ARE YOU THE ENTREPRENEUR PERSONALITY TYPE?

Alex Charfen Tips

  • Discover if you are the entrepreneur personality type or the EPT
  • In order to start a company and grow a business, behavioral change is absolute
  • Entrepreneurs: don't buy anything. Stop buying stuff.
  • Entrepreneurs are the hunters in our trib

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Doug:    Well welcome back listeners. Welcome to another episode of Real Marketing, Real Fast. Today I've got a guest with me who I think you're really going to enjoy. He's got a totally different approach and a take on marketing. I'd like to introduce Alex Charfen. He is the co-founder and CEO of CHARFEN. He is a trainer and educator, and he runs membership organizations for entrepreneurs in small businesses. Alex has dedicated his life to answering the question, “How do we make our business grow?” Which evolved into a larger calling to understanding how do you help people grow? This transition led him to uncover previously mislabeled and misunderstood population among us, called the entrepreneur personality type, or the EPT.

The past two decades Alex has created and curated proven business philosophies, models and strategies geared toward and specifically for entrepreneurs. As an expert in business growth having personally consulted for billionaires, Fortune 500 and Global 100 companies, Alex is invited to share his strategies with business owners around the world. He is regularly called up on by major media outlets including MSNBC, CNBC, Fox News, the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, The Huffington Post, to provide his unique views and insights. Alex and his family live in Austin, Texas. I'd like to welcome Alex to the show.

Alex Charfen:    Thanks for having me man, I'm really excited to be here Doug.

Doug:    Yeah, I really got excited when I started looking at a little bit more of your background, and we had a little discussion offline. So why don't we start with my nagging question after reading your bio and background, and what is EPT.

Alex Charfen:    It's the entrepreneurial personality type. It's my research, Doug. You know, I guess the easiest way to explain it is to explain a little bit about myself, is that okay?

Doug:    Yeah sure, feel free.

Alex Charfen:    So Doug, I was always a fundamentally different kid. I'm 45 years old, but I remember my childhood really well. And I was one of those kids who, like it wasn't so much that I didn't fit in, it was that I didn't even belong in the system. I was so separated from everyone else that I used to feel like I was like some alien, or like I was put here accidentally. And I struggled like crazy. I had a hard time in school. I went from remedial education, where you get extra help, to gifted and talented, back to normal classes, back to gifted and talented, and then I finished in normal classes. Which just leaves you confused. When I was in second grade I heard teachers say I was functionally retarded, and when I was in third grade I heard like genius level IQ.

So I just stopped listening. And yeah, it was brutal. And you know I'm dyslexic, dysmorphic, dysgraphic, I have a hard time with calendars and with a lot of systems. And so I was always like struggling as a kid. And so when I was younger I didn't know where to access success. So I started reading self-help books when I was about eight or nine years old. And I know that's super young. So I mean I started out awkward, then you go read like Wayne Dyer and [inaudible 00:03:07] and Tony Robbins-like then you're crazy awkward. My teachers are telling me about math and I'm trying to talk to them about the power of intention and where I think the goals are. Didn't work out very well.

Doug:    That's funny.

Alex Charfen:    But here was the problem. When I read Personal Development, I started seeing all of these conflicts. Like the first book I read was great. Then the second one was pretty good. Then the third one conflicted with the first, and by the time I got to 10 books they were all arguing with each other. And as a kid, all I could hear was the argument. So I stopped reading self-help, in fact, I kind of decided I hated self-help, even though today I love it and I'm in the industry. But the conflict was too much, and what I did was I started reading about successful people. And I remember like the first few biographies I read, it was like, “Wait a second. The secrets are here, you just have to read what people did and you'll see it.”

And that was the premise that I started with. And I'm super obsessive. I've been diagnosed with ADD, ADHD, Asperger's, all kinds of stuff, autism. But like I didn't care, I just started reading. And even though I have dyslexia, when I'm alone I can read pretty quick. And I started getting like every biography, autobiography, third party count, everything I could find about successful people. And I went out looking for this thing called success that I thought was going to be magical and different and unique. And Doug, I found the absolute opposite. What I found was every person that I read about who was successful, who went out and changed the world, started their lives just like I did. You know, Einstein couldn't tie his shoes. He didn't speak until he was four years old. They thought he was retarded.

Like the second I read that I was like, “Oh my gosh, a kindred spirit.” He failed algebra, just like I did. I thought like if Einstein can do all that and fail algebra, then maybe I'm not completely doomed. And then Edison was kicked out of school at five years old for being too slow like the school literally said they couldn't teach him. He's one of the smartest men in history, he changed the entire world. You know, and Newton, who discovered gravity, like you read about it and you think, “Oh he discovered gravity because an apple hit him in the head.” But what nobody talks about is the fact that he was sitting in an apple orchard all by myself because he was completely anti-social and didn't understand people.

Doug:    Yeah that's interesting. I totally relate to everything you've said and do remember back the days and people going, “Who's Dale Carnegie? Why are you reading that book?”

