Momentum Podcast: 742

Do Your Own Research

by Alex Charfen

Episode Description

I’ve been seeing a lot of posts lately that are making me uncomfortable. They seem to be making fun of people for doing their own research and trying to understand what’s going on in the world.

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.

The memes, posts, and arguments sound something like this…
With every medical professional in the world focused on moving things forward, do you really think you’re going to find a solution by doing Google searches?

They also seem to imply that we should just accept what we’re being told and believe it.

Unfortunately I have far too much experience in this area to be able to do that.

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.

Our entrepreneurial journey doesn't end here! Be sure to check out our Facebook Community filled with entrepreneurs just like you who are getting into momentum and building world-changing empires

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 want to check in this morning on a topic that has been making me increasingly uncomfortable over the past few weeks, in fact, I haven't really said anything about what's going on in the world and the environment in the world for a while. But, man, this is a huge challenge and something that has been really frustrating and upsetting me. So I've been seeing posts and memes and conversations with people where it seems to imply that is as Americans, as humans, as sovereign human beings, we shouldn't do our own research.

And here's what the post look like. I mean, I've been getting increasingly frustrated with them. Their posts that say something like, oh, sure, with all the professionals in the world focus on solving this thing, you're going to sit down on Google, do some research and figure things out. And and so the implication is you shouldn't do your own research and you should just listen to the authorities and do what you're told and do what the authorities say. At least that's the implication I'm taking from it. 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. You know, anyone who is being told they shouldn't do their own research right now, I don't understand what people are talking about when they say you should just trust what's going on, you know, trust what is going on. When you look at the answers we've been giving, at the suggestions we've been given, at the mandates we've been getting, it seems like nothing's really working. And what we're being told isn't really what's happening. And so I'm not going to talk about the current state of what's going on in the world today. I'm not going to talk about the medical issue that we all have. I'm actually going to take us back to 2007 in another time where we were being told we should just do what we are told. 2007, the market was falling apart, the real estate market was completely imploding and things were going crazy, like it looked like the world economy was going to implode on itself. And in a lot of ways, the world economy was imploding on itself in 2007, 2008 and in 2007.

Here's here's what happened. And actually at the beginning, all the authorities were saying that this was not that big a deal. All the authorities were saying, in fact, when you go back to 2007 and see this is and this is a story about doing your own research, because this is what I did. This is my personal story about doing my own research and looking at Google and crowdsourcing opinions and crowdsourcing ideas and when and what ended up happening happening by it, by doing my own research actually changed the world. Let me explain. And by the way, if anybody questions this, I could tag thousands of people who will verify 100 percent of this story.

So in 2007, Cadey and I were living in South Florida. We had a huge real estate portfolio. All of the sudden, all of our real estate properties started having challenges. The value started having challenges. We had some issues with them. We had appraisals that weren't going through. And literally in 2007, like all at once, the market imploded and stopped working. And the real estate market and here's what I did. I started doing Google Research. I started looking at things. Something felt wildly uncomfortable, uncomfortable to me about what was going on in the foreclosure crisis. We were being told that in 2007, Cadey and I went bankrupt and we were being told that the real estate market was in a six to 12 month crisis. You know, if you're in real estate, tell me if you can remember those early predictions that we were in a six to 12 month crisis in the real estate market? Well, Cadey and I lost millions of dollars. And because it was personally me, it was personally involved in us. I sat down and I started doing research. And, you know, when I started realizing there was no way we were in a six to 12 month crisis. In fact, in 2007, I started looking at the real estate market and I realized we were probably in a seven to 10 year crisis. And here's what happened. I pulled all the numbers together. I pulled them off Google.

