Momentum Podcast: 864

Why Entrepreneurs Fail at Planning

by Alex Charfen

Episode Description

This episode was created from a live Q&A inside of the Simple Operations Facebook community, held by Alex every Thursday, and hosted by community manager Yhennifer Santos. In this Q&A, Alex returns from his vacation to Costa Rica, how entrepreneurs can approach taking vacations with a growing business, and how entrepreneurs can scale a massive empire, without having to be there every day.

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Full Audio Transcript

This is the Momentum podcast.

We are live. Hello, Simple operations community. Alex, how are you?

Doing great, thanks.

It's been a few weeks. Where have you been?

Costa Rica.

Alex, tell us about your trip. I know people want to know. Like, tell us, maybe what was your favorite part from your whole trip?

You know, just unplugging for two weeks. I have rarely done that. You know, most of my career I've taken, like, one week or. I think the longest was maybe a ten or 11 day vacation, but having a full two weeks off was really nice and staying out of Boxer and Slack and most of those things and just being able to unplug made it so that I came back ready to like, get some stuff done and reengage. And I think my favorite part of the trip is just spending time as a family. We spent a ton of time on beaches almost every day after the first few days when we weren't near the coast and then we did some learning and stuff like we're weird on vacation. We always end up at a museum or somewhere that is like a learning experience. And this time we learned how to or how they make coffee and sugar, and chocolate. And so that was, that was a lot of fun, too. We had a good time.

That's awesome. That was like I was going to tell you about. The next question was like, did you stay out of Slack? Did you stay out of our stuff?

So for the most part, for the most part. I mean, I was in a couple of times, but nothing like it used to be. You know, I remember going on vacations when I was younger, and it would be the first 2 hours of every day catching up and making sure everything was still getting done and doing what I needed to do. And, you know, using the simple operations system, we use everything that we coach. And when you have that in your business, not only do not need to be there, but you can get coverage for anything that you need and make sure that everything is taken care of while you're gone. And so, you know, you, Eddie and John were doing these calls while I was gone, so we didn't miss a beat. And yeah, I mean, it's just reassuring to know that, you know, you can take time and do what you need to do and not have to be there 100% of the time every day.

Right. I think we only heard from you when you were giving us updates on your trip. So we're like, “Yes, send us pictures.” That was pretty cool to watch. And, you know, last week, one of the questions that we had in the community, what the community asked us, if we also use the systems that we teach our members. So that was a pretty cool, I guess, experience from a team members perspective, sharing all three of us, our experience with using the same cooperation system. So I'm glad that you mentioned that and you were able to take that time off because processes set people free 200%.

We, like, I posted this week on Facebook. Interesting. I posted it on Facebook. Something like as entrepreneurs, we all fight process, structure and routine, even me, until we realize that they are the key to freedom. And they got shared a ton of times and a bunch of people commented on it. I think, you know, more and more people are realizing that if you have process and structure in place, it makes everything easier. And if I in some ways I've been obsessed with process for most of my life because it was the only way for me to survive. I remember, you know, I was talking to Cadey this week like I was ten or 11 when I had my first written morning routine. I remember it. It was like on this scrap piece of paper, and it was just so that I could get out of the house to be ready to do what I needed to do. But I thought process and structure everywhere else. I think you get to a point as an entrepreneur where you realize, like if you're willing to put minimum effective dose process in place, that is the key to freedom. You know, trying to do things outside of a structure, outside of a process feels like freedom, but you end up working way too much and doing things that you don't really need to do. And when you have that process and structure in your life, it clarifies where you really need to be focused. And for me, it creates a massive amount of momentum.

Awesome. Thank you for sharing your childhood stories. Alex, are you ready? We have some questions from our members.

Yeah, let's do 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.

So the first one is from Angela. She said, "What recommendations do you have for helping convince a visionary on the merits of planning and systems? Someone who views planning as something that's constrained. You were just talking about that. So use planning as constraints. It constrains him to the point of overwhelm someone who can focus on only one thing at a time and has a warped sense of what's achievable and how long things truly take. So pretty much it's like, how do you convince a visionary that, you know, we need, they need planning and systems?

So first I want to talk about why, as entrepreneurs we fight planning like let's it's a very specific part of process and structure in a business. And planning is difficult for us. It's difficult for me, it's difficult for every entrepreneur. I mean, even though I've coached this stuff and taught it for over a decade and I've been using it for 30 years. When we go into planning, I still have to regulate my nervous system and remind myself that this is what we should do in order to achieve what we want. Here's why I think that is when you get into the mind of an entrepreneur. You know, I wrote the book The Entrepreneurial Personality Type, and it's like my manifesto on how we think as entrepreneurs and how we look at the world and why we're evolutionary hunters. I love your shirt today, Yhennifer. And, you know, when you look at why is it that we struggle with planning? Why is it that planning feels overwhelming? Why is it that planning feels like a big constraint? Here's why. As visionaries, we are that small percentage of the population that goes to the future, creates a new reality, comes back to the present, and we do what it takes to make it real. And that future feels so compelling and so clear. And for a lot of visionaries, so easy to get to, and there's just so many ways to get there. And it's like just this exciting thing. And when we take it from that ether to planning, we make it real. And oftentimes when we're making it real and we have to go into planning, we start seeing like, “Hey, this isn't as easy as we thought, and there's things here I haven't thought through and there's challenges that I haven't really addressed or looked at”. And, you know, I can see the future way off in the distance, but I can't see in the next few steps to get there. And if you're planning outside of a system, if you're planning without a clear process, without a clear structure, a clear structure to analyze what you need as a company, to prioritize what things you should be doing right now to commit to those things, to execute those things and come back and do it all again in a renewal process. If you don't have that, planning feels like a massive constraint because it brings up all the issues and it brings up all the challenges.

