Alex Sanfilippo started his first business at the age of 12, selling used golf balls. From there he went on […]

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Alex Sanfilippo started his first business at the age of 12, selling used golf balls. From there he went on to a real estate investing and technology startup, which he sold two years later, for the past decade. He went into aerospace and worked way up from a part-time employee all the way to a senior executive in a large publicly traded organization. During his time in corporate America, he stayed active with his side hustles which mainly consisted of conference speaking in business coaching. He is also the founder of the lean SaaS startup, PodMatch.com

He got into productivity and business startup coaching which lead him to the launch of the Creating a Brand Podcast so that he could serve his audience in a more direct way. His lifetime goal is to help others succeed in life and business and he devotes all of his time to the service of others.

 

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Creating a Brand with Alex Sanfilippo

 

Brett:

I’m excited about our next guest. He’s out of the great state of Florida, and he started his first business at the age of 12, selling used golf balls. From there he went on to a real estate investing and technology startup, which he sold two years later, for the past decade. He has been an executive in the aerospace industry. During his time in corporate America, he stayed active with his side hustles which mainly consisted of conference speaking in business coaching, please welcome the show with me, Alex Sanfilippo. Hi, Alex. How are you doing?

Alex:

Hey, Brett, I’m doing really great. First off, thank you for that great introduction. I appreciate it. You can talk fast, man. I love that straight to the point.

Brett:

Yeah, absolutely. Well, glad to have you on the show. Excited to get going here. For our listeners to get to know for the first time would you give us a little bit more about your story and your current focus? 

Alex:

Yeah, sure thing. So I’ve been a businessman my entire life, I should say a business kit at one point because you alluded to me selling used golf balls as a kid, it’s probably not gonna get that full story. But just so y’all know, when I was a kid, I wasn’t really great at sports. I wasn’t good at school. And I wasn’t good at video games, which is like a really awkward place for a 10 to 12-year-old kid to be right. But I realized really quickly The first time I held a golf ball and a golfer asked if he could buy it from me that I actually really liked business. I didn’t necessarily care about the money, but I cared about the art of making something work. So yes, the from between the ages of 10 to 12. I was selling used golf balls with other friends in the neighborhood, things like that. And that kind of just gave me this mind of man, I really like a business. So I moved into multiple things throughout my career, and maybe will fill in those gaps, and maybe not. But the important point is that I just realized at a young age, I love being an entrepreneur, I love helping people, build businesses and create wealth for themselves through those avenues. And I’ve done that in many different ways over my life. And today where I’m at it I’m actually full-time in the podcasting world. So, Brett, I know you can appreciate podcasting, of course, and I thoroughly enjoy serving people in podcasting, both with my show, but also with my startup as well. It’s facing and helping people that have their own shows as well. So something I just really love doing

Brett:

Amazing, Alex, and we’re going to be diving into creating your brand and leveling up your online brand here with Alex in a minute. The top secrets to that. By the way, if you’re curious about learning and getting connected with Alex, right now you go to creatingabrand.com, before we go there, Alex, I believe we’ve all been given certain gifts and the gifts have been given to us to be a blessing and help to others. Some people call them superpowers, some people call them strengths, I want you to go back to your high school days. And I want you to think about that one or two gifts that you believe you were given. And how did those help how you help and bless people today?

Alex:

Yeah, I love this question. First, I want to mention that for me, personally, I feel like my gifts came from God, I believe I was born with them. And I’ve done my best to be able to grow in those things. And the first of which I mentioned is strategy. I’m really great at getting myself in front of a whiteboard or in front of a group of people and being able to really strategize something and come up with a system and a plan for execution. And that’s probably been my number one thing. The second thing I’ll mention is I’m just a curious individual, I’ve devoted myself to being a lifelong learner. So learning I’d say is the other really natural God-given talent that I have is I’m able to really listen be that student and implement really fast as I’m learning. And that’s always been a skill of mine that didn’t translate well in school. But after school, I’ve really been able to further develop that skill in business, and in my personal life as well. 

