Momentum Podcast: 9

Entrepreneurial Loops And Spirals, What We Do To Ourselves

by Alex Charfen

Episode Description

Entrepreneurial loops and spirals are the behavioral patterns that keep us stuck in our lives or even worse move us backwards.

Society may call these patterns of addiction, self destructive behavior even dangerous and with good reason.

When an entrepreneur is in a negative loop or spiral it can cause us to look distressed, unreasonable, and at risk.

In my experience change happens in an instant, it is up to us how long we want to take to finally decide to make the change.

When we understand the evolutionary reason we are caught in these patterns we can often release them and change in the moment of understanding.

Are you ready to dramatically improve the results in your life? Reach out to us at 

Full Audio Transcript

Welcome. This is episode nine of the Entrepreneurial Personality Type Podcast. This is loops and spirals; entrepreneurial loops and spirals. If episode eight was about suppression, what the world does to people like us, how the world suppresses people like us, you'll remember what I said, that people like us, are not supported by the system, we either game the system or survive the system, but the system was never made for us. And we get suppressed constantly, throughout our lives.

In fact, so many entrepreneurs call back from the end of their careers to entrepreneurs at the beginnings of theirs and say things like, let the magic in you show. There's more here; there's more for you to give. There's more for you to leave behind. Stop being self-conscious. Just get out and do it.

We've heard these messages forever. And that is messages against suppression. Now, entrepreneurial loops and spirals are what we do to ourselves. In fact, these are the behavioral patterns that we do, or that we conduct, over and over and we get either the same or a deteriorating result. These are those things in our lives where we puzzle ourselves as to why we keep doing them.

These loops, these spirals are those decisions we make to yet again, move in a direction that we know will cause us pain. We know will cause us constraint. But in the moment, we do it anyway. And I want to help you out of these. I want to help you undo loops and spirals in your life. I want to help you get past loops and spirals in your life.

Here's a simple question: do you identify with being a momentum-based being? When I say that word momentum, you tell me, do you hear it or do you feel it and hear it? I know I feel that word. I need momentum.

And do you identify with being an evolutionary hunter? With always having been on the hunt, always being driven to do next, to go in a direction to make things happen. So if you do, then you probably have identified that innate motivation. You have that drive to get to your next destination.

I was just talking about this this morning with James Swineley. As you approach your goal, your kill, as you go on the hunt and you get closer and closer, as you approach what you've been aiming for, it loses importance just as quickly as it gained it. And it's that need to be on the hunt, that need to move towards our next thing, that need to do more that causes loops and spirals.

In fact, as an evolutionary hunter, when you lose momentum in your life, what will you do to get it back? Here's what I'm told, when I go to large rooms of entrepreneurs and ask that question, they say things like, "Well, just about anything." This is exactly how we get into entrepreneurial loops and spirals.

In fact, it starts with a perceived loss of momentum. And here's why I say perceived loss of momentum, we enter into loops, we enter into spirals, when we feel like there isn't enough going on in our lives, when we feel like there's a loss of momentum.

Now, I say perceived loss of momentum, because if we were measuring what was going on, if we were looking at something in our lives and we would choose that thing and fix it, but that's not how we get into loops and spirals. See, we have this perceived loss of momentum and we move towards what I call unintentional consumption.

We get into this place where we're not moving forward, and we say, "Hey, I need to take something on, I need to learn something, I need to do something, I need to repeat something, I need to have a behavior that makes me get back into momentum." And so here's what happens: we have this perceived loss of momentum, we move towards unintentional consumption, it's like, give me something, and we feel a gain by just making that decision.

Here's how it works in real life. You know, you feel alone in the day, a perceived loss of momentum, you go jump on a podcast, a sales page, a YouTube video, whatever it is for you, and it gets you back up, but is it something that's actually moving you forward? Is it something you're applying, because when it's just unintentional consumption, it's a momentary stimulation, but here's what happens: we feel gain from having done that, from just making the decision to do it.

Then we go watch, we do, whatever it is, and now we're consuming that thing, we're watching the video and we have this increased feeling of gain. So, like, this is how it works. You feel a perceived loss of momentum, you go to buy a ticket for a seminar, just in making the decision to buy the ticket, there's this perceived gain. You feel the gain.

Then you go attend the seminar, you're in the seminar, how much more of a chemical gain, how much more of a rush can you get from actually being there? Much, much more. We actually get a leverage feeling of gain when we consume. And here's what happens, after we consume that leverage feeling of gain, we get up onto a place of momentum except for the fact that we didn't really plan to do anything, we just consumed unintentionally and we have this reflective, instinctive momentum check in our bodies that says, "Hey, did we win here? Did we move forward? Did we actually go on the hunt? Did we kill here?" And your momentum is checked against what you did.

You listened to a podcast. You consumed something unintentionally. Did it move you forward? Probably not, and when you're unable to verify momentum, there's a feeling of loss and then we have this reinforced belief that we're losing momentum. What does that do? It sends us right back to the thing to do it again.

So let me take you through this one more time, but I'm going to use a really distinct example. The conference. I remember when I was 19 years old, I attended the Tony Robbins conference. It changed my life.

I was starting a new business with my friend Price. I wanted a lot of motivation all at once. I had read a lot of Tony Robbins' stuff. I knew what I was getting. I went to the conference. It was incredible, and I think it was one of the biggest shifts in trajectories I've ever had.

While I was there, I remember a woman coming up to me and saying, "Hey, is this your first time?" And I thought, "Yeah, it's my first time. It's been the same conference forever, you come and you see it and you're done, right?" She says, "Well, I've been 18 times." And I remember thinking, "Why would you have to go see the same thing 18 times?"