I crowdsourced information from realtors around the country. I talked to tons of people that I knew. And by the way, I want you to know, did I have some expertize in real estate? Some I was a real estate broker or sorry, I was a real I was a mortgage broker. I did a bunch of mortgages. I had invested in a lot of properties. I had done a lot of fixing flips and a lot of rentals. And so I was a real estate investor and a mortgage broker. There was a million of me. There is nothing special about who I was. There was nothing special about my education, my background, what I understood, what I know. I just sat down and started doing research and I put the numbers together and I realized that we were in a much bigger crisis and everybody was talking about. And so in 2007, 2008, I went out and started talking about it. I wrote articles about it. Previous to the crisis, I previous to owning a real estate company with Cadey, I was a consultant, so I knew how to write things up. I knew how to make white papers. I knew how to put information together. And I started writing up information on the real estate crisis and saying we are in a seven to ten year crisis and here's what happened. Here's what's happening to a lot of medical professionals today. A lot of experts today. They're coming out and talking against the party line just like I did. This is why I'm so sympathetic and empathetic to anybody who's saying anything against what the world believes right now, anything against what the major medical institutions are saying. Because here's what happened. I did that. I went out and said, hey, guys, I need to tell you something. The National Association of Realtors is wrong. That's a big one. The U.S., the U.S., the finance administration is completely wrong. And everything you're reading from investors and banks is wrong. And here's what happened. I was discredited. I was called a crazy person. I was called Chicken Little. People were told not to listen to me Cadey and I got phone calls in our office that were like death threats. In fact, it was funny. We got we got some some serious threats against us. We actually had one person call in and left a message. It was like, you're so crazy.

You're saying all the wrong things. You guys are going to go bankrupt in. He's like, well, that's already taken care of. We were in bankruptcy as I was doing all this research and talking about this and all of the research turned into this product called the Certified Distressed Property Expert Designation, because here's what happened. I did all this research and I saw that no one was trying to solve the foreclosure crisis. No one was trying to solve the economic crisis the United States was in.

In fact, they were all just talking about how it didn't exist. And so I put together this product called the Certified Distressed Properties for Designation. And in 2008, we started selling it to real estate agents so that they could help homeowners avoid foreclosure. And what I did was I created a system so that real estate agents could work with homeowners and negotiate with the banks and get them out of a foreclosure and into a short sale or a mortgage renegotiation and or a mortgage modification and keep them in their properties. And here's the history of me with no expertize, no education, no background in this. I sat down, I wrote a product in 2008. We sold it in January 2008. We sold 62 people at our first class. January 2013. Twenty fourth.

The sixty two people were the first certified distressed property expert designation holders in the world. They went out and started talking to other people. And in 2008 we went out and trained 1500 real estate agents on this process to help homeowners avoid foreclosure and get a mortgage modification or a short sale. Over the course of the next year, we trained over 5000 agents. So the first year we did about one hundred thousand dollars in business. The second year we did a half million. The third year we did seven point two million dollars in business because every real estate agent out there who wanted to help their homeowners and wanted to help people move forward came to us by 2009. All the organizations that were making fun of me calling me Chicken Little and saying that I was crazy. The National Association of Realtors, all of the major mortgagers, the news organizations, they all suddenly turned around and started saying, hey, we've got a major crisis on our hands. And by 2010, Bank of America, Citibank, the U.S. Treasury, the Wells Fargo all had endorsed our company, along with most of the major brokerages like Remax and Centro, Twenty one and Prudential and all of these other organizations. And here's what happened. I literally, with no expertize doing what a lot of people today are calling epistemic trespass, epistemic trespass is when you're not an expert in something and you go start doing research on it and you start making statements about it and all the experts say, no, no, no, you're not part of this. Well, you know what happened in the real estate market? I went did a ton of research, put it all together. We started selling tens of thousands of real estate agents. We did ten point ten million in our third year. We did nine point nine million in sales in our fourth year. We were the twenty first fastest growing company in the United States. And here's what's even more interesting for those years, 2009, 12, 13, 14, guess who was on Fox and CNBC more often about real estate and about real estate, the crisis and the market more than any other expert out there, right here it was me.

