lot of options. There was a lot of different things he could do. And what it felt like in talking to him was that was a significant amount of priority, confusion and opportunity overwhelm. Let me break both of those down for you. First priority confusion is death to a visionary entrepreneur. It is. Here's why it's get priority. Confusion stops us from doing anything. And when we stop doing anything, we go into constraint. We get out of momentum. We start feeling like we're not moving forward. And when we are stuck as entrepreneurs, when we are not moving forward, when we are not making forward progress, it feels like death. That is the most that's the feeling. When I go out and speak to big groups of entrepreneurs, I'll ask, what does it feel like when you're in constraint, when you can't move forward, when you don't see your next steps and people will say it's painful, it's horrible, it's it's frustrating. Anxiety feel.

And then somebody will say it feels like I'm dying. And the entire group goes, Oh, yeah, what he said being stuck as a visionary feels like you are dying. And when I listen to this person and describe everything that he wanted to do, you know, I took it in, I listened to it, and I offered for him to set up a call with my team because my team helps people put together a clear strategic plan through a system of analyzing everything you're doing, prioritizing what should come next, committing to a Plan X. Shooting that plan, then renewing that plan by going through the process again, we call this the Charfen process analyze, prioritize, execute, commit and then renew, do it all over again. But that analyzing and prioritizing and committing is what gives you juice as an entrepreneur. It's what makes its what convinces you you are working on the most important thing right now. It's what will increase your level of commitment and energy and passion and excitement for a project. And here's here's where this person was that I was talking to, he had so many different things going on, including some personal stuff that needed to be taken care of and some some just like keeping him going and keeping his stuff moving forward. So they need to get taken care of. And there was massive priority confusion and he didn't know what to do first.

And then he also couple that with opportunity overwhelmed. He had a ton of ideas and things that he wanted to see in the world and and ways that we could solve world problems like solving massive issues on the planet. And so I was excited to set him up with a call with my team, and we ended up getting off the call. We both had something else to do. And I thought about it for a while and the conversation kept coming back to me and I realized. That I probably should have helped him some more, so I sent him this text message, it said today it sounded like you have a ton of options. Are you using a system personally for priority prioritization and execution? And here's the answer I got. This is a very common type of answer. It says depends on what you mean by system, quote unquote. I use calendars and various note tools. I try to prioritize my to do list, but I'm not very rigid or disciplined about what gets worked on when there are so many things on so many fronts, including personal, that need attention. So it's just constant triaging and trying to stuff knock stuff out from there. That is that's the answer. I expected that. Have you ever felt that way where you're just in constant triage mode, where you're in constant cleanup mode, where you're trying to just fix things? And here's what I said back. I said that's what it felt like on our call. Our avatar is the entrepreneur with opportunity over one. That's who we work with. We work with people who have so many opportunities, they can't pick the right one. And by the way, if you know somebody who a visionary who needs to hear this, do me a favor, tag them or share this with them, because this is the information entrepreneurs need in order to get clear and actually go in and make their difference in the world and make that change in the world. Like we're entering a world where entrepreneurs are more important than governments.

I want the right entrepreneurs to go make a massive difference, build an empire and leave their dent in the universe. And so I said that's what it felt like when we talked our avatars, an entrepreneur with opportunity overwhelmed. It's how most of our members are feeling when they come in. We work with an entrepreneur at the holistic level showing them how to use structured process and routine at the personal level in their relationships and in their business. We have a system for personal prioritization that would help you get what you need next. Can I send over a link for you to check it out? It's a ninety nine dollar product and it's a good way for you to see if you relate to our materials. It's and it's material that most is a system that most of our members use religiously. And when I was referring to was our momentum planning system.