Alex Charfen:    Right, you know exactly what I'm talking about. How to Win Friends and Influence People was like my bible. I carried that thing around for years. I actually had a copy of How to Win Friends and Influence People that on a trip to Brazil just exploded. Like the whole binding came off, pages went everywhere. And then I had to buy a new one. But like here's what happened. The more that I read about successful people, the more that I saw these patterns that convinced me that I could do stuff. And so through … I won't go through my whole career, but through a series of fortunate events, I was one of those kids that as a kid I always started businesses. At eight years old I was selling stuff to the neighbors. Then I had a business selling candy to kids in junior high until they shut me down. Then I had a window washing company in high school.

Then in college, I had a financial consultancy that we sold to a company in Florida. I went out to Florida, tried to do a one year earn-out. Made it eight months. I was never meant to be an employee, and I quit and ended up going on an interview with a friend of mine who owned a consultancy. And we interviewed with Fuji Media. And at 21 years old, I became a consultant at the Fortune 500 level. And so that was my early career. I worked with Fuji Media, SanDisk, Fuji Digital. We had clients like Memorex. I worked with big retailers like Home Shopping Network, Walmart, Radio Shack, all of the office superstores, even though now there's just one. All of the computer super stores, even though none exist now, Best Buy. Like a lot of the companies I worked with aren't around anymore.

But I had this wild experience. Because as a kid, I obsessed over successful people and then I got into this world where I was in the C suite of these businesses. I was hanging out with people who had 10 figures in wealth. I was seeing up close and personal what real success looked like. And you know what I found Doug? More of the same. One of the reasons that I got along so well with people who were, had a billion dollars in wealth, or had massive companies, or were growing huge organizations, was they were just like me. And I saw the same characteristics in them that I saw in me. And it was bizarre. And so the EPT was actually created in a weird way. About three years ago I sat down to write a book called Constructive Company about the right way to build a business.

And in fact, I'm a huge Peter Drucker fan. I've got every one of his books, I've read them all. And I was going to rewrite the book called The Construct of a Corporation, and make it for entrepreneurs, and make it so that any one of us could apply it to a business. And I was writing the book proposal, not even the book, and I got to the place where it says, describe your reader, and I couldn't Doug. I had to describe entrepreneurs and it was like nothing I wrote in 200 words was big enough. And it was frustrating. Because like I wanted it to be significant, I wanted it to be real. And everything I wrote was like, just it didn't feel like enough. And so I was really struggling this day, where I was trying to get done with the proposal.

I got up, I walked around, I went and talked to my wife, I got some water, I came back and I sat down. And I started like a new document and forgot about they book proposal, and I'm like, “Okay, I'm just going to write about they entrepreneur and like what do I think.” And I wrote over 20,000 words in a weekend. It was over half a book.

Doug:    Wow, that's crazy.

Alex Charfen:    It was crazy. It was like it poured out. Like Doug, I can't tell you how many times I was typing through tears. Because this whole career that I have, working with wildly successful people, I felt like it was this like gift at that point. And I realized how much I had really seen and learned and observed. And as I wrote I started … like I had this thought that we are all so much more the same than we are different. And not everyone in the world, but the entrepreneurial personality type people like you and I, you know we're hard-wired different than the rest of the world. And that weekend it was like all of the disparate highways and roads and cross streets that were in my mind arguing, all merged into this superhighway and it was like I could see clearly that we are just different.

And throughout history, the entrepreneurial personality type has been the only consistent source of positive human evolution, and we always will be. Because we are that small percentage of the population that gets up every day, and regardless of the vulnerability it exposes us to, regardless of the criticism that we take on, regardless of the personal risk that everybody else observes, we will do what it takes to go out and make new outcomes in the world. Go ask what's on the other side of that hill? How do we make this better? How do we make this bigger? How do we create something different in the world? And we are not like everyone else. And when that finally came together and came out, it was as close to a religious experience as I've ever had.

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Doug:    Well I got a question, then listening to what you're talking about. You know, I understand you said the entrepreneur's different, and you're right. There's obviously lots of vulnerability and there's a reason that we wake up before the alarm rings every day, and we work the way that we work. But, looking at my experience and some of the clients I've worked with, why do you think that some entrepreneurs like you're talking about, have access to seven, eight, nine, ten figure earners, and others just never get there?

Alex Charfen:    Oh man, there are so many different reasons.

Doug:    Well, while you're thinking, I mean I've worked in this industry, and I've worked in email marketing for a while. But the difference between my clients and most of my competitor's clients, is most of my clients spend $250,000 US a week for a 12-week program to raise money for the Venture Capital Deal. So right away that sets me in a different ballpark of the guys doing email marketing charging $5000 a month.

Alex Charfen:    Sure.

Doug:    And I don't know why I'm there and they're not, other than I ask.

Alex Charfen:    You know Doug when I look at the different levels of success of entrepreneurs, it's how committed is an entrepreneur to their outcome, and how willing are they to change behavior? Because that's really the two things that it takes. You know in order to start a company and grow a business, behavioral change is absolute. The difference between startup and long-term growth and stability is 100% behavioral change. Nothing you do as an entrepreneur is going to remain the same. And so depending on the individual, it's what is that person doing so that they can cope with and overcome and understand how to continue to change behavior?

Because far too many of us get stuck. You know there's 29 million businesses in the United States, 90% of them are single operators working on their own. Only 3% of businesses ever get to a million dollars, and only four out of a thousand ever get to 10 million. And I believe the reason is, the vast majority of entrepreneurs have a hard time finding the right behaviors to change, and then making the behavioral change and sticking to it so that they can ascend to a higher level of entrepreneurial contribution and outcome.

