The Lucky Titan

How To Build A Sustainable Business With Alex Oliveira

September 07, 2021 Josh Tapp
The Lucky Titan
How To Build A Sustainable Business With Alex Oliveira
Show Notes Transcript

Alex Oliviera and Josh Tapp discover the truth behind building a business that lasts the test of time. Take your business from a fleeting market competitor to a legacy based business.

Deep Dive Into This Episode At:

About Alex:

Brazilian-born and South Florida-raised, I have been chasing dreams since I was a kid. At 11-years-old I was determined to make my own money to buy a new bike, so I got my first job working as a busboy — and so began my hunger for success and growth.

That drive and ambition have stayed with me through adulthood as I founded several successful businesses and worked to create a name for myself as a well-respected marketing technologist and entrepreneur. From small to mid-sized companies to non-profits and Fortune 500 brands like Ford and Allstate, I have helped a diverse portfolio of clientele grow their businesses.

On the personal side, my passions include adventuring with my wife and 4 kids, giving back to the community in various ways and enjoying my morning coffee with a daily dose of NPR.

Josh: What is up everybody Josh Tapp here again from the lucky Titan and we're here today with Alex Olivera, which we're just joking about this, I really wanted to kick my Spanish into to pronounce his name, but I'm excited to have him here to speak as gringo as possible where most of you are located in the States, we kind of have to stick to all of us who don't speak, speak Spanish so I do want to intro Alex a little bit here this guy is such an awesome entrepreneur, he's had a lot of successful businesses in the past, he's really turned into a coach and what I like to like to bring people like Alex on here is because they went from success to contribution, which is such an awesome shift and people like him who are giving back and are saying, hey, let me help the next generation, these are the people I'm super excited to bring on the show so Alex is the host of the dadprenuer, which for most of you, you know, we're actually about to have our first child, it's a boy, I don't know if everybody knows that yet, super excited about that so I'm excited to see kind of his take on being a dad being an entrepreneur, but passing on the baton and handing on the legacy to that next generation so Alex, say what's up to everybody? we'll hop right in. 

Alex: What's up, man? Thanks for having me here, Josh. It's really good and I didn't know either but Congrats, man, yeah, 

Josh: thank you

Alex: there You're in for everything that is great about life that that that's what I can start with telling you, you know about being the dad it's just that it's everything about it is great, even the challenging moments.

Josh: See it it's good to hear that because what we tend to hear a lot of times and this is in business and with having kids so it's kind of funny to see that the line there but people who've experienced it will always say all these negative things about it, and I put It's great, it's all worth it, I love to hear you lead with it's totally worth it Man, I need to connect you with Oh boy, Evan Money, have you met Evan Money by chance? 

Alex: I have not. 

Josh: ah man you too would jive, I'll connect you he's probably listening to this. So I’ll gonna connect you guys. So Alex, let's dive into this today, I do want to kind of hear a little bit about your story and where that turning point was for you a lot of entrepreneurs that we talked to on this show will have, you know, maybe they have a bad history that turned into something great or maybe they just had that epiphany moment where they realized that they were taking up too much of their life in work so to walk us through kind of your epiphany story that got you to where you are now where you're a coach.

Alex: Sure, I mean, everything for me, Josh comes back to a pivotal moment when I was 11 years old, I had been here in the United States for a year so we came from Brazil, originally to South Florida and my parents, really with with the help of a friend allowed me at that time to go work as a busboy at a restaurant, Imagine 11 years old, wearing a tuxedo shirt working at a fine Italian restaurant and clocking in clocking out doing that whole thing after school, I would go, of course, you wouldn't see that today probably, probably see some kids who are maybe 15 16 years old, right? Which is why I was telling you I started my son now who's 11 working because for me, it was pivotal from that moment on everything around the value of money, seeing hard work, and watching sort of the owner of the restaurant, how he ran business really inspired me to to do what I'm doing today, 30 years later, you know?

Josh: Yeah, that's awesome. It's, it's fun to see that you did that with your son. I am going to expound on that for a second because you talked about hiring your son, paying him a little bit so you can learn the value of work and the value of money but also, you're providing him with skills. He's 11 years old, right so you said he is 11? 

Alex: 11. 

Josh: Yeah, 11 years old, and seeing that's going to be the story that changes or the moment that probably changes the trajectory of his life so what inspired that, I am just kind of curious so inspired. 

Alex: Yeah, I think so too. I mean, ultimately, I think it's because it's summertime and you know, we only have so much time in a day to entertain them and since we don't they don't do video games, we don't have video games at home, we don't have cable, we have one TV. So we're out a lot, except it's Florida as you know, I live in Florida, and it's hot so you can only spend so much time outside, and you're inside and you're doing art and doing all the things that the other kids do but because of COVID they wouldn't be able to this summer do a lot of the things that they normally would right like the soccer to dance and all the other things so I said, Hey, would you be interested in working for me, but I put you through the process, you got to create your own resume, you got to go to an interview, you got to do an assessment skills, the whole nine put you through the whole thing and I expect you to put your game face and don't look at me as dad, because you're going to be my executive assistant, right, our administrative assistant, he said, Yeah, I'm interested and really his interest was from the fact that he wanted to save money to buy a Nintendo Switch, which is I think it's 400 bucks and he wanted to deplete his savings because I took him to the bank and open his bank account when he was like seven so he's got a debit card and, and and he says, Well, I have the money in there from Christmas’ and birthdays, that family gives us a well, no, you can't do that you can't just deplete your account, you're going to be, you know, broke, you have to earn some money first and that's sort of that moment where I say, well, like if you want to earn money, you can either cut the lawn, or you can do some work in house, right so he chose inside the house in front of the computer and it's been such an amazing experience, I mean, of course, as you can imagine, I'm learning as much as he has and it's just filling me with joy, to be able to just allow him to be creative and not be nitpicking, I mean, what I'm encouraging him, like, the biggest thing that I'm encouraging him with Josh is make the mistakes be okay, I have no fear, I don't care if you screw up, like you have to screw up in order for you to get it right and I was encouraged early on so I can I can say that my mom, my dad, and a lot of those people early on, they pushed me and said, Yeah, go for it, take the risks and and I'm just so grateful that they did that so I think I'm passing that on to him and that's so I think important really?

Josh: Yeah, I 100% believe in this. I think people have been hearing this more from me recently, as well. I've been telling my story, for others, I'm a fifth generation entrepreneur and what people don't realize is that they're, they're not every home is pushing you to go to college and so I my dad, for example, he was a contractor that was the company that he owned, we built cabins and Island Park, which we talked about for Condor, Yellowstone beautiful area, please don't visit we don't like having people there so but it's a beautiful, beautiful place. So we grew up building cabins, and I'll be completely honest with you, I was a lazy kid didn't like being outside, and my dad would have us come work and he'd pass you know, eight to 10 an hour when we were six, seven eights, you know, all the way up into our teen years but at 11 years old, it's kind of funny this same year as your son, he started paying us He said, If you'll read a business book, I'll pay you I cameras like 50 60 bucks or something to say it and report it to me or to read it and report it to him and then he passed and I was like, Oh, I can read way faster than I can lift the shovel. Let's do it that was honestly for me, one of my pivotal turning points for me and wanting to be an entrepreneur is because I was reading about all these amazing people in business and learning all these principles and everything that have gone on to guide my life so I think you're just right on track with your son but you also have multiple kids, right? You have more than one.

Alex: I have four. Yeah and then my daughter who's eight and then my other son Jack's, he is five and then the little one, Phoenix is two

Josh: so awesome 

Alex: and a ladder.

Josh: Say your your son's the oldest, which is awesome. So the rest of are you going to try and duplicate this with all your kids?

Alex: Well, they're all jealous and envious of him, you know, especially my daughter. She's a lot like me and just the behaviors and stuff so she's a Dewar and she just can't wait. Right? She's like, Well, when I turn that I'm gonna do that, too, I'm like, that's fantastic absolutely. You know, but I explained to her I mean, it takes a certain level of skills, which he already has so my son, interesting, you mentioned books, Josh, they're all bookworms here in our house, man. It comes from my wife and I became more of a reader once my wife and I met each other in college but the kids I mean, we go to the library, we'll check out 50 60 bucks, and they go through it. Like, you know, my son did the seven Harry Potter books, which are like crazy thick, like seven 800 pages, right? He did that whole series in, I think, five weeks. 

Josh: Lock in his room? 