Brett:

Love it,  coming up with systems and strategy. And then and then the second one, he said I missed it. 

Alex:

Learning.

Brett:

Yeah, it’s a Lifetime Learning to be willing to learn and execute things. Cool. Alright, so now let’s dive right into the number one secret to creating, creating a brand, or leveling up your brand. Go

Alex:

Yeah, so I mean, there’s a lot of things that people can tell you about this, a lot of people were the first time that my company’s called creating a brand. So people assume that I’m going to get into like the logos, the copy, like all the design elements, right? Like, that’s usually the assumption Brett when people want to talk about this stuff, and like, Okay, I need all those things to really develop a great brand. But the truth is, it really starts with you as an individual. And it starts with you really knowing who you are and who you serve. Now what I mean by that is it’s gonna take the self-reflection First off, like what am I good at? What is it that I’m doing? So for me, I mentioned you had me mentioned those gifts that I have naturally the things I’m good at. So I’m good at strategy. I’m good at learning. Can I share those things? Can I also teach people these things? So can I teach you to be more strategic with their businesses, I teach people how to learn better. And that’s exactly what I decided to do when I launched my podcast. And as I launched it, I said, You know what, I’m going to give back and help and serve. And the point of all this is, now that I’m using my skills to help somebody else can’t Is there a way to monetize that as well, right, like, that’s how you build a business around is the ability to actually monetize that thing. And doing that, I believe Leave is really, it can be difficult, but it’s not as hard as people think. Cuz again, everyone goes to like the logo the brand behind. But the truth is, I care about these people in the podcasting space. That’s where I feel God has placed me. So I do my best to solve the problems that they have. And I think if there’s ever anything that really is like the art of creating a brand, the whole act of it is solving problems for the people that you care about, instead of just trying to come up with ideas, and that’s what many of us get stuck doing.

Brett:

Would you say we’re not in the business of podcasting, or building brands? or doing logos and designs, but we’re in the business of solving problems? Is that a fair summary? 

Alex:

Yes, 100%. Yes.

Brett:

Excellent and then using those gifts in a particular area of passion, to go do that, I think that’s a key thing to always know, I think, I wonder what you think about this, you know, I feel like the fulfillment formula, I’ve compiled this from many smart leaders, but it’s your unique gift that you’ve been given right plus or times is actually a better part of this times the amount of energy and effort that you use to maximize that gift times, the number of people you’re impacting. And then the bigger overall view of this is the bigger vision, like, for me, it’s my faith. And then we’ve been given these gifts are going to be a blessing to others, that there’s a bigger purpose for these things, right. And that equals fulfillment. And by the way, you can apply that to business, you can also apply it to your marriage, also play it and play it to your pet your you know, being a parent, right, we’ve all been given these certain gifts. So how do we maximize the potential how are we impacting others? Any thoughts on that? 

Alex:

I think that you’ve really got that point, right? I think that people can understand that and like, actually learn how to apply it their lives, like there’d be a lot more happy people around probably, because I think a lot of us, we just struggle with that whole idea, what you just said is something that’s I’ve even found to be far easier said than done, right? Like, understand and have that level of self-reflection, and being able to serve others like, it sounds easy. But the culture that many of us live in, for me being in the United States up in the United States as well. It’s one of those things where like, our culture is not designed that way at all. So it gets it comes very difficult. And you even have to be somewhat counterculture to implement these things. And I just refer to that as living a life that’s proactive instead of reactive. If we’re constantly reacting to everything that’s happening. We’re just going to live in this flow. That’s the opposite of what you just shared. But we’re proactive and going against the grain, we can get into a more fulfilled life. But I mean, I completely agree with you. She said it’s definitely a lot of work to get there, though.

Brett:

Yep. 100%. So let’s talk about that. Now. So let’s step number two. So after, after you establish you know who you are, and establish the strengths you’ve been given and who you’re serving? What would be the next secret to creating a brand or leveling up your brand?