sk anybody in real estate. I became an expert through doing what a lot of people were making fun of today. I became an expert through searching Google, through making my own argument. So doing my own research, through putting a product together, through creating a solution that went out and changed the world. And the certified distressed property for designation was launched with one goal. We had this motto, solving the foreclosure crisis, one homeowner at a time. You know what happened in 2013? Lori Majano, a director at the U.S. Treasury at the FAA, the director of Distressed Assets, came to our office and on a live broadcast with over twenty thousand people on it. You know what she said? She said the certified distressed property expert designation, your team and the people that you've worked with, the realtors who have gotten this designation, have pulled forward the recovery of the foreclosure crisis by seven to 10 years. By seven to 10 years. My little organization, the company that Cadey and I started this product that we put together called the Certified Distressed Property Expert Designation, became the fastest growing designation in the history of real estate and was credited by a director at the U.S. Treasury as having pulled forward the foreclosure crisis by seven to 10 years. I was not an expert prior to this, I was not an economist, I had some experience in real estate, some experience and mortgages. I sat down, I did the research, and I built myself into expert. I became an expert that changed the course of the United States economy and in doing so changed the course of the world economy. Don't let anyone ever tell you you shouldn't do your own research.

This new sentiment that's coming out today is so frustrating and so dangerous. You should just accept when authorities say you should just believe what they all say. Why would any of us ever accept the company line, the party line, the authority line when it's so consistently wrong? It took until two thousand nine two thousand nine for the National Association of Realtors to admit there was a greater crisis than six months to a year. Up until then, they kept saying it was a six months to a year crisis. There was misinformation, disinformation, it was the wrong information. And how does this stuff happen? Well, at the National Association of Realtors, there is a massive bias towards talking positively about real estate in certain medical organizations. There's massive bias towards talking positively about certain solutions. Well, if you don't believe in the solutions that are out there today, if you don't believe what you're being told, don't let anyone ever tell you. You shouldn't do your own research. And for those of you who are making fun of people who are doing those their own research, for those of you who are poking fun at the individuals who are so uncomfortable with what's going on that they're doing their own searches, they're going to gather there. They're looking at things, they're crowdsourcing answers. They're trying to figure out what's going on. They're joining groups. They're talking to other people. They're getting anecdotal information. For those of you poking fun at those people.

Shame on you. Shame on you, every American, every citizen of the world has has the rightto research and read and Google and talk and get information from wherever they want to form whatever opinion they want. And anyone who is saying don't do research, you should follow the company line needs to back up about a year and look at how many different times we've been told different crap. I mean, really, from the beginning of this thing, there has been misinformation and disinformation in the wrong stuff. And and I mean, Jesus, how how how many times can the people in authority screw up over and over and over again and tell us one thing and do another thing and change their opinion? I mean, right now, it's an absolute joke. We were all told everybody in the United States was told, if we go do this thing right, if we go do this thing, everything's going to get better. Everything is going to be fine. Well, now what we're seeing is because so many people did this thing, it may be causing a bigger problem than we've ever had. And so we should listen to the people in authority. We should giant jump into this and the people in authority. No way, no way do your own research in 2007, I remember I remember so vividly the moment where I was like Cadey, something's wrong, something is so wrong. I was reading this article from the National Association of Realtors. Do your research, follow your heart, trust your gut, and don't let anyone make it, OK? Awesome. Thank you, Christina. Don't let anyone make fun of you for trying to understand what's going on, especially in a situation like we're in right now where there is so much misinformation, disinformation, like let's get real. The authorities in this situation are just like in 2007. They see one thing that one day and want you to believe it with full authority. Another thing the next day, I want you to believe it with full authority. Another thing the next day they want you to believe it with full authority.

Jesus, if you are trying to follow the authorities, you're doing different crap every single day. You're going back and forth on what you should be doing. Here's what I want every one of you to know. No one should make decisions for you. No one and even further, you should never follow blindly the decisions that are made by bureaucracies. This is a place where I have personal experience. So the story that I just told you about teaching myself and becoming an expert and understanding the real estate market, well, here's what happened over time. Just so that you understand, it wasn't just me getting on Fox News. In fact, in 2010 or 11, there was a short sale and foreclosure roundtable with the director of the U.S. Treasury, the guy who sat down with President Obama at that time to discuss the housing crisis. I was in the room. I talked to more than anybody else in the room. In fact, Director Lockhart asked me more questions than anybody else. By the way, I was sitting next to a chief economist for one of the major, major investors. I was sitting next to another economist from one of the major banks, and both of them had multiple degrees. I have zero zero degrees. I was in the room as an expert. And it wasn't just that. When you look at everything that happened in the real estate crisis, I was the person who people came to for the answers.

