Alright – so today we’ve got the honor of introducing you to Alex Oliveira. We think you’ll enjoy our conversation, we’ve shared it below.
Alex, thanks for joining us, excited to have you contributing your stories and insights. We’d love to hear your thoughts about family businesses.
I’ve been working with my family and relatives for more than 20 years. I’ve worked with my mom, sister, wife, kids and may other relatives.
I absolutely love every aspect of working with family and sharing the successes together.
I once had to lower my mom’s pay because the company was going through tough times.
Great, appreciate you sharing that with us. Before we ask you to share more of your insights, can you take a moment to introduce yourself and how you got to where you are today to our readers
I come from a family in Brazil that was constantly moving in search of a bigger better life, from their humble beginnings in NE Brazil to the big city of Sao Paulo my family would begin a journey that would eventually bring us to the US in 1988. My mom had 12 brothers and sisters and my dad 9. Most in my family believed owning their own business was the best path to success, some succeeded, but others struggled to develop businesses that could survive in both good times and bad. As a child I saw many of my family’s businesses go under. It wasn’t for a lack of hard work or passion. In my early 20’s I decided I wanted to be an entrepreneur.
As you might imagine I made some of the same mistakes in the first few years. Despite having built a business generating over a $1 million in it’s 2nd year I would later see it crash and burn during the 2008 financial crisis. I would spend the next couple of years bouncing back from my big defeat. I was very aware of where I went wrong and what needed to be done to get back on top. Since then my wife, Erin, and I had 5 kids and built several successful businesses.
I’ve been lucky to work with major brands like Ford, Home Depot & Allstate. Over the past 10 years my business has worked with over 3,000 SMB’s, hundreds of nonprofit organizations and many universities. Growing a business has never been easier with the growth of the internet and smartphones, right? Wrong! The truth is you’re competing with billion dollar brands and tech companies like Google and Amazon, who want to take over every industry. There’s no magic wand. You gotta work smart and hard EVERY day!
Where do you think you get most of your clients from?
The best source of leads for my businesses over the past 15 years has been online channels like my websites and LinkedIn. It helped me create a brand for my company and my own personal brand. To do that, I had to consistently create valuable content. But where those leads converted from MQL (marketing qualified leads) to SQL (sales qualified leads) was really through conferences and networking events. As a B2B solution provider it’s important that we get out there and meet potential clients in a face to face setting.
Learning and unlearning are both critical parts of growth – can you share a story of a time when you had to unlearn a lesson?
I wasn’t always disciplined enough to focus on one project or business. I use to allow myself to pursue too many dreams, but never go far enough into it to experience the success I wanted. I always felt that way when I was a student in school. I had to work really hard to focus on one endeavor at a time, and promise myself I would not take my eyes off the ball until I arrived at a moment where I could honestly say I saw it through, regardless of the level of success. I think success has many definitions. At the end of the day what matters is that you grow from these experiences in life. And these days, what I know about being laser focused is that the risk of failure is much lower than when I was going in 100 directions.