Alex:

Yeah. So the next thing is that I kind of began this conversation here. So it’s really discovering the problem that you can solve. So again, like finding the people that you care about the people that you want to serve, what problem are you actually solving for them. And I said this earlier, but it’s, it’s not just coming up with ideas, because I think so many of us as entrepreneurs, myself included, I have a ton of ideas. And most of them are really, really bad ideas. And there are some that are good ideas, but they don’t necessarily work the way I want them to. It’s like, you know, the entrepreneur, like, I’m one of them, where you’ve just failed 100 times before you make any successes along the way. But I found that it’s a much faster path to success, when instead of just trying to come with the ideas, you say, people, that I care about that I’m designed to serve, what are you struggling with? And when you can find out what they’re struggling with, and you’re catching a trend among multiple people, you can build a solution for that problem. So let your idea come out of the solution process, where you build something and say, You know what, okay, this is what you’re struggling with. Here’s a solution for you, does this work? Does this make your life better? Does this make your life easier? And when you’re doing that, again, instead of just trusting your own ideas, you can build a business, you can build a brand just so much faster, and I find to be more fulfilling along the way.

Brett:

Beautiful. So yeah, discovering a problem that you can solve. And then, and then really clarifying who are you designed to serve? Right? Again, back to those unique gifts. Okay, great. So that’s number two. So then what’s the next step?

Alex:

Yeah. So the next step, I think this is again, where we all get it wrong. This is where like, the logo comes down, like, okay, I found the problem and I solve it. First Brett. I say I love the format of your podcast, being on this is so cool. I was listening to what you did with Tyler McBroom. I think it was and you just keep things moving so fast. And sorry. It’s a little side note there. You can add that later if you want. I really admire what you’re doing. Everyone should go listen, that episode is about cash flow and growing, you’re growing your business ethic. It was a CPA. But anyway, back on track. This is like the point where everyone hits and they’re like, Okay, I need the logo. I need a copy. I need to build a software like I need to like I have a whole development team. But the truth is, you don’t need all those things. When you’re trying to solve somebody’s problem. Don’t overcomplicate it don’t muddy the waters at the end of the day. Again, going back to the problem, all the changes offer a solution to it. And for me, I always think MVP, which stands for a minimal viable product, which means you can test it. Like some of the projects, I’ve launched. They’ve been really successful. I literally launched them with no text. No logo just does this work. And for me, I’m in the online space of some of its been software but the things I’ve done manually just been like hey, here’s what you need. And here’s the person you need. Let me see if I can connect them together via phone via email, via text, whatever it might be. So making those connections is what I’d rather my business has been but trying it completely manual just to see if it even works to test the idea. And then you can worry about the other things later. But the truth is if you haven’t validated that, you know what this truly is a problem, and this is the solution to it, then you’re making a big mistake by trying to build some brand. Before that, I find I’ve seen companies and you’ve seen it to people that raise venture capital, things like that literally waste millions of dollars on something that’s never going to help or serve anyone because they didn’t quite get it right. And they didn’t test it first. So for me, I just call it starting ugly. Like, you start ugly, and you just try it and you get better and better over time. You can’t leave it there, but you start ugly and just see what happens with it.

Brett:

Yeah. 100%. I think the 8020 principle applies here, right. 80% perspiration and 20% inspiration, right? I think sometimes it’s either startups or new ideas and new ventures or whatever. We think it’s got to be this 80% inspiration and only 20% perspiration, we actually got to flip that right. And, in fact, if you have the perfect plan, you plan for too long, right? You’ve got to just plan and there’s a law of diminishing returns, right? Where at a certain point, if you’re planning and analyzing, planning and analyzing and you keep doing that, without taking action eventually, not only is your plan not get any better, but it actually starts to diminish because you start overthinking it. So I can’t agree with you more, get out there and have an idea, get the minimal viable product available, and then launch it by that’s what he was my podcast, so do my YouTube channel. And it wasn’t bad in the beginning. Yeah, