Momentum Podcast: 715

One Universal Truth About Every Business

by Alex Charfen

Episode Description

“Your business is broken and if things go well and always will be.” 

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.

Far too many entrepreneurs expect their businesses to feel perfect, they beat themselves up over gaps or flaws, and they have challenges when things don't go exactly right. 

Businesses are meant to be broken. They are constantly shifting and adjusting to growth, market conditions, and–when things are going well–an expanding team. All of these dynamics can lead to challenges, issues, and constraints that you learn to adjust to and move forward. 

By the end of this 15-minute podcast episode, you will learn about:

– The fiction that is trying to build the perfect business. 

– That the only business that is perfect, and doesn't have any problems, is one that is closed. 

– That if we understand that businesses break, we can be confident that each time we close a gap or correct an issue, our business is getting stronger.

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.

Alex has this quote that he likes to share with us as his team and with our membership, that your business is broken and if things go well, it always will be. Is he? Far too many entrepreneurs expect their business to feel perfect and they tend to beat themselves up over the gaps and flaws and they have challenges. And when things don't go right, but businesses are meant to be broken. They're constantly shifting and adjusting to growth market conditions. And when things are going well and expanding team, all of those dynamics can lead to challenges, issues and constraints that you learn to adjust to and move forward. In this episode of the Momentum podcast, Alex is going to be talking about the fiction of trying to build the perfect business, because the fact is that the only business that's perfect doesn't have any problems is one that's closed.

Speaker 1 [00:00:53] 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. My wife, Cadey, and I run a business together. We're raising two daughters together. We have a real estate portfolio together.

We do a ton of stuff together. We spend a ton of time together. So there's a lot of proximity, but sometimes there's not intimacy and closeness. And so there was a time in our marriage we joke about it now where we were trying to do the date night once a week. I see people who do it on Instagram and Facebook and Twitter, and sometimes we're at parties and people say, oh, we do this every week. Cadey and I tried to do a date night every week. It was excruciating. We never knew what to do. It felt like pressure. It felt like too much. And so we started doing what's better for us. So once a quarter we take a vacation with our family once a quarter Cadey and I take a week off from work to get the things that we never can get done in the business done and get the things in our lives none that we can never get done.

And so we take we call that a CEO a week that was inspired by a friend of mine, Emily Hirsch. It's brilliant. So we have one week off for vacation when we go out for our CEO week. And then we take a couple of days, once a quarter, and we go downtown and we go somewhere else in Austin and we stay in a hotel for the night. And we're just together and away from the kids, away from the business. We love our girls. Part of the reason that that was so hard was we didn't really like leaving them once a week. Kind of felt weird, but once a quarter and then we do we do other stuff throughout the quarter. But this is like that connection time and we go and we share in tension and we we talk about where we both are. We often write a bunch of stuff down, make notes about what we want to do next. And it's just it's an incredible time. And so that's tomorrow. And rather than try and do this in the afternoon tomorrow, I wanted to have the whole day to create spaciousness, to get very still and to be able to spend this time with my wife. And so this week, we're doing this a day early. And I love this topic. The topic is the one universal truth about all businesses and why it's so important for every entrepreneur to understand this. And so here is the universal truth about all businesses. You ready for this? They're broken. One hundred percent of businesses are broken. I have this phrase that I share with my team. I share with my members. I share with anybody who will listen. Your business is broken and if things go well, it always will be. Here's what I mean by that. You know, a broken business is a business that has no challenges with customers, no challenges with with finances, no challenges with any of your marketing or sales or anything else. It's a business that's just perfect because everything is made creating zero noise. Want to know what that business looks like? It's closed. It went out of business. The challenges as entrepreneurs, if we pursue perfection in our business or if we pursue a perfect business, we may end up without a business at all and actually have a story about this. Years ago, Cadey and I did a lot of work in real estate and I did some private coaching one on one with some of the largest real estate teams in the country. And there was a one particular client who we signed on with and I started coaching him and he had about a twenty two person real estate team, top agent in his market. I'm not going to name the market because I have not gotten permission from him to share this

. I can I can share it in a way that protects the innocent. And I went to his office and this was back when I actually used to go on site and help people double and triple their business in about a year. And I walked in and I walked over to his part of the office, his desk. It was kind of an open desk environment. And I said, hey, how are things going? It's good to see you. And he goes, you know, just trying to perfect the system. And my chest hurt like my chest hurt for so many different reasons, one, because I asked him, like, what do you mean by Perfecta system? He goes, you know, just a few more tweaks and we're going to have this running like crazy. It's going to be perfect. And I like right now, even as I repeated to you, I get all these body reactions because when an entrepreneur starts talking about perfection, it terrifies me. There is nothing in the world that's perfect, like what is perfect, what's perfection when it has zero flaws. You wouldn't want a business with zero flaws. Again, it was probably a business that's closed. And one of the reasons that I got like so. So. One of the reasons I reacted to how he said it was, he said it loud enough that we were in an open office environment and I knew most of his team heard him say that. And I knew that was probably something he says all the time. And so in that business, in that team, the quest was to be perfect. That is one of the most. First, unattainable and challenging and frustrating and limiting goals that you can give intelligent, motivated human beings, tell them to be perfect. It's like the hardest thing in the world to ask somebody to do and to ask an entire organization called a business to be perfect just makes no sense.

Here's why. Here's what you want. You don't want a perfect business. You want a business that's adaptable. You want a business, they can drive. They can overcome what's going on. You want a business, they can build over or around what's happening. Perfection is actually a closed system. When you in order to create perfection, you have to isolate something and then make it perfect and don't let anything else touch it. So again, if you want a perfect business, you're literally removing it from the market because here's what every single business works has to work around. We have to work around competition, customers, market issues, politics, political issues, shipping issues, freight issues, forwarding issues. You look at sourcing issues, challenges with people, hiring people. I mean, you might even have legal issues. Businesses encounter issues regardless of what you do as an entrepreneur, you cannot turn off business issues. In fact, when you think about a business and you look at a business that's growing or you look at a business, let's just consider that this is your business. And if we look at the area around this business, this tiny little business, that's the exposure your business has in the marketplace. And so we want to make sure that you have a system in that business where you can handle the exposure that's going on in the marketplace, because what happens with time, if you're successful in your business, is you go from that little dot to now you've grown the business and you have this much exposure. And all of this surface area is now affected by the market, the competition, the politics, customers, whatever else it is.

And so here's what business owners really want. But I don't think we have the language to say this. We want a team that is adaptable. And here's what I mean by adaptable. We want a team that can see input. They can see stimulus. They can say, here's what's going on, the business. Here's what we need to change to overcome this, to take advantage of this, to move forward with this. You want a team who knows how to overcome what's going on. You want a team that when they're presented with a crisis, with a challenge, with an issue, with anything that's happening in the world, that they will quickly look at it, understand it, analyze and understand how to move forward so that you're not stuck in this place of trying to pursue perfection or you're not stuck in this place of reacting to the issue, but not creating solutions. And then you also want a team that can build over or around the issues you're having. You have somebody competition come up. You need a team that can build around that. You have challenges in the market come up. You need a team who can overcome those things. And so when we when we state that we want a perfect business, what we're actually telling everybody on that team is don't adapt, don't change, keep it the same, keep this keep it exactly the same and make it so that it's perfect and remove it from the market. But the reality is we can't do that.

So we create not only this false expectation for it for our team, but we create this false energy in the business that someday it's going to be perfect. You know, if you think about that, like in the terms of looking forward to something and the business that I was consulting with, the reason that it hit me so hard that he said we're just trying to perfect the system loud enough for everybody to hear, was that what that does, consciously or unconsciously, is it makes the destination perfection for everyone in the entire building. And here's what what you might want to do if you want to make things perfect, you might want to do less of a lot of different stuff. You might want to want to make things not so complicated by, like, not doing a ton of new things you might want to if it's perfect. And, you know, perfection is right around the corner. You certainly don't want to add another outcome or try something new or try something different or overcome a challenge in a different way. You want to keep it small and tiny and perfect and. Like I said earlier, if you pursue a perfect business, you will often end up without one. Now, that's not the case of what happened with the person I'm talking about. In fact, when I went up, we sat down and started talking. Actually, we didn't sit down and started talking.

I actually suggested we go for a walk. I find that when I'm trying to to shift perception with somebody that walking and being emotion helps. And we started walking and I said just candidly, so what you just said in your office made me kind of uncomfortable. And he said, What? What did I say? How like how could I have said anything and made you uncomfortable? And I said, you know, when you said that you are looking for a perfect business, here's here's what I heard is that your entire team is chasing perfection. And he said, what's wrong with that? And so I started to explain to him what I've shared with you, that businesses need to be adaptable and overcome. They need to be malleable, and that when we tell our team our goal is perfection, we are actually saying stop exposing this business to new, make it smaller, make it simpler, make it make it so that it's not as complicated now and make it perfect. It's almost like remove it from anything that might damage it. And let's get real customers.

The market, you know, all these other things might damage it. And so all over the course of our walk, I explained to him that I suggest a different perspective, that what you don't want is a perfect business. What you want is an adaptable business, a business that has the systems within it, through which your team can understand what's going on, create solutions, execute those solutions and make them happen. And after our walk, it was actually a lot longer walk than we thought it was going to be because he had a really hard time letting go of this goal that he had been aiming at for years and this goal that he had been talking about for years. And what we discovered on our walk was that in his mind, he actually had a destination there where he had conjured it up. As entrepreneurs, we go into the future, we create a new reality, come back to the present and make it real well.

He had a new reality where his business was literally perfect. And I said, what does that look like to you? And he said, Well, I guess it thought like there'd be no problems, there would be no issues, there would be no team challenges. The customers wouldn't have any issues anymore. I would just be able to be free to do whatever I wanted in the business would be doing what it needed to do. And then I suggested to him that if you didn't have any of those problems, you probably wouldn't have any of those things in the business would be closed. And so instead, what I suggested was, what if you could have that state of being that you wanted, where you're not handling all the problems, you're not hearing about them all, you're not the one who's making all the changes, but you have a team that has been trained to analyze what's going on. When there's something presented to the company, they're trained to prioritize what their next steps should be and how they should execute a solution. They're trained to commit to that solution and make it happen like crazy.

And then when they commit, they're trained to execute, to to execute and absolutely make everything move forward and then renew that process. So if you have a team that can analyze and prioritize and commit, then execute and renew, you have a team that can actually overcome what's going on in the market. If you tell your team, you give them the false expectation of perfection, you're actually telling they're not going to have to do any of that stuff anymore because the business is going to be perfect and that just doesn't exist. And so the shift here and and understanding here is you want an adaptable business with clear process, structure and routine to overcome anything that happens in the market. And one of the ways that we help entrepreneurs do this is by creating incredibly clear, incredibly easy to understand, impossible to misunderstand strategic plans where in those strategic plans we are doing things like overcoming competition issues, where overcoming issues would challenge and challenges with our clients, we're overcoming what's happening in the market, in politics, in socioeconomics, in the world stage.

Whatever is happening, we can analyze, prioritize, commit, execute and renew and get around those things. And as a company, we show entrepreneurs and their teams how to build strategic plans. Where you analyze everything that's happening, you prioritize what you should be doing and you commit to a real strategic plan that your team can execute. So when you come back to renew, you know exactly what happened and then the process improves. It never gets perfect, but the process improves. And instead of trying to create the process that will create a perfect business, understand the process through which you can overcome anything in your business. We call that analyze, prioritize, commit, execute and renew the Charfen process. And the first three steps, our greatest strategic plan to get out of anything, analyze, prioritize and commit. And if you are interested in creating a strategic plan for your business, this is not only what we help people do, but in just a couple of weeks, I think it's in I can't remember the data may, but it's coming up.

We are doing a couple of public trainings where I'm going to share with anyone who'd like to understand how to create a strategic plan in your business, what it will do for your business and how it's going to change things. In fact, I'm going to go through three things. One, how you stop being the biggest bottleneck in your business, because if you're the biggest bottleneck, it feels like you are doing everything. It feels like people are checking with you for everything. It feels like you're overwhelmed. Then I'm also going to explain how you get your team out in front of you. So if you're the biggest bottleneck, that means you're doing too much, you're getting interrupted too much. And so I want you to go from that to getting your team out in front of you to where now not only are you no longer the biggest bottleneck, but your team's in front of you and they can go as fast as they want. And then the third thing I'm going to show in this public training in this webinar that we're doing is how you can move into the passenger seat. And you may not have heard that term before. It's something that we talk about all the time.

And our coaching I was just talking about it with our highest level members. The passenger seat is a place from which you can run your business without tactically operating everything so you can sit in the passenger seat of a car and giving direction and suggestion. You can make sure you end up in the right place. You make sure the car is driven properly. You can make sure that you get go in the route that you want to. And when you put a strategic plan in place, it is the first step to stopping being the biggest bottleneck, getting out of that position, to getting your team out in front of you and then moving into the passenger seat. And I'm going to explain it in detail on the training we have coming up. And if you want to check it out, you can go to Charfen dot com forward slash by. There's a wait list right now and we will make sure, you know, when that event happens.

And in the meantime. Whenever you find yourself thinking about creating the perfect business, remind yourself that what you're really telling your conscious and subconscious minds is you want to create a business that's closed. What you really want is not to create a perfect business, but to commit to the process, the structure, the routine that will create a business that's adaptable, that can overcome what's going on in the marketplace, and that will survive and move forward and create massive momentum. And if you'd like to check out the training we're doing, go to Charfen dot com forward slash. Stand by and I'll see you there.

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