And and at one point, I was at an economic conference, an economic conference where the opener was the director or the chief economist for the National Association of Realtors or no, sorry, it was for Freddie Mac. The second person speaking was the vice chief economist for Fannie Mae. I was the headliner. No degrees, no experience, built my own experience, built my own expertize, and they put me on stage as the headliner. And here's what's crazy. Let's talk about how bureaucracies really don't understand what's going on. Let's talk about the people who are in charge. Don't really get it. Let's talk about how they're more polished politicians than they are experts. You know, the the economists, they get into high bureaucratic positions, the doctors, they get into high bureaucratic positions. You know what it means? It doesn't mean they're good economists or good doctors. It means they're good bureaucrats. It means they're good bureaucrats. And let's get real decisions made by bureaucracy are degrading and horrible and challenging. We all know this. I don't want my decisions being made by bureaucracy. Are you kidding me? Let me give you a personal example of this. In 2008, I resigned in during the foreclosure crisis.

So I'm speaking at this event. Let me share the rest of this story with you. The opener chief economist for a major organization. The second guy, vice chief economist, they when they were introduced, one of them had three degrees. One of them had five degrees. I got on as the keynote speaker and I said, hi, I'm Alex Charfen man. I'm so impressed and so excited to be here with you today. Did you hear that the backgrounds of the people who spoke before me so and so has two degrees, so and so has three degrees? I'm at an economic conference. I said between the three of us, we have five. I don't have a degree. Everybody started laughing, and when I sat down after giving my presentation, the chief economist from Freddie Mac leaned over and said, Hey, can I have a copy of your slides? And I remember saying, what? And he said, can I have a copy of your slides? And I'm like, Sure, but why? And he goes, Well, you put numbers together in a way that we haven't. And it's clear you have a better projection on what's going to happen than we do. Bureaucracies don't have a clue. I remember hearing that and I remember like getting up and going out to the hallway and calling Cadey and Cadey, you're not going to believe what just frickin happened. The chief economist for Freddie Mac, who's the guy who's leading all the investments, the guy who's supposed to take this thing out of the economic crisis, the guy who's like up on stage talking about everything, wants my slides because they haven't looked at it the same way we have. And our projection on when we're going to get out. This is better than theirs. And I remember telling Cadey with like. I wasn't excited about it, I wasn't happy about it, I mean, I was proud that we had put the information together. I'm like, holy shit, who's at the controls? Who's running this thing? You know, my God, he needs my slides. This is Freddie Mac. They have millions and billions of dollars. They can invest in all the expertize that they want. And here's me, this little entrepreneur with no expertize, doing Google searches, crowdsourcing answers, putting together my expertize, building at one brick at a time. And the chief economist at Freddie Mac needs my numbers.

Dude, don't tell me to trust anyone in authority at a bureaucracy. I will do my own research. I will look into it myself. You can make fun of me all you want when you look at what's going on in the world today, we've been told one thing, told to do something told again to do something else. And there's no way, no way there's anyone that you can pay attention to right now who's been credible throughout this thing. In fact, the videos that are put out are hilarious, where somebody edited the same exact person, the same exact expert. A lot of you know who I'm talking about, saying you should do this, then you shouldn't do this, then you should do this. Then you don't need to do this. Let's get real. It's a joke. And so when someone in the world says that we're in a place where we need to trust the authorities and not do our own research, I get nervous. I get scared because here's what I want. I want you to know something. Here's my call to action for you. Here's my call to every entrepreneur listening to this. I want you to share this with people.

I want you to tag people on this. This is an emergency. We need your help. We are in trouble. Do not listen to the authorities. Do not believe what's going on. Do not just bite off. Go out and do the research, just like I did in 2007 and 2008. Go out and figure out what's going on, create solutions. As an entrepreneur, you can change the world and the research and the crowdsourcing and everything that everybody is making fun of. You forget it. The stuff that people are making fun of you for is exactly what changes the world. And I'm living proof I'm a no degree bankrupt entrepreneur that has no valuable expertize or background at all. And my company that I built with Cadey, I'm not going to take all the credit myself. It was me and Cadey. It wasn't just me in Cadey it was me and it was Cadey. And it was Tony Martinez and Travis Brodin and Chris Scott and Randy OSullivan. And I'm going to forget a whole bunch of people's names, but just this incredible group of entrepreneurs changing the world, Margaret Mead said. Never doubt that a small group of committed individuals can change the world for is the only thing that ever has. And today the world is telling us we should not be that small, committed group of individuals. The world is telling us we should just follow the company line. The world is telling us we should believe what they say on Monday, even though it changes on Tuesday, even though there's an update on Wednesday and even though on Thursday they invalidated where they started on Monday. It's a joke entrepreneur's self starters that people out there who have started businesses, created solutions, made things happen. This is our time. The world is screwed. We have put ourselves into a situation that is going to be really hard to get out of. And there is no real solution right now. So we need you. So not only do I not believe in not doing your research, this is a call to action for you to go out and do the research, find the solutions, figure out what's going on. Don't let anybody make fun of you.

It doesn't matter who you are. You have an opportunity to change things right now. This whole statement of epistemic trespass. Here's what doctors are saying right now. If you're not in my specialty, you can't give any answers in my specialty. You know what I said to that? In twenty seven epistemic trespass going over other people's specialties. Here's what happened. As an entrepreneur, I rose above the noise. I looked at all the stuff that was going on. I pulled together the information I thought was important and I figured out exactly what was going on in the foreclosure crisis. Don't tell me today is any different. One of us, a non expert, non degreed person and a closet person in a I meant to say a person in a garage, a person in their home office or a person working in their closet somewhere. Is going to come up with solutions that change this thing. I guarantee that's what's going to happen. I know that's what's going to happen. And from the beginning of this, there have been people just like me putting out the word and telling us what's going on and sharing. And they've been laughed at and discredited and they've been de platformed and they've had their their exposure taken away in their channels taken away. And you know what? Here's the. In the last few days, we're finding out they were right. The more science catches up, all of these people that were were completely discredited and made fun of and had their names dragged through the mud, you know, when I have a lot of empathy for those people, in 2007, I was going bankrupt. 2008, we were trying to recover from it. We had people making fun of us. We had people threatening us. I was getting calls to my office telling me that I should be killed. We had people telling us that we were causing the foreclosure crisis. My wife was getting calls her office with people cussing her out and telling her that we were crazy and we should just follow the company line. And so for all of those experts out there who have been brave enough to swim against the company line and tell us what they believe and tell us what's going on, whether you were right or wrong, if you are doing what's in your heart, then I'm with you because there is no way. No way. That we should just follow the company line and do our own research, I have far too much personal experience with people in high level bureaucracies to ever trust a bureaucratic system at the end of the day. I look at what the bureaucratic system says and then I verify like crazy. And unfortunately, most of the time when I go to verify that verification just isn't there. So if there was ever a time where we need you, the entrepreneurs in the world, the self starters, that people who make solutions make changes, go do the research, ignore all of the detractors, don't let anyone make fun of you. Reach out to me. I will support you because we can change this thing. We can make things better.

We can change the world like we always had. And Margaret Mead was absolutely right. Never doubt that a small group of committed individuals can change the world, for it is the only thing that ever has. And don't ever forget it. Thanks for being here with me this morning. Thanks for letting me get this out. And if this meant something to you, please share this with somebody who needs to hear it. Tag someone shared on Facebook. I know that the algorithm is going to start suppressing this as soon as it understands what I'm saying. And so I really appreciate your support and your help. And there will be more of this. Thank you.

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