Momentum Podcast: 761

Entrepreneur = Trauma

by Alex Charfen

Episode Description

Yesterday I was having lunch with a friend of mine, Seth Ellsworth and his wife Michelle.

I don’t remember exactly how the conversation got there but I was sharing with both of them how much trauma therapy has changed my life.

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.

I told them that in my high-level mastermind, where everyone’s business is at $3 million or more, trauma therapy and acknowledging trauma is a consistent conversation.

When someone in that group starts seeing a trauma therapist, it creates a predictable Excelerator in their business. It has almost always created a dynamic with the business goes from millions, to tens of millions.

Michelle asked me “what if someone in the mastermind doesn’t have trauma?”

I told her I’ve never seen an entrepreneur with a $3 million business that hadn’t also experienced severe trauma.

There’s two types of entrepreneurs, those who have acknowledged their trauma and those who are unaware or in denial.

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 just got back from Austin. I'm not driving. I'm in a car. People think I'm driving. I have a driver here, and I want to share just a quick story. So yesterday, I went out to lunch with my friend Seth Ellsworth, and I got the opportunity to meet his wife, Michelle, and his daughter, Stella, who is amazing. And we were having a conversation about somehow we got around to trauma therapy. I think Seth was talking about some stuff that was going on with him, and I suggested that maybe he'd want to look at it. And it was interesting. Michelle said, you know what I was sharing with her? In our high level mastermind, we have a grown skilled mastermind where every business is over $3 million and we are constantly talking about trauma therapy and acknowledging trauma and understanding yourself better, especially in person. The conversation comes up and it seems to be this massive accelerator when someone gets into EMDR or starts seeing a therapist where really EMDR is a huge key. They almost always grow their business fast, like in a very quick time, in a very quick period of time. In fact, we've seen businesses go from multiple millions to tens of millions over and over again. And trauma therapy seems to be like one of the consistent things that we see in our mastermind. And then she'll say, "What if you have somebody in there who doesn't have trauma of any kind?” And I look straight in the face. I'm like, there is no such thing as an entrepreneur with a business over $3 million that hasn't had trauma in their lives. It's like the same thing goes for professional athletes, same thing goes for Olympic athletes, same thing goes for high producers. You know, when you can hold space for a $3 million business and all the pressure and noise that it causes and everything that I'll say that comes up for you as an entrepreneur, you know, there's a reason you can hold that space. It's typically because you've been in a situation in your life where there was so much pressure and noise that running the $3 million plus business doesn't feel as hard as what you've experienced in your life.

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. Should 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.

And the reason I'm sharing this is because I think there's a lot of entrepreneurs. I know I was one of them when I was younger who didn't understand that they've been traumatized or as entrepreneurs where we are such, such optimists that we think like, ‘Oh, you know, I have it better than everybody else, you know? I know people have real trauma. I know people who've really gone through stuff like me. It's not that big a deal. I'm okay.’ And I think that's one of the biggest challenges we have as entrepreneurs is that we don't acknowledge what we've been through. We don't accept and in the end analyze what we've been through so that we can get help with it. And it's interesting, you know, whenever somebody tells me they don't feel like they've had time, I ask them a simple question. Are there periods of your childhood you don't remember? And they'll stand there for a second and go, “Wow, yeah. But, you know, like, that's normal, right?” I'm like, “Yeah, it's normal because so much of the population has had childhood trauma. So much of the population has had trauma in their adult lives.” So much of that, especially when you're in entrepreneurial rooms. We've been through things that really cause our nervous system to short circuit. And, you know, you go through experiences where, you know, you're lucid, you're there, but maybe like the DVR isn't really recording and you're not getting all of it because our bodies are programmed to save us from feeling too much. And so we won't remember everything. We won't really be present for everything. We'll check out of stuff. And if you're running a business and a family and have a family and have people that you care about, love you. One of the greatest gifts you can give yourself is to go explore where you do have some trauma, where you do have some pain. You know, the most stuck entrepreneurs that I know are ones that haven't acknowledged that stuff or go to the therapist and really don't tell them the truth and don't don't get to a place where they're they're making progress with the trauma that they feel. And if you're willing to and you want to have a you know, and you want to have true success, not just financial success, but you want to have true success, where you feel good in your body, where you're excited about getting up every day, where you feel confident about what you're doing, where you are growing and expanding the things around you. It's one of the fastest ways to get there. It's one of the biggest shortcuts that I know of.

And so if you're an entrepreneur, give yourself the gift of exploring the question, like where in your life have there been times that may have caused you to short circuit? Where in your life have there been times that you may still be carrying around those feelings in your body? Where in your life have you had issues or challenges that you need to work through? And if you think that you don't have these, think about the last time you got reactive. Think about the last time you were triggered. Think about the last time that you may have responded in a way that was unreasonable for the situation. If you're willing to explore that question, go to those questions and be ruthlessly transparent with the answers and honest with the answers. I think you'll find that there's probably some places that if you explore, you're going to buy yourself a massive amount of leverage. And for those of you asking I'm traveling right now is very interesting. You see a lot of people in their trauma responses. People are terrified and scared. And one of the flight attendants today had on two masks and they were tied so tight, they were cutting into her face. And she didn't quite do the normal announcements. She actually did the announcement where she actually actually read off like part of the criminal code and how much you would get fined if you cause a problem. And I've never heard of a flight attendant doing that before. And you know, she's doing that because she's been traumatized. I think right now we're in a place where the whole world collectively over the past couple of years has experienced massive, massive trauma. And so if this is a place you're willing to lean into and I want you to know something, this takes a tremendous amount of bravery.

I remember when I was 26, I first started seeing it at my therapist. I was 22 years ago when I first started seeing an EMDR therapist. I parked down the street and walked to his office because I was afraid anybody would see my car in front. I never thought I would share openly that I saw a therapist and I got help with, you know, with poor mental health. And I felt like there was such a massive stigma around it. Today, I will talk to any entrepreneur who will listen, who has any of the three things that I just talked about: the triggers, the reactivity, the, you know, the reactions that we have. I'll talk to any entrepreneur who will listen about how life changing it is to go work through this. And so maybe there's still a stigma, but I don't care anymore because I'm at the point where I know it is one of the biggest accelerators you can have for your business, for your financial success and for success with your family and everything in life. You know, too many entrepreneurs out there are making a lot of money, but they're using that money to mask the pain and the suffering and the frustration. And the issues that they have. And, you know, some of them, you can tell by just looking at it that that's what's going on. And if you start working through this stuff, you can actually have the life that you want, the business that you want, the family that you want, and you can lose some of that reactivity, you can lose some of that pain, you can lose some of that anxiety and frustration and, you know, difficulty sleeping and everything else that all those things that trauma causes and, you know, those things like kind of built up on each other. And if you don't address them, things just get more challenging. And so if you feel that reactivity like I was talking about at different parts of your childhood, you can't remember if there are, you know, triggers that you had in the present day that you want to work through. The most effective trauma therapy I know of is EMDR. I've recommended it to thousands of people now, and I like once every month somebody comes up to me once every couple of weeks or once. Yeah, I don't know how often it is. It's probably more often than I even notice now because it's so, so frequent. Somebody will say, “Hey, you know, I saw your video or I heard your podcast on the EMDR, started seeing a therapist and it's just been life changing.” And so I highly recommend that you check it out, too. And if you know somebody who needs this, maybe don't tag them, share them, or share this post or share with them. Take the link and send it to them through messenger or text it to them and have them take a look. Because if this is an area where you are willing to apply some work, it is an area where you would get massive amounts of leverage.

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