Alex: No, he still does everything but he's just such a, you know, when he's in the story, he'll go through a whole book in a day, I'm not kidding. I said, I don't even do that, I may, you know, even on my most relaxed days, I may read 20 30 pages, you know, right rarely do I come across a book that I'm like, Wow, I can't put it down, you know, but but anyways, he's at that age that he can do that but the reason I'm mentioning that Josh is because I didn't have that early on, like him reading and it sounds like you did and I can see that read how reading has also created so many other talents or pathways to those talents, right and I'm seeing it with him do the work. I'm telling you, the kid can write man, I'll ask him to just like write me a script for an email that I'm going to send out, you're not going to do it, I'm going to do it, but I want to see how you would write it the goal is this that he'll write and it just blows me away, I wasn't writing like that probably until after high school, you know?

Josh: That's so awesome to see that it's fun because he's learning to love it, Instead of feeling like I have to write a 10 page email for my paper right or ever for my for my class. It's saying Hey, let's go write, write something that you might actually be interested in, and I've got to pay you for it so it's, it's cool so you did that and and so the dadpreneur podcast is really all about this right is about being an entrepreneur being a dad so I do want to ask you this because you have so much experience in this, what's one thing that you're not doing right now that you've been hearing from maybe some of the people you've interviewed, or some of the other entrepreneurs out there that you'd like to apply with your kids? 

Alex: Wow, that's a good one. Yeah, there's one that I almost feel guilty about all the time. Yeah. And that's actually my mom guilted me last night again about it and that's teach them Portuguese, right so it's really important to the family, right to my family, and about my grandfather, who's 97 still lives in Brazil, I started aunts and uncles there and we've been to Brazil with the kids, and but they were much smaller and now the big thing is, like, Look, when we go, I mean, it's not good, or they can't speak the language and I totally agree, I do I agree with my mom and my family but what I say to her, I say, Mom, it sounds easy but we've been homeschooling the kids for three years and we are their teachers, their parents, their everything, right and I'm telling you, by the end of the day, both them they asked us what, there's no more information that can go back and forth and I said, and because Portuguese Is that like a required act, you know, academic in the school system, I said, there, there would be no value there so I'd have to take away a bunch of other things from my schedule, and from theirs to be able to fulfill that so it is a dream of mine absolutely to do that I have a lot of friends and family who live here and their kids speak fluent Portuguese, English, Spanish, you know, I'm a little envious and I'm like, Mom I'm gonna get there, it just, it's not happening today, right? 

Josh:  the emotional bandwidth, that's the hard part, and the mental bandwidth by the end of the day,

Alex: but I think most parents can empathize with that, in that you, I did anyways, I had all I'm telling you, I had all these ideas before I had kids, I'm like, it's gonna be so easy, I'm gonna teach them Portuguese, I'm gonna be I thought I was gonna teach him the world and the truth is, when the time comes, he, there's only so much time in a day and so you have to pick and choose, which are the things that are most important to them and for you, in the soft skills that you want them to have when they go out in the real world, right so 

Josh: right, I love that you're intrigued me, I just these are good, good skills to learn, I know for me, my wife is as cracker as I am and so if we, if we teach them Spanish, it's gonna be kind of awkward when this little white kid runs by speaking Spanish, might be funny, but a good life skill to have so you know, and you've, you've really like, piqued my interest at this being being a dad, and you're using entrepreneurship so I want to kind of changed the subject just a little bit still on the lines with your podcast, how have you been attracting people to your community and, and developing that community through your content?

Alex: Sure so the first thing that I did was, which I do for clients in any campaign that I would build is look at your current relationships, your current network. Unfortunately, for a lot of people, they don't do a good job in nurturing and organizing that data, I've been doing that for 20 years, across multiple businesses and making sure that I, I'm still there, right? Even like I was in the construction industry for six years, I have a lot of contacts there that I've nurtured over the years, right, whether it's calling them just to say hello, or Hey, do you still go to that conference oh, man, I used to love that conference in Vegas, you know, the builder's show again, it's just keeping relationships open and I do find that depending on the entrepreneur, it can be very difficult to nurture those kinds of business relationships when you go from one job to another company to another but I've made it really my business over the years to nurture them, and make sure that if I send them an email newsletter, whether it was from one of my companies or from me directly, that it was really useful information and not just another promotional thing, click here to get a free this or download my free e-book, I'm guilty of doing that absolutely as as a part of my marketing testing, right, we were talking about AB testing but you find out that the you get the highest engagement, the highest open rate, the highest retention, whether you're building a community and newsletter or whatever, when you are really thoughtful about the content and the people and and actually, this brings up a good point that you and I were talking about earlier, Josh about Stanley right where he was saying that, you know, don't worry about the audience because he was doing it for himself and I agree with that but the reality is, I still have to care about what the audience are going to perceive on the other end, right, if I'm sending them content, so to create a community, whatever industry you're in, you first need to look within your network, not just putting stuff out on social media, but really looking and I do circles. I, it reminds me of that that movie with Ben Stiller, the circle of trust with Dinero. Yeah, yeah, the circle of trust. So the circle of trust, for me are the people that I think who, who are the closest people to me, Well, people have come over my house for dinner, or I've been to their house for dinner, regardless if it's family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, employees, whatever so I look at that circle first because I know we're close, then I look at the next circle, right people that we've been out to lunch, and we've, we've had a meeting, then then I continue to create the circles and I start with the inner one first, obviously, and say, Hey, Josh, we know each other from the past or whatever, what's going on but here's what I'm doing today let me know what you think. Whatnot and by the way, I'm gonna start sending you emails about what I'm doing for this particular venture, is that cool with you? almost always, people are cool with it. I mean, almost always right and even if they unsubscribe at some point, but just to give you an idea for the podcast, I started with a list of about 20,000 people that I've nurtured over the last 10 12 years. So you have 20,000, I'm down to about 8000, now, because I kept segmenting them, and really looking at the newsletter, now, my database is literally hundreds of 1000s but I did the hard work to first really go, who do I really know, in those circles because they're gonna be open to learning about my new venture?

Josh: Yeah, so yeah, that's awesome. I love that. When and you know, I don't think a lot of people think about that, right, what your your actual circles are, I know, we were we were an ad agency is one of the first companies we started, it was interesting, because people say, you know, I'm a ghost online, I have no online presence but there were three founders and each of the founders had all the social media platforms with a couple 1000 different followers on there. They're from different states, you know, and they'd have 20,000 people collectively that they personally knew that they could ask for, for help, or to put on their list and segment, it's so interesting to watch, as you know, the way you've done it, where you said, Hey, get those first, get the second, get the thirds, right, I love that, love that concept. It's one of the best ways to grow and I think we just don't tap into it as much as we should.

Alex: It's very time consuming. I mean, there's no hack, you know, people ask me, what's the hack for the email and how do you do it? I'm like, No, you're gonna sit for days and create workflows, and, you know, really create messages that are customized to that audience, I mean, I'll go as far as I have an intern right now, from Florida State University, Megan, and she is doing some research, I want to create, like 10 case studies across a bunch of industries and I'm using a bunch of different data feeds and tools to create really, like valuable reports, case studies, that are about that industry and their competitors, I know that that's a tool that's valuable to any business to understand what their competitors are doing so I've hired her for the whole summer, it fulfills her obligation at Florida State University, it is a paid internship, which is something I want to tell entrepreneurs, please, when you hire interns pay them because I go electric, you know, colleges and universities and it's so frustrating when I run across a student who's like, yeah, I interned at this agency, they don't pay anything, I'm like, this is Bs, man, you know, they still have to make a living and if they're contributing to your company, by all means, so she's putting all this data together and the point is that that data will help also me create better sort of segments within that audience and then deliver the right reports for the right industries, that's very time consuming, and there's an investment to be made there right.

Josh: Right. Yeah. I love that. That's so awesome. You just throw a bunch of nuggets out there that I'd like to pick apart, but we're running out of time so I want to I want to ask you a few more questions so the first thing is where can people connect with you?

Alex: Yeah, definitely. the website, from there. You can connect with me directly on email or LinkedIn, those are the two best places Yeah,

Josh: love it. So make sure you go check that out go check out his podcast guys. I can honestly recommend as a great place to go and get actionable advice on being a father and entrepreneurship so make sure you go check that out and then I want to ask you one final question here. Alex, if you could give our audience one final parting piece of guidance or would that be

Alex: be flexible, you know, be flexible and be ready to adapt to any change in your business and in your life, right, if you create sort of different versions of the story, right, because we all set out when we plan to do something one way and it turns out another way so if you when you set out you create the top story like this is what I want, and then create flexibility to, to accept alternative paths because you will get an alternative path so be flexible man.