In order to grow, we need to reflect, think, and learn. Yet most of us will go a full year without ever reflecting on the lessons we learn or think about the major issues in our life.
Christian Chasmer empowers entrepreneurs to live their best life so that they can impact the world. At 26 years old, this young entrepreneur has already built two successful companies.
Starting in college, he built a franchise from $0 to $1.2 million in annual revenue. He then co-founded the real estate development company CC Solutions and grew it to $6 million in revenue in under 2 years. He’s also the author of the #1 best selling book Lose the Limits: Break your limiting beliefs, become a more productive you, achieve everything you want in life.
The secret to his success lies in the systems he uses for both his personal life and his businesses.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! What is your “backstory”?
I grew up in a small town in New Jersey, where I never heard of entrepreneurship or personal development. I thought personal development was going to the gym. I didn’t even know an adult that read for leisure. But I did have a mom that pushed me to work hard and keep pushing for the life that I wanted. So that got me to college. But I was on a pre-law track (because the only two ways to get out of my small town was to become a lawyer or a banker). It wasn’t until my junior year of college that I found a piece of paper on my desk that said “Make $10,000 running your own business this summer.” I had $30 in my bank account at the time so I said “sign me up!” So that summer I ran my own exterior painting company, went door to door selling paint jobs, hired my own painters, and produced all the work I sold. It was by far the hardest summer of my life and the most transformative.
I realized two things, 1. I love entrepreneurship and 2. I suck at entrepreneurship. I burnt myself and my team out making that $10,000. So I came back the next year with a different strategy, something I called systematic leadership. I wound up 5xing my revenue, 3xing my profit, and working way less. The following year I moved up to Boston to start a division of the same company and built that up to $1.2 million in 10 months. From there my partner and I left that company to start our own real estate development company, which through a ton of hard work we were able to build up to $6,000,000 in 2 years. From there I moved out to San Diego and wound up selling my equity in my real estate development company to start a company that I was way more passionate about, which is what I am working on now, Elevate.
Can you share the funniest or most interesting story that happened to you since you began leading your company?
The time I went into what I thought was an educational talk to a group of businessmen that actually turned out to be a pitch. I went in thinking I was just giving them a talk, and they were thinking I was pitching them, and it got awkward really fast. This was also a group of rough and tough businessmen, so they didn’t hold punches. I wound up making light of the situation and got the guys laughing. They wound up liking me and I actually did get a client out of. I remember walking out of that “meeting” just laughing at how bad I blew it. Lesson learned — double confirm ALL engagements and have a good attitude, even when you flop.
What was your biggest challenge to date either personally or professionally and how did you overcome it?
The biggest challenge I have faced personally or professionally was when I realized my real estate development company didn’t align with my authentic path and my passion. For months I was overwhelmed and anxious and I couldn’t quite figure out why. I was feeling some resistance to my company for a while now but suppressed the feelings and pushed myself further into work. One day, while reading, I came across the question, “What would you do if you knew you WOULD fail?” What is so important that you would do it anyway, even though you know you’d fail? It hit me in the face. My real estate development company wasn’t that. I felt lost for a while. I felt guilty. I knew what I had to do though. Two months later I sold my equity in my company and started my new company and embarked on my authentic mission, which is something I would do even if I’d fail.
What does leadership mean to you and how do you best inspire others to lead?
Leadership to me means giving people a vision of a better tomorrow, building them up to achieve that vision together, and being there to support them when the path gets tough (as it always does). I think leadership is caring for your team like your own family, and them knowing it. The best leaders strive to create other leaders. The secret to leadership is being a person people actually want to follow.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?
My mother is the biggest reason I am where I am. My father passed away when I was young, so she was a single mother. On top of that, she brought in and raised three of my cousins. She was the leader and foundation of our entire family. Even in our tough situations she always stayed positive and kind. If we were struggling to pay bills, but a family member needed help, she would help them. But she wasn’t just positive and kind. She was strong, fiercely strong. She instilled in me the belief that I can do anything I want to do, that I controlled my destiny. That we aren’t victims, if you want things to change, then you can change it. Those lessons; positivity, kindness, and the belief that I control my world are all key beliefs that led to where I am today.
Was it difficult to fit your life into your business/career and how did you do that?
In the beginning it was. I would be working until 1am every night, waking up early, and doing the same thing every day. Once I hit a wall in business and started to burn out more than ever, I knew things needed to change. So I implemented habits and “rules” into my life that ensured I fit in my personal life. And the funny thing is, when I started to implement these systems, my business took off.
Did you find that as your success grew it became more difficult to focus on the other areas of your life?
I found that as my success grew, the opportunity for it to become difficult grew, but I didn’t allow it to take away from the other core areas of my life. If you are intentional about it, you can create space for your personal life and continue to grow your success. It isn’t one thing or the other.
Can you share five pieces of advice to other leaders about how to achieve the best balance between work and personal life?
1. Know your values and your non-negotiables
For me, dinner with my fiancé and working out every day are non-negotiable. My clients, teammates, and friends all know this. Family and my personal health are 2 of my biggest values, so I create non-negotiables to ensure I grow in those areas.
2. Create a hard stop
When I was burning out trying to grow my business, I decided to stop working, no matter what at 6pm. I usually stopped around midnight so this was pretty drastic. The results were incredible. I had more time to focus on my health, friends, and personal growth. I was more rejuvenated the next day, which led to better work. I also got so much more done by giving myself that time limit. Instead of putting things off until later, I knew I needed to be done by 6 so I worked more efficiently.
3. Time block your days
Deep work is one of the most important habits you can cultivate and one of the hardest. I create periods of time during my days where I can focus on my most important tasks. I call it bunker time, where I put my phone in my drawer and I just work. No calls, no distractions. Even 90 minutes of this every day can produce amazing results.
4. Create intentional space
In order to grow, we need to reflect, think, and learn. Yet most of us will go a full year without ever reflecting on the lessons we learn or think about the major issues in our life. One way to create intentional space is to schedule 2 hours every month to do a month end journaling session, where you reflect on the lessons and challenges of the month.
5. Unplugged morning routine
The urge to check your emails and social media right when you wake up is real. But when you do that, you get sucked right into your day of tasks, calls, anxiety, and urgency. Instead, go through your morning routine without checking your phone. Journal, meditate, read, even if only for a half hour. This will create a calm start to your day and research has shown, how you start the day is how you feel the rest of the day. I don’t check my phone until 8am (I wake up at 4:30).
What gives you the greatest sense of accomplishment and pride?
Teaching and coaching the younger generation gives me the greatest sense of fulfillment. My mission with Elevate is to open the eyes and empower the next generation of change makers. There is nothing I love more than seeing someone I teach go out and live their best life.
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
My movement would be to teach mindfulness, personal development, and entrepreneurship in our school system. Kids are taught that if you don’t get an A you are not good enough, if you don’t get into college, you are not good enough. If you don’t get a fancy job, you are not good enough.
Instead, I’d love to teach them how to be fulfilled and happy, and how to live a life of meaning. This is exactly the movement we are creating with Elevate — for high schoolers and adults alike 😉
What is the best way for people to connect with you on social media?
Facebook is the best way to connect with me! Or they can check out my blog at losethelimits.com/blog where I put out a new article each week about personal performance, mindfulness, and entrepreneurship!