Well, I think what happens is, for some people when they feel that perceived loss of momentum, their life isn't moving forward, they find that conference to attend. Now, as soon as you buy the ticket for the conference, like I said before, you have this feeling of chemical gain, this rush of, "Hey, I've moved in a direction!"

You know, there's a reason, I'll share with you in just a moment, evolutionarily, there's a reason that you and I are hardwired this way and loops and spirals work against us, to when we get into something like this, it's circular, because what happens is, we make the decision to buy the ticket. A chemical gain, we feel like we're moving forward. We have that rush of momentum.

Then we attend the event, the conference. We're there; we're with all the people. Is the chemical rush higher at that point? Infinitely higher. Now you feel like you've achieved something. But then a month later, six months later, eight months later? Your brain has this evolutionary status check that says, "Hey, have you actually moved forward? Did anything happen?"

And when you find that it probably didn't because you attended the conference, you didn't know what you wanted, it felt great, but a lot didn't get applied, and so you can't verify that gain? You have this nagging, "Well, actually have I moved forward at all?" You feel that loss I talked about and what do so many people do?

They go right back to another conference to feel that rush, that gain, to move in a direction. We are chemically wired to do this. I was sharing this pattern with one of my classes, my in-person classes, once, and a friend of Kay's and mine was in the audience and when I shared this example of the conference, she broke down crying. She said, to everybody in the class, that she felt like she had been in this pattern for seven years, and she would, right there, in the chair, said, "I just had this realization. This is what I've been doing. I've gone from conference to conference to event to event. I haven't applied anything. It's been the thing that's been making feel like I'm moving forward and I don't believe that this is what I've been doing."

And I remember, she changed in an instant. Her business is incredible now. She's actually running two different ones. And her outlook on life is totally different. She's changed how she perceives things; how she moves forward. She had this realization that she was stuck in this pattern.

Where in your life are you seeing this pattern, where you're doing the same thing over and over again? And this can be consuming food, this can be consuming alcohol, drugs, it can be consuming just about anything. Let me show you why loops and spirals keep us chemically attached and keep us in this loop. See, the perceived loss of momentum for us, evolutionarily as evolutionary hunters was that the tribe needs food.

And how driven would we be to go and solve the tribe needs food? This is a matter of survival. So yes, your evolutionary loops, your spirals. You start going to those conferences. You start listening to the podcast. You start doing unintentional consumption. It can start to feel like you need it to survive.

And chemically, what happens is, the tribe needs food, perceived loss of momentum, let's go on a hunt. That's that move towards unintentional consumption. But evolutionarily, we would have hunted. We would have had a goal. We would have an outcome. Today, we can move in a direction and feel like we're creating momentum but we're just spinning our wheels, because if you wanted to get up every day and consume free content, all day, you could go the rest of your life and it would never be done.

You know, this is so chemically-wired into us that what happens is, when we decide to go on the hunt, that little chemical rush we get, evolutionarily, did we need this? Yes. The population that was willing to go out and kill things needed that evolutionary boost, that trigger, that chemical rush that said you're doing the right thing, because if we were to be in a hunting tribe with sticks and stones, somebody would get hurt. Somebody would have an issue. We would have seen our friends die. The fact is, there has to be an evolutionary cue or trigger to keep us in this.

And so we feel positive about the decision to even go on the hunt. Then, we hunt, and the rush is massive, for evolutionary hunters, going on that told them they were in the right direction. They were in momentum and you know what it feels like to be in momentum, to be on the hunt, it's when we feel alive.

But then because we're hunters and because the tribe must survive, we ask ourselves, "Did we kill anything?" And if we didn't, if we don't have anything for the tribe, then we go back and hunt again. Now evolutionarily, this is what kept the human tribe alive. The challenge today is this chemical pattern of loops and spirals for entrepreneurs is no longer just keeping the tribe alive. In fact, it's keeping many of us stuck in place, or even worse, racing backwards.

In fact, when I looked at the behavior of some entrepreneurs, they're listening to the same stuff over and over again. They're doing the same things over and over again, who are just not getting a result. So take a moment now and think to yourself, where is it in your life that you're stuck in a pattern where you're doing the same thing over and over and you're not getting that result?

There is a chemical tie to that pattern that once realized, loses some of its hold on you and you can make the decision to move away from it, to replace it with something else, to put something in place where you're actually tracking your progress forward and you're moving your life forward in real momentum.

So, loops and spirals happen to every one of us, including me. In fact, I'm diligent. I check and I make sure that what I'm doing in my life is leading to a result, is leading to an outcome and is getting me to where I want to go all the time. You can do the same today.

If you have a minute, download our book, The Entrepreneurial Personality Type. It's a deeper dive into this content and it will give you a format you can follow, a framework you can follow. It's pretty exciting. Last week, on Thursday, we called my literary agent, Nina Madonia, who is one of the most honest, transparent, loyal, and driven people I've ever known. When I sent her stuff that wasn't good, she told me it wasn't good. When I sent her stuff that was a bad idea, she told me it was a bad idea. We talked to Nina about getting us a book deal, and she's pretty impressive. She represents some of the most well-known non-fiction writers in the world.

Like, anybody on OWN, a lot of people on the OWN Network, Liev Schrieber, I know a part of Oprah's entourage. It's amazing how many people Nina knows and how well she is connected in the industry. 48 hours after we talked to her, maybe 24, it was 24 hours after we talked to her, the next day, we had a deal for a book based on the manuscript that is at the URL, So if you go to to, you'll be able to download your own copy of the Entrepreneurial Personality Type, formatted specifically for mobile, so it's easy to read, and see the manuscript that got us a book deal in 24 hours. And thank you for being a listener of the Entrepreneurial Personality Type Podcast.

If you're not yet, become a subscriber today. Help us out with our iTunes ranking, and thanks for being here.

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