Doug:    Wow, I would guess that you're bang on. I mean people won't change. People are afraid of change. I like change because what I normally see is people put their head in the sand so then why have a really good view?

Alex Charfen:    Right, exactly. And the fact is this, you know if you're an entrepreneur listening, and you're like, “Wait, I think he's right, but what behaviors do I change?” Or, “How do I do this?” For most entrepreneurs, if they understand where they are, if they understand what they should do next, then they'll just go out and do it and ascend to the next level. But what happens for most of us, especially in today's world of wildly confusing marketing messages and webinars of how you can make a million dollars in 90 days while you watch Netflix, and all kinds of crazy stuff like that, that have set these just broken expectations for entrepreneurs of what it is to grow a business and have success. Because the fact is, if you want to grow a successful business as an entrepreneur, then your behavior has to change through every level of growth.

You know what gets you out of startup mode will crush you as you grow your business. What gets you out of that next level of business where you're building systems and strategies, will break you down when you build a team. And what helps you build that first solidified team around you that actually helps you move forward, will destroy you if you try to do, you build a leadership team the same way. So we have to consistently modify our behaviors, change how we approach the business and then look at what is really causing the business to grow at each new level we're in?

Doug:    Well before we got on the podcast we had a quick conversation and we talked, or I talked or mentioned to you about all the people selling courses online and often, when you look behind the curtain, well I won't say often, almost always I'm disappointed. When I see behind the curtain I'm thinking, “Really, why can't people do more?” And so I want to open that up because I think you've got a bit of a probably a controversial approach or a recommendation to your clients. So what is your advice that you give your clients when they go to events?

Alex Charfen:    Don't buy anything. Stop buying stuff. Like you don't need anything. Unless they have something that's highly focused, here's the challenge Doug, is that entrepreneurs will go to an event without clarity on what they need. And then they will buy, whoever has the best sales pitch at that event. And then whatever that product is will become their new focus, whether it is or isn't what's going to move them forward. And unfortunately, you know I've been to events where I watched one entrepreneur walk down an aisle way in a show floor and buy three different things that all conflict with each other, because they hear the right sales pitch. And these days, you know, for entrepreneurs, I coach all of my clients to avoid unintentional consumption. Here's what I think one of the biggest places that entrepreneurs today are leaking productivity like crazy, they're not moving forward, they're plateaued, they're hitting glass ceilings.

It's because they're consuming content that doesn't matter to where they are. You know, Gary Vee, God bless him, he's a great guy, I've met him, he's an interesting entrepreneur, I don't agree with a lot of what he says. But, if you're somebody who is just starting out and you need to hustle and you want some motivation, and you want somebody to get you riled up, then listen to some Gary Vee. But if you're building a team, it's time to hit stop. You don't need to hustle anymore. You don't need someone yelling at you about how hard it is to be an entrepreneur, you don't need to have someone all jacked up and crazy all the time. You need to start looking at how do you become a transformational leader? How do you build the team around the core values that you have?

How do you create a forward-looking planning system so everyone on your team knows where you're going? If you're still listening to Gary Vee say, “Hustle and get up, and do this …”, you're just going to be running around your business making your team unhappy. And I think that today, one of the biggest issues for entrepreneurs is, there's an abundance of information available for free. But you have to remember, your probably going to get what you paid for.

Doug:    Absolutely. The first guy that I ever heard talk about unplugging and consuming less content was Tim Ferriss.

Alex Charfen:    Yeah, Tim's a good guy, we've been in a couple memberships together. Yeah, and I think-

Doug:    And for me that was foreign, he's going, “Unsubscribe, you don't need all that stuff. It's just taking your time.” And so what I did, was I kind do a reflection every year, and I look at where I spend my time and where my time wasters are, and what can I disguise as work which is really procrastination. Well, I can take webinars and I can read more content instead of just getting on with it, making some mistakes and learning and going forward.

Alex Charfen:    Yeah, it's a game changer, because if as entrepreneurs we stay in that mentality that you got you there, and the skill set that got you there, and the habits that got you there, are probably going to hurt you moving forward.

Doug:    So can you explain a little bit what you meant when you said that people that are in the marketing business are definitely EPT people?

Alex Charfen:    You know what? I'm going to qualify you as an EPT, is that fair Doug?

Doug:    Sure, go ahead.

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Alex Charfen:    Okay. So I hate to take over your podcast, but this is the funnest way to do it because let's just see if your an EPT. See I-

Doug:    Well, I'll let you know if it's fun at the end.

Alex Charfen:    Yeah you can … I'll let you know if I'm going to release this podcast, just kidding. So there's four different categories of people in the world, and I want you to qualify to see what category you're in. And it's clear, like think of the population of the world, and the first big category of people out there, I call them the caretakers. These are the people that want to take care of other people. They help other people. They want to be there to serve other people. And what's interesting is when I share this with entrepreneurs, almost 100% of them go, “Oh that's me. Because I really like other people, I want to help other people.” So the qualification question for this one Doug is, do you like to change bedpans?

Doug:    No.

Alex Charfen:    Okay, and you kind of laugh about it right?

Doug:    Yeah.