The reason why this momentum planning system is so crucially important for visionaries is that it helps you get clear on what you're going to do next. It helps you clear up all the priority confusion in your life. Now, here's the reply I got. You know, I've said this is from him. And just as you know, karma, I've studied a lot of systems. I just want to hire people now to run whatever systems work. Well, I replied to him and I'll let you know. I'll paraphrase what I paraphrase what I replied. Here's why I know he's going to have a hard time moving forward. If you're an entrepreneur with opportunity overwhelmed, there's just too many choices you can make and priority confusion. You don't know what to do next and you're in constant triage mode. Do not go out and start hiring people. That's what his plan was. He's going to want to start hiring people. Here's the issue with being a visionary with opportunity overwhelm and too many different things to do and going to try and go out and try and hire people as a visionary. Here's what you actually do for a company is a visionary. You do three things. One, your team is going to function off the strength and clarity of your ideas. How clear are your ideas? How real do they feel? How possible do they feel? How possible do you make them feel? The second thing, your team is going to trade off of the same team your team is going to be motivated by is the clarity of your vision, how clear, how crystallize, how real does the vision feel? How pursuable does it feel for the people on your team? Does it feel like they should give you a normal effort? Does it feel like they should give you less in a normal effort, or does it feel like they should go all in and give you all their effort, their discretionary effort? Should they chase your dream with you? They are going to make that decision based on the clarity of your vision.

And then here's the big one. This is huge. Your team will trade off of your certainty, your team will be inspired by the degree of certainty you have about what you are doing next, the more certain you are about what you're doing and the vision you're creating and the outcome you are going to bring into this world, the more passionately and more more clearly and more totally, completely. Your team will follow you in to go get these things done. And here's the issue with the statement. You know, I've studied a lot of systems, I just want to now hire people. I just want to hire people now to run whatever systems work. Here's the issue. You cannot outsource clarity of ideas, certainty of your clarity. Sorry, you can't outsource strength of your ideas, clarity of your vision and your degree of certainty. You as the entrepreneur must get clear on what you're doing, the vision as to why you're doing it, and the certainty of what comes next. Because when you can energetically show your team or the people around you or investors or partners or joint ventures or potential vendors, whoever it is, when you can show them the certainty of your vision that you are going to bring into the world, that's when people will follow you. That's when they will be inspired by you.

And that's when you're going to go out and make the difference you want to make in the world. And here's the challenge. When I tell someone, hey, I have a system through which you could get hyper clear on your ideas, through which you could crystallize your vision and know exactly what you're doing next, and through which you could create a degree of certainty that is palpable to the people around you. And that person says, I just want to go hire that out. It's like. For me, it's like the most demoralizing thing there is.

Because if there's a a successful visionary out there, somebody who has the capability to change the world and they decide that they're not going to do the work to create clarity for themselves, that they're not going to do the work to solidify the vision that they have, that they're not going to do the work to make sure that they approach every conversation that they have with certainty after saying that what they're doing right now is they're overwhelmed by priorities and opportunity and they're just triaging. It frustrates me to no end, because here's what I know, that entrepreneur is going to experience a number of very, very painful years, months or years, depending on how long they're going to pursue this, because they're going to have a hard time getting anyone to follow them into the world of business to go make something happen unless they are one hundred, not a hundred percent, unless they are massively clear on their ideas, crystalized on their vision, and they have a degree of certainty that their team believes and that the people around them believe it. I recently watched this documentary on we work on Adam Newman and it's such an extraordinary story. We work is that coworking space that started growing like crazy in New York and before anybody knew that a billion dollar valuation. Then I remember reading about the valuations went from like a billion to seven million to 10 billion to 15 billion to 18 to 20 billion, as high as almost 50 billion dollar valuation. And when you look at that corporation, the reason it's such a huge story is because it went from like 50 billion down to we don't even know what it is, but I bet you it's only a couple billion if that and the value was multiplied over and over again to be this massive value based on really a couple of things. Adam Newman's, the CEOs clarity of vision and his certainty. If you watch that movie, everyone around him, including investors, bought in to his clarity of vision and his certainty and what they were doing and the way he described what they were basically doing is renting out subleased office space.