And so for a lot of us, we fight the very act of putting a plan together because it makes the challenges that we are experiencing and we're going to experience tangible. We see them, we start seeing, those things are challenging. And so for visionaries, the act of planning, taking that, that future that we see so clearly and taking it out of the ether and making it a clear plan is the key to having other people help us execute what we want. Really, I don't there's really no other way. And you know that overwhelm of having a plan, we exchange that overwhelm of creating a plan for the overwhelm of having to tell everybody what to do over and over again on a day to day basis because they don't know where you're going. They don't understand what the plan is. They don't have an executable vision of what they need to do. And so as visionaries, we love the vision, but we have a hard time with the plan because it takes it out of that vision experience. It takes it out of that like everything is possible. We're going to get there someday, experience and it makes it super tangible. And so the question is, how do you convince a visionary that planning is crucial?

You know, I think it starts with having a visionary commit to a planning cycle with a structure and a system that works. This is why we teach what we teach. This is why we've created the systems that we've created so that as a visionary, if you're willing to go, step into that place of feeling, that short term constraint and that short term pressure and that short term ambiguity of going from this great vision to creating a plan, and then you allow it to execute for a period of time, you'll gain confidence in that planning process. I think the reason so many visionaries have a hard time with this is they've tried, they've tried to plan, they've tried to put together something that looks like a plan and it feels like it doesn't work. And it feels like often it makes it harder and it makes it more frustrating and there's more questions and answers. And oftentimes that's because there's just not the right system there. So, one, you make sure that you have that system. Two as a visionary, and this is speaking directly to visionaries. I am an off the charts visionary. I spend most of my time in the future. I walk around in the presence, sometimes in the future, I didn’t know what's going on around me. Had to teach myself how to have situational awareness because I spent so much time outside of where I really am. And building and learning how to build a plan is like learning how to build your muscles working out. It's like new muscles that you're building, new strength that you're building a new skill set that you're building. And when you go to the gym for the first time, you know, anybody who's never worked down their lives and goes into the gym for the first time, it is hard, it's confusing, it's frustrating, it's overwhelming. You know, you're sore as heck the next day. It's hard to walk. You don't know if you did the right things and if it really wasn't. And that same thing happens with a plan. But if you're willing to commit to it, just like working out and you go back and do it again and you improve how you're doing it and you have a plan and you have a structure or not have a plan, but if you have a structure and a process, same thing with working out, you're going to start seeing results. It's going to be less overwhelming, it’s going to be less difficult. And so for a visionary, when you commit to planning, you start seeing those things, you start seeing that you can get more done and it doesn't have to be you that's doing everything.

And I think there was a part of the question was communicating with a visionary that has a warped sense of what can get done. You know, I think one of the challenges that almost every visionary has, including me, is that things look easy, that executing something looks simple, it looks easy, It looks like, you know, we just have to do these few things and get there. And oftentimes that's not the case. And that's why planning is frustrating. It's like, oh, it was so easy until we actually tried to put a plan together and then it got hard. And so learning how to do that and understanding that not everything is easy and that you need input from your team for them to tell you what they can and can't do and what is possible and what's not possible. That doesn't mean we're not pushing. That doesn't mean we're not trying to do as much as we can. But getting that input makes it so that as you learn to have a structure in your business, it becomes more effective over time.

Awesome. Awesome.

Yeah, my pleasure. And make sure that you sign up for a call with our team. It is an exploratory call. We call it a strategy session. We want to find out where your business is, where you want it to go, and what issues you have in place, and what issues you're facing and working through. And if we can help you with those issues, we will present exactly our solution to you. And you know, the reason we have a call with everybody who's coming in is we have an extraordinarily high adoption rate among our members, like 90% plus actually put our systems in place and get a result. And the reason is we talk to everyone to make 100% sure we can help you before you commit to working with us.

Awesome. So that was like the perfect ending right there, because I was going to ask you, how do people get, you know, get into the membership and learn more about our program? And if you have not subscribed to Alex's podcast, make sure you go. Download the podcast. Go make sure that you listen to the content that he shares because we have so many amazing podcasts that will also help you along the way for all the visionaries and operators here inside of this community. So, Alex, any last minute, any last minute thoughts for our community members here?

I think you covered it. You know, we just dropped the link so that you can book a call and answer a few questions on the survey. You know, we're here to help you simplify your operations, be fully seen and heard by your team, get more done, and build the company that you've always known that you could. And so if you've ever thought about working with us, don't hesitate to set up a call. Jump on. Talk to one of us and let's see if we can help you.

Awesome. So we'll see you guys next week and make sure that you post your questions in the community. I will be gone next week, but Alex will still be here because we do have a process right in place so that the lives could keep growing every Thursday. Make sure you make a post or put your questions in the designated post asking you guys for the questions that you have for Alex. And we'll see you guys next week. I'm ready. Thank you, Alex.

Thanks, everybody. Appreciate your questions.

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