Alex Charfen:    Most entrepreneurs do. But here's a trip. Like I have absolutely been around people who have changed a bedpan, and I'm always sitting there going like, “God that sucks, why is that person doing it?” And I've asked like, “Hey, do you like to change bedpans?” And I've had a caretaker turn to me and 100% congruently and somewhat emotionally say something like, “Well Alex, if that bedpan needed changing and I was here and could provide service, and I was helpful to that person, then I feel like that's exactly where I should be. And yes, I like changing bedpans.”

Doug:    Sure, that makes sense.

Alex Charfen:    Right? And Doug, I'm always thinking like, “Holy crap, I feel like I should have written a bigger check.” Right?

Doug:    I'm married to someone who's like that, who is a caregiver.

Alex Charfen:    You know what? A lot of entrepreneurs are, because we need that in our lives because we're not good at it. In fact, like if we look at our evolutionary tribe, go back thousands of years ago, and I'm not making an argument about evolution as like the Big Bang Theory or evolution. Let's not get into that. But human evolution exists. Anybody who says that humans aren't evolving just doesn't look at math. The human being has gotten bigger, stronger, faster, more intelligent over the last hundred years, just with the data we have. So humans have been evolving forever. And when we look at our evolutionary tribe, you go back a few thousand years, did we need caretakers?

Absolutely. And we need them today. So they serve a vital function in the tribe, but it's not who we are. So let's move on to the second group. We've already disqualified you from caretakers. The second group, I call them the communicators. These are the people who like to talk, and they like to communicate, and they like to share, and they like to carry on oral tradition. Like if you think of our evolutionary tribe, the communicators were the ones that said, “Hey don't go over there there's a cliff. And don't eat this it'll kill you. And there's a Wooly Mammoth over there, so stay here.” And communicators, you can always recognize them because they really like to talk about, just about anything. And here's the disqualifying question for this one. Do you enjoy small talk?

Doug:    No.

Alex Charfen:    Quick answer right? Like you and I are probably very much the same. When I get into a small talk conversation I'm thinking one thing, “How do I escape?”

Doug:    I'm thinking, “Where's the dial where we can speed up this conversation? Just turn it up a few notches.”

Alex Charfen:    No kidding. When I walk into a building here in Austin and it's hot, invariably somebody will go, “Man it's really hot outside isn't it? What do you think?” And I'm always like, in my head I'm thinking, “Why are you talking about this? The weather is not a relevant conversation. Of course, it's hot outside, who gives a crap, let's move on.” But I normally say something like, “Yeah, it's pretty hot.” Now, you're not a communicator, but like did our tribe need communicators? Yes. Because we needed people who would carry on oral tradition, who felt compelled to talk about everything, who felt compelled to talk about things that maybe you and I find completely unimportant. And you always tell when you get two communicators together because they can have a 45-minute conversation at a water cooler about a half hour TV show. I can't do that, can you?

Doug:    TV, what's that?

Alex Charfen:    Yeah, exactly. I don't even watch TV much less have the conversation. So we know you're not a communicator. The third group of people that is in the world, I call them the … these are the organizers, the memorizers. These are the people who want to put things in order. They're the people who want to … they really like fine print. They like contracts, not because there's a deal, but because there's a contract. And there is an easy disqualifying question for this one. You know you're in this group if you really enjoy being on committees. So Doug, how many committees have you been on that you loved?

Doug:    A few, a few for-

Alex Charfen:    Have you really?

Doug:    Yeah, a few not for profits that I was helping, yep.

Alex Charfen:    Okay, so what part of the committee did you like?

Doug:    Helping them move forward and raise more money.

Alex Charfen:    Did you like the process of the committee, the committee meetings?

Doug:    No, it was very structured. And yeah, I'm not a big … I don't like the fine print, I just like the big, bold headlines and the sub-headlines, and then show me the bottom line.

Alex Charfen:    So you were involved in the committee for the outcome but not for the committee?

Doug:    Right.

Alex Charfen:    Okay, so I still am not going to qualify you as one of the organizers and memorizers because when you look at this group, what they really live for is the process. They love the organization, they love the memorization, they love the systems, the fine print. In fact, you know an organizer and memorizer when you meet them, and they'll tell you like, “Oh I sit on 26 committees.” You know they're in it for the committee, not the outcome.

Doug:    Yeah, I'm not on any anymore.

Alex Charfen:    Yeah, me neither, me neither. And I don't volunteer for them. And so we've gone through the first three groups. We have the caretakers, the communicators, the organizers, and memorizers, and then there's the fourth group. The fourth group, if we look at our evolutionary tribe, we have a group that takes care of people. We have the group that communicates oral tradition, let's people know what's going on. We have that third group, the organizers. Man did we need them? Absolutely. They let us know when seasons are coming, they make sure there's food for the winter, they make sure things are in order. Because you and I would forget it. Now if the evolutionary tribe has those things, what is that fourth group? What are they missing?

Doug:    Vision and leadership.