But he described it in a way in this certainty that everybody multiplied the value of this company times, probably 50 times more than it should be, maybe more. And so that's a cautionary tale, but when I watch, we work a lot of people watching, they go, oh man, that entrepreneur is so terrible, what he was, what he did. And it wasn't real value and it wasn't this and it wasn't that. I watch it and I'm like, you know what? Even with an idea that doesn't have a grounding in financial reality, people will buy your certainty and your clarity of vision to the point that they'll overvalue your company and give you hundreds of millions of dollars, even though we work has been what most would consider a pretty colossal business failure after it was not allowed to go public and the financials came out and everybody saw how little money that company was making. It kind of like it's struggling like crazy right now.

And Adam Newman has been removed. There's a new CEO in place running it, and we don't hear a lot about it these days. And when I look at an entrepreneur like the one I talked to who had really good ideas, who has already done some stuff in the world, but doesn't have that clarity of vision and that certainty, here's what I know. If you don't have clarity of vision and certainty and you hire people, things just get more confusing. If you don't have clarity of vision and certainty and you're experiencing opportunity to overwhelm and you get more leverage, you bring in a team, you bring in people, you start paying salaries, you start investing in the company. You're just throwing money away because you don't have the clarity as to what really needs to happen. And so for you and every other visionary out there, for me, every morning I sit down with my momentum planner. First, I go through my written morning routine because it puts me on a solid playing field. It makes sure that I get everything that I need to get done to be physiologically, cognitively, chemically supported every day.

And I get up, I do what I need to do. Then I go through the momentum planner and here's why the 15 minutes, it's really like 12 to 15 minutes a day that I come in here and I go through this six step system each morning and I look at what is my intention for the day? What did I wear? Was I uncomfortable yesterday? What are the top three things I'm going to do? What is my to do list? And then at the end of each day, when I write down what I'm grateful for and where I won today, every single day, here's what this system is doing. This system created specifically for the entrepreneurial personality type. It's the first planning system created just for us. And what it does is every single day it helps you sit down and in minutes create massive clarity of vision and massive certainty around your purpose. And that is what the people around you are going to buy as a visionary, in fact. What does a visionary really do? When you look at Elon Musk or you look at a Richard Branson or you look at the Steve Jobs, you know, yes, they work on a daily basis. But what work is it that they do? They hold space for massive ideas.

They are the figurehead, the the firebrand, the lightning rod for these huge changes going on in the world. They they get up every morning and they have vision and certainty so that everyone around them moves forward and creates the outcome that they want in the world. And so for you as an entrepreneur, the more certainty you have, the more clarity you have, the more real your vision is and the more clear your prioritization is. So you know exactly what to do next. That is how you're going to move forward as an entrepreneur. That is how you're going to get to where you really want to be as an entrepreneur. That is how you're going to create the momentum that you've always craved as an entrepreneur and always felt like I should be there. I know that feeling. And so if you're an entrepreneur who wants to go out and leave your debt in the universe, the key is having absolute clarity of the vision you are going to pursue. So everyone around you understands it and.

A massive degree of certainty that, you know, exactly what you're doing is going to get you to your long term goals if you're in a place where you're not getting the outcomes you want, where you haven't had the growth you want, where you haven't had the impact or the income you want, this will help you massively change that, create certainty for yourself and everyone around you will feel the energetics of your certainty and you will see everything in your business and your life move in the direction you want. Thanks for being here with me today. Like I said earlier, if you know someone who could benefit from this, please share this with them. And if you are interested in creating massive momentum and massive clarity, I'm going to drop a link in the comments to a wait list where we are registering people to come to a webinar I'm holding in a few weeks on exactly how you create insane levels of clarity and purpose through strategic planning your business. Don't miss my webinar. Thanks for being here with me today. Share this with anybody who needs it and I'll talk to you soon.

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