STAR POWER 2010 Murfreesboro TN - Interview with Alex Charfen
In this edition of Tuesday Morning Coffee Rob "Peanut" Janson sits down with CEO of Star Power and CDPE Alex Charfen in Murfreesboro TN to discuss the Star Power 2010 Conference which was just held in Murfreesboro at Embassy Suites featuring Dave Ramsey as the Keynote Speaker.
ROB: Welcome to another edition of Tuesday Morning Coffee. Obviously, I’m not John Jones. This is my first time ever being the man in front of the camera instead of behind it. But we’re going to do this special edition, STAR Power edition, and John doesn’t know about it. And I think he’ll be pretty surprised when he sees this. I’m Rob Janson, better known as Peanut. I am marketing and technology with our company. And I have with me the man who needs no introduction in the real industry, Alex Charfen.
ALEX: Thanks for having me, Rob.
ROB: So why did you choose Murfreesboro as your spot for the event here?
ALEX: Well Rob, there were several considerations. One was we had Dave Ramsey as a keynote speaker. We wanted to make things convenient for him. And we also wanted to choose an area where we could get a hotel that we kind of controlled the whole hotel. So everybody was in one place—the vendors, the participants, the speakers—everybody kind of got to spend a lot of time together. It was very close quarters, which we wanted. We wanted people to really be able to interact.
We knew it was going to be a smaller conference, and in order to get everything you could out of it, you really could spend a lot of time with each person. Also, it helped a lot that John and you and Joe are here in this area. And John, I can’t thank you enough for all your help with this convention. You really helped make this possible.
ROB: So, you didn’t foresee the flood?
ALEX: Can you imagine had we booked at the Grand Ole Opry, we wouldn’t have an event right now.
ROB: I appreciate you coming even if it’s not just because I’m here. But tell me a little bit about how you got Dave Ramsey as our keynote speaker. That’s pretty interesting for all of us in Middle Tennessee.
ALEX: My Dave Ramsey story is one similar to many people. I found his information through my wife who started reading it probably about 3-1/2 years ago—maybe a little longer. I’m not good with timelines. But when we went through a personal financial reversal, we used Dave Ramsey’s materials to get us through that and we read his books. We read his books; we bought Financial Peace University. You get hired at my company—you might even get one when you interview at my company—we hand everybody a copy of Total Money Makeover.
Even people we haven’t hired. If we can tell that they need some help, we give it to them as a gift. And it has been an absolutely revolutionary thing for our business. And to show you just how amazing it is when you’re doing the right thing, within about two years or three years of reading those materials, I was invited to speak at Dave Ramsey’s Accelerate Conference. And we spoke at accelerate; we saw that there was tremendous synergies between our two companies. Their company has been incredibly gracious about helping us and supporting us as a company.
And from Accelerate to our entire executive team spending the week with the Ramsey Company down in the Bahamas, we asked Dave and he committed to speak here, and I think he shared information that will absolutely change the 500, 600 people, however many showed up to that presentation, I think it will change their lives. And it’s amazing to me that somebody that in two hours can change paradigms, shift belief systems, and really get people started on the path to financial freedom.
ROB: I have never actually seen him speak, and I can say on a personal level he really changed my life.
ALEX: Sure. Oh, I know exactly how you feel, Rob. We go through our lives with such a low level of financial confidence, and everything that Dave teaches is common sense. And everything that he teaches, any one of us can apply. And for me and for Katie, we went through the seven baby steps in about a year and nine months. We went all the way through and now we’re in the wealth-building stage. We haven’t bought a house for cash yet, but we’ve saved all the money to do that. And I can tell you that when you start going through those steps, it changes your relationship with money.
And it changes the outcome with money. And you start budgeting and doing all the things that you’re supposed to do. And really, money changes with you. And the amazing thing is people say money isn’t everything. But I’ll tell you, it sure does make things a lot easier, and I can tell you that financial stress makes things harder. So while money doesn’t buy happiness, the lack of money absolutely buys pain and suffering and all the other things that you just don’t want to have in your life. And that’s why it’s such valuable material.
ROB: Not on a business level, on a personal level, he really spoke to me as a—I’m financially irresponsible.
ALEX: The decision to change your life can be made right now. And if you commit to it right now and you decide that you’re no longer going to be financially irresponsible and you start looking at the value of running your life in a financially prudent way, you can change your life right now. And your life changes. We’ll see the effects in a year or two.
ROB: Right. After being in Murfreesboro, what did you think of our city?
ALEX: You know, I think it’s awesome. It’s great. The people here were incredibly supportive. We went around at a local restaurant, and they were amazing. This is one of the best hotel staffs that we’ve been able to work with. And I think that from an attendee point of view and from our staff’s point of view, I don’t know that we could have been treated any better here. It was absolutely fantastic. And no major hang-ups with the hotel. Anything that we needed done, they fixed it.
The local restaurants even brought in additional staff and additional people and additional cooks to deal with our convention. So what a great city. What a really nice population. I mean, they’re just a supportive, salt-of-the-earth population. And I’ll tell you, I know I already said something, but you, John, Joe, everybody at John Jones Real Estate really helped us pull this off. And I can’t thank you guys enough.
ROB: I’ll tell you what, The Star Power Conference is such an inspiration to us. What is your inspiration?
ALEX: I’ll tell you, Rob. My inspiration is the fact that for some reason, and sometimes it shows itself and sometimes it doesn’t, but for some reason I’ve been blessed to connect with and be influenced by and spend time with people that it’s just not normal to be able to do that. Then it’s amazing. The people who are just giants of the real estate industry and really any industry for some reason I have had the privilege of connecting with those people. And on a daily basis, I think my inspiration is living up to the responsibility that having that kind of mentorship provides.
And really I think that every day I wake up in the morning with a simple intention. And anybody who’s heard me speak has heard it. It’s to be the best husband I can be, the best father I can be, and help as many people on a daily basis achieve their goals as I possibly can. And that’s my inspiration. Seeing people come to an event like this and grow and be challenged and have personal revelations like the one that you had. That is inspires me like you wouldn’t believe.
ROB: Any closing words? What’s coming down the pike for Star Power?
ALEX: Well, there’s some amazing stuff coming up, and we are really excited about it. We actually may have sold out at this conference. I’m not sure. But if we didn’t sell out, we’re very close. We’ve got two new events coming up. One is CDPE All Access. And that’s CdpeAllAccess.com. It’s going to be held in Austin, Texas. Both are in Austin right at our headquarters. We’re doing two very intimate events. High profile, high-definition video recording, full camera shoot, full camera crew.
ROB: Ahh, you’re talking my language now.
ALEX: Yeah, it’s going to be exciting. So we’re shooting our distance courses and we’re doing it in September and October in Austin. So the first one is CDPE All Access, which is a very intimate rerecording of the CPDE with a whole bunch of extra stuff, a three-day event. The second one is the launch of the CIAS or the Certified Investor Agent Specialist. That’s also in October. Those two launches are going to be tremendous for us. The latter is really going to be interesting. Brand new product never seen in the market before.
We’ve spent about eight months in development or heavy development. It’s been on the drawing board for about a year and a half. When CIAS comes out, I think it’s going to be just as impactful on the real estate as CDPE was.
ROB: Is there websites we can go to?
ALEX: CIAS.com. So it’s Certified Investor Agent Specialist, CIAS.com. And we launched it here. We didn’t want anybody to know about it until they heard about it here at Star Power. And that website will be up and running in the next two days. We’re loading everything onto the server right now, and we’re really looking forward to launching that product.