Alex Charfen:    Yeah. See I think when I look at if we're taken care of, we're communicating, and we have things set up and organized, our evolutionary tribe just needs that group that goes out and hunts and kills things. And when I look at the entrepreneurial personality type, I believe we are the evolutionary hunters. The people who get up every day, and we are hard-wired to press forward. And this third group is the entrepreneurial personality type. We are those that can't turn it off and don't know why anyone would want to. And the fact is, we are hard-wired completely differently than the rest of the world. Because think about it, caretakers, communicators, organizers, they all live in the present. And the evolutionary hunter lives for the hunt. We live for what will happen. We live for what we will do.

And it's weird because if you're hardwired like you and me, you can see that evolutionary wiring everywhere. Because we are enthusiastic about going after a goal. But one of the most depressing things or one of the most nonexciting things we do is achieve a goal. Aren't you like me, Doug, in that as you approach the finish line to a goal, it starts losing importance to you with the speed with which you're approaching it?

Doug:    Yeah, that's weird. I'd never heard anyone say that before. Last year I wanted to do a photo shoot for a fitness magazine. I'm writing a book on health and wellness which I just finished. And so I had all this prep work with my trainer to get ready for this fitness magazine. I went and did the shoot, and then my wife's going, at Christmas she's going, “That was like four months ago, have you even picked your pictures from the photographer?” I went, “Nah.”

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Alex Charfen:    Because it didn't matter anymore.

Doug:    No, it was just getting to that point, and you're right. And I've got all these photos that this professional photographer has done, and until I select them it's not going to run in the magazine. And I'm going like, “Yeah, it's kind of anti-climatic now.”

Alex Charfen:    Right, because doesn't it make sense Doug, that there's this small population in the world that is driven to get up every single day, go on the hunt, go out into the future, create a new reality, come back to the present and insist it becomes real. And as we approach a finish line, as we make our kill, it is taken away from us so that we go out and hunt again. Because we are that small part of the population that was put here to keep the tribe alive. And we have evolved to be the entrepreneurs, the creators, the people who want to make new, the people who are on stage writing the scripts, putting themselves out there, making things different in the world. And while the rest of the world, every communicator, caretaker, and coordinator out there wake up every day and says, “How do we keep everything the same?”

We get up every day and say, “How do we make it different? How do we make it better? How do we make it new?” And so if anyone listening, or you Doug, has ever felt like there are people out to get you just because of who you are, let me confirm your suspicions. They absolutely are. Because there are factions within each one of those groups that want to see us regulated, red-taped, shut down and stopped. Because we are a threat to the rest of the population. They don't want everything to change. They don't want everything to be new. They want it to stay the same. That's why evolutionary hunters need our tribe.

Because when we get into the wrong room, when we get into the wrong situation like we can't even understand what people are thinking or doing. But when we're around people who are like us, it feels like we're around family. Because for millennia, we have been that small group that gets up, goes out and makes things happen.

Doug:    Yeah, I mean I went through a test called Personal Style Indicators, where we were in a room with a bunch of executives and everybody went through this test. And you're kind of put into four or five major categories. And it was interesting because people that were in the same area that I was, we had basically the same feelings towards the other people, that took so long to talk to them, it took so long for them to explain things. And they wanted to sit and hold hands, and build community. And those people looked at us and went, “You guys are arrogant, you charge ahead, you don't lead up.” And it's like, “We're just getting stuff done. Like if you guys would do some more stuff we would not do it all.”

Alex Charfen:    No doubt. And the challenge for us as evolutionary hunters is, we can't turn it off. You know, the fact is, is that psychology just doesn't understand us. That's why so many of us get diagnosed, and medicated, and told that there's something wrong with us. In fact, most entrepreneurs these days have been told that they're broken or diagnosable, or they have a condition. You know I've been told I have ADD, ADHD, Asperger's, autism, and a whole host of other things. So unless you have four aces like I do, I win. And I look at every one of those diagnosed as a badge of honor. Because every person throughout history who ever created something significant in the world had exactly the same symptoms.

Thomas Edison, 10,000 tries to make a light bulb, like that is complete OCD, Asperger's, crazy focus. I mean, I have a poster on my wall that's Morse code my wife got for me that says, “I love you more and more each day,” because I love Thomas Edison. And he proposed to his wife in Morse code by tapping out, “Will you marry me,” on her arm. He was totally disappointed that she didn't answer. He just didn't remember, she didn't understand Morse code.

Doug:    That's hilarious.

Alex Charfen:    So when you look at these diagnoses that we have today, can you imagine what would happen to Thomas Edison today? Like the 911 call is something like, “Officer, I need you to come arrest my neighbor Tom. He's freaking us all out. He's blowing up glass tubes in his garage. I went over to talk to him to find out what he was doing and he told me he was going to turn night into day.” If Edison was around today, he'd be in the back seat of a squad car, shot up with Wellbutrin and we'd all be sitting here in the dark.

Doug:    Yeah, I find it really amazing. Like you said, when you get around a group of people that are entrepreneurs and visionaries like that, that sometimes the thinking of the concepts, especially in my business, in the marketing business, are so far ahead. People are like 10 years behind. They can't even imagine the stuff that's actually happening today.

Alex Charfen:    No doubt, no doubt. And when you look at how people like us have existed throughout history, every visionary has been crazy until they sold something, and then they're a revolutionary. And every one of us has been criticized and condemned, and looked down on and told to sit down, shut up, quit wiggling, and stop making everybody else uncomfortable. But the fact of the matter is, that we are exactly the subpopulation of entire humanity that keeps this species moving forward.

Doug:    Well look at Elon Musk, all the success that he's had. And every time he sidestepped and something didn't go right, the writers and the media were on him like a dog, “Oh, look at what he's failed, and he's failed to do this, and he's failed to do that.” And I look at him going, “Look at the great things he's done for America. Bringing the space program home, manufacturing Made in America, not made in Europe, or not made in Asia.” And so like him or not like him, I read his biography and I was just absolutely amazed at the stuff that we're just seeing today come into play that was pre PayPal.

Alex Charfen:    Oh dude. And when you look at, like let's look at Elon Musk. Because he's an evolutionary hunter of the highest order. That guy is hard-wired differently than anyone else out there right now. And when you look at SpaceX, it all came down to a single rocket launch. He could have lost his entire fortune. The third rocket that launched from SpaceX, he gambled 100% of the money he had in the world to make it happen, and it worked. And when you look at … like I get emotional because people in the world criticize people like Elon Musk. They say they're billionaires, and they're greedy, and they're part of the 1%. And to me, there's no greater insult in the world than to say, part of the 1% the way that the general public does.

Because when you look at any other category of performance Doug, if you're in the top in music, you get a Grammy award. In movies, you get Academy award. In plays you get, whatever the play award is, I can't remember now. But like baseball it's the World Series, football it's the Super Bowl. You win in business, you're part of the one fricken percent, which means you're a bad person. How is it that we criticize the most talented and successful among us when it comes to making money and changing the world? And when you look at Elon Musk specifically, his vision is not to create a car company, it's not to create a space company, it's to change the way we use fossil fluids fuels, and colonize Mars. Like that's really what he's doing.

Doug:    Yeah, I know, it's amazing.

Alex Charfen:    So yeah, it's a totally different way of looking at the world.

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Doug:    So what's the one biography that you felt was the absolutely best biography that you read?

Alex Charfen:    Oh gosh, it's hard to narrow it down. But the ones that I keep next to my desk because through osmosis I want them to rub off on me, are Snowball, Warren Buffett, and Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson.

Doug:    I haven't read either of those, I'll put them on my reading list.

Alex Charfen:    Yeah, and Titan is pretty awesome too, about Carnegie.

Doug:    Yep. So what advice would you give people that are listening today? So we've got people who are going, “Yeah, I think that's me, what's the next step?” Or, “I'm in a marketing role or a creative role in a company.” What would you suggest that they do to take the next step to fully developing their potential?

Alex Charfen:    Well, I mean it's a selfish suggestion, but I think you should download my book called The Entrepreneurial Personality Type. If you go to Freemomentumbook.com, that book will tell you more about yourself than anybody ever has. Because Doug, I think people like you and I, don't really understand the difference between happy and sad. And let me explain what I mean, because I know that sounds somewhat uncorked and crazy. But here's what I mean by that. Most of us have figured out like, okay's on and sad is off. But if I ask an entrepreneurial personality type to give me the difference between sad, frustrated, pissed off, ticked off, confused, upset and just plain not going to talk to you, what's the difference?

Doug:    Like I don't know.

Alex Charfen:    For most of us, that's the same answer for me. Like I never understood it. Doug, do you remember that poster when you were younger, or maybe even a young adult, that at the top said How are you feeling today, and then have like 24 faces on it, and like happy, sad, confused, frustrated? Do you know what I'm talking about?

Doug:    I've heard of the poster, I don't remember it.

Alex Charfen:    Okay so for anybody listening, if you've seen that poster it's going to probably be like in a principal's office, a vice principal's office, disciplinary officer's office, probation office, warden's office, I'm just telling you where I saw it, just kidding, kind of. And I remember every time somebody would put that poster up and say like how are you feeling, it was like a pop quiz I wasn't prepared for. In fact, one of the questions entrepreneurs hate is, “How are you feeling?” Because I'm feeling like I don't want you to ask me that question. And I learned over time that if I just told people, “Sleepy,” I was good because they'd think it was an environmental situation and leave me alone. But here's what I've learned-

Doug:    That's funny.

Alex Charfen:    … No doubt. And it's a fact. The fact is like I never really understood how to tell people how I was feeling. And for the most part, I still don't. And-

Doug:    Just tell them you're no longer contagious, I'm really happy.

Alex Charfen:    … Right, leave me alone. But here's how I think people like you and I are wired, Doug. The sooner we learn this, the sooner our lives change, and the sooner we go forward. I believe we exist in three states and three states only. The first state is, in momentum. Every one of us knows what this feels like. It's that's thing, people refer to it as flow, they refer to it as being in the zone, being in the moment, being connected, connecting to source, like you know, all of those things. And it's those days and times where things are going your way, you're making things happen, you're knocking down your goals, you know the world is following in your wake. Do you know what that feels like Doug?

Doug:    Yeah, absolutely.

Alex Charfen:    What does it feel like for you?

Doug:    I just feel on fire, like I can't sleep. I just want to keep on going, put my foot right down to the gas and I want to look for the nitrous button.

Alex Charfen:    Exactly. And doesn't it make sense that evolutionary hunters, those of us who are pre-programmed to put on a loincloth, grab a stick and expose ourselves to the vulnerability and to the danger of going out are killing something, are hard wired, that when we're on the hunt, we only want more? Because when we're in momentum, that's when we truly feel alive. Now the second state for people like us, we have to watch for this one, it's called, facing resistance. This is that state or time in your life where there is not enough resources, not enough time, the world's conspired against you, you've probably conspired against yourself a little bit too, and you're in that place where you can't see a way forward.

And everybody around you is like, “Hey, you need to do something different,” but then you see a tiny light at the end of the tunnel, and the rest of the people in your live are like, “Hey Doug, it's a train,” but you move towards that light, you compel it towards you, you compel yourself towards it, and you finally step through it. And that is where you, in fact, define your life. Do you know what I'm talking about Doug?

Doug:    Yeah, I call that focus. I tell people that when I'm really focused, I steal a line from Dan Kennedy, says, “if the building's on fire, don't interrupt me unless I'm in imminent danger.”

Alex Charfen:    Exactly. Because when we're in that place where we are facing resistance and we are headed towards that light, you know what happens? We create momentum. We do it again. And that where we become who we are. Now the third state, this is the one you have to be careful for. It's called, being in constraint. This is where you can't see the light at the end of the tunnel, where the situation conspires against you to the point where you don't know what direction to go, where you can't see the next steps, where you feel like you are stuck. And for people like us, this is the most damaging feeling in the world. Do you know what I'm talking about Doug?

Doug:    I do. That's normally when I'll go for a hike, or hit the gym, or just clear my mind.

Alex Charfen:    Yeah, I mean I've been there. And for some of us, we get into a place where you can't get out of it immediately. And one of the biggest challenges for us being in constraint is that as an evolutionary hunter, we are bad at standing still. We're almost like sharks. We have to be creating momentum and we feel like we're dying. And here's what happens Doug, see if you can relate to this. When you feel in constraint, especially if it's for a prolonged period. Like you talk to people who have been in challenging relationships, bad partnerships, you know bad situations in their life, and that feeling of constraint first affects you physically. Like almost immediately we feel fatigued and broken down, and we don't have as much stamina. Wouldn't you agree?

Doug:    Absolutely.

Alex Charfen:    So physiologically it affects us. Second, it affects us cognitively. Like we don't think as clearly. We don't think as fast. We don't think as straight. We have a hard time seeing the next decision. Would you agree with that?

Doug:    I would, yep.

Alex Charfen:    And here's the big one, Doug. It affects us chemically. We actually show the effects of chemical depression, or agitation, or reactivity or frustration. And we have that chemical drag. And so when you look at being in constraint causes physiological, cognitive, and chemical drag, it holds us back in all those places. However, when we go out and create momentum, we are physiologically boosted. Doug, do you know that feeling of actually having more stamina because you're so excited about something?

Doug:    Yeah, yeah I do.

Alex Charfen:    And we're not just physiologically boosted, we're cognitively boosted. Like we can connect better with where we want to go. We see better decisions. We make them quicker. It's like we have fewer challenges finding our path forward. And then the third part, and this is the important one. When we are in momentum, we are chemically boosted. We are the population on earth that is most likely to be diagnosed with something. Evolutionary hunters don't look like the rest of the population. We don't have time for the feelings that everybody else does. When you're on the hunt and going forward, you can't feel. You have to execute, do and make it happen. And being in momentum is what we live for.

So when we fall out of it, we disconnect from our essence and who we are. And, that's when you go in to see the wrong person, and they'll give you a little sheet of paper called the prescription, and give you some pill that's going to cut off the mind-body connection that is how you navigate the world. Because entrepreneurial personality types, here's the definition. We are physiologically sensitive momentum based beings that are highly reactive to constraint. And when we are confronted with constraint, it will destroy us. It will hold us back, it will break down our bodies. We will not feel like who we are. And today, constraint comes in a pill.

Because the prescriptions that we're given are not to enhance the mind-body connection, they're to cut off some part of the mind-body connection, and that just leaves us lost. Because for entrepreneurs, we don't need pills. We need to be in momentum, achieving, on the hunt, making things happen, and we will be everything we need to be in the world.

Doug:    Yeah, and be in the right tribe to do that.

Alex Charfen:    No question.

Doug:    So what advice do you think is in our industry that is the wrong advice?

Alex Charfen:    In the market-

Doug:    So what bad advice to you think people are given, or entrepreneurs are given?

Alex Charfen:    Oh man. I think that the worst advice today that entrepreneurs are given, is that hustle and killing yourself, and wearing yourself down, and working more than the next guy is the way to create success. And while it does take hard work and it does take a tremendous amount of focus in order to create success, I think what's happened in today's world is that beating yourself up and breaking yourself down has an entrepreneur has become a badge of honor. And working 120 hour weeks is something people brag about. And the fact is, that when we want to create our greatest outcomes as entrepreneurs it takes focus, it takes awareness, it takes a presence of being there, not running yourself down and not having anything left in the tank.

And I work with entrepreneurs that run million dollar plus businesses, and they're scaling them to eight figures or beyond. And one of the first things we do, is we put together self-care plans. And we look at how much time are you actually devoting to taking care of yourself, to making sure that you as a human being are supported? Because Doug, I did a ton of research on what creates success, and there is patterns, clear patterns. Like you read a hundred biographies of successful people, and they're still confusing, they all look different. It all looks like a different path. But you read 500, 1000, 5000, I've read over 10,000 biographies, autobiographies, third-party accounts, life histories, whatever I could get my hands on.

And here's the fact. Every single person who's created outrageous world-changing success followed a simple pattern. First, they lowered pressure and noise in their lives. I call this the contribution equation. First, they lowered pressure and noise in their lives. Every one of you listening, every one of us, should lower the noise in our lives. Get the pressure out of there. The people, places, and things that are not giving you momentum are taking it away, so get them out of your life. And take care of yourself. You are a million dollar racehorse. If you believe you can create a million dollar business, you're a million dollar racehorse.

And if you owned a million dollar race horse, we'd know it by looking at you. Every entrepreneur should look like a professional athlete because you have the earning potential and the influence potential of a professional athlete. That's step one. Step two, increase protection and support. Thais is a place where we all are terrible. Hunters are not good at asking for help. Because we all know we need more help than the average person to reach our full potential, but any request for protection or support makes us feel vulnerable and exposed. So the faster we can learn how to transparently ask for help, and put up with the feeling of vulnerability and exposure, the faster we go towards creating our greatest contribution.

And if you do those things, you lower pressure and noise, you increase protection and support, your strengths and abilities will just show up. We get getter at entrepreneurs when we lower the noise in our lives, we allow for more space, we increase the help that we're getting, we just start moving in the right direction. And if you do those three things, you can go out and make your greatest contribution. And I just want to define that Doug. Because when people hear me say, “Go out and make your greatest contribution,” often they confuse me with like telling them they should go create a charity. I want to make it clear. I am a capitalist. When people say, “What political party are you?” I say, capitalist because the two political parties we have right now don't represent any of my interests.

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And I think capitalism is a near perfect system. And I will argue that with anybody. Because what does capitalism allow? In it's pure state, it allows you and I to exchange fiat currency for each other's contribution. That changes everything. And for me, when you go out and make your greatest contribution in a capitalist world, capital flows to the greatest contribution. So I don't entrepreneurs to just make a change in the world, I want you to become wildly successful and have a ton of money. Because that proves you've made a world-changing contribution.

Doug:    Well, and when the front of the train stops, the back of the train stops. I mean there's nothing nicer than being able to write five and six-figure checks to charities that you care about. So make your business grow so you can do that.

Alex Charfen:    Yeah, exactly. And whenever an entrepreneur tells me they're going to start a charity, I talk them into growing their business so they can give the money away. Because the fact is, it's a lot easier to grow a business than to go ask people for money. And most of us are terrible at asking for help. Begging for money is really bad.

Doug:    That's so true. So one last question and I'll let you get back to your day. Actually two. Who's one guest that you think I absolutely have to have on the podcast?

Alex Charfen:    For marketing, if you haven't had Russell Brunson yet, you should have him.

Doug:    Yeah, he's an awesome guy. Okay.

Alex Charfen:    He's a good friend of mine, and he's an absolute all-star when it comes to marketing.

Doug:    Yep, he has got the tee shirt, he's a brilliant guy.

Alex Charfen:    Yeah he is.

Doug:    Now what's the best way for people to find you and connect with you?

Alex Charfen:    So there's two ways. You can go to freemomentumbook.com and download the book, The Entrepreneurial Personality Type. And then the best way is to check out my podcast. I do a first-person podcast, I don't do interviews. They're all about, around 8 to 20 minutes long, and it's all about the entrepreneurial personality type and the keystone habits that we can use to create momentum in our lives. You can go to momentumpodcast.com, or you can go to iTunes and look up momentum for the entrepreneurial personality type.

Doug:    Excellent. Well, I make sure that those are all in the show notes, and we've got links there. So I just want to say hey thanks for engaging today. This was a bit of a different conversation. But I think it's a conversation that we obviously need to have. I mean people need to know that we're wired differently, and that's okay. We don't need to be like everybody else. We don't need to fit the mold of the rest of the world. We should just embrace that and learn how to embrace that, and learn like you said, how to take care of yourself. You know I'll share with you when my health book comes out because it demonstrates what happens when you build an eight-figure business at the expense of your health. You get sick.

Alex Charfen:    Oh man, I've been there. When I was in my 20's I built a business to $250,000 million, and I built myself to almost 300 pounds. It almost killed me. You know when I share that with people often Doug, they're like, “Wow that's impressive.” And what I want to say is, “No, it's really not.” Because while I built this incredible business, I almost killed myself so what's the point?

Doug:    Yep, I hear you. And that's why I don't always agree with the grind, grind, grind. I mean I did the grind, grind, grind, and when you're laying in bed for three months and you're wondering whether you're going to live through it, it's like, “That was a bad plan.”

Alex Charfen:    Yeah, no doubt.

Doug:    So thanks again Alex. Hey, thanks listeners for tuning in. I welcome your feedback and comments. If you're not subscribed to iTunes, make sure you subscribe to iTunes. I'll make sure that all of the information that we've got here in the show notes will give you all the references that Alex referred to. So tune back in, we'll see you in a couple days.

Resources

Freemomentumbook.com

Podcast: Momentum for the Entrepreneurial Personality Type (EPT)  

This Book Will Help You Understand Yourself Better Than You Ever Have … So You Can Create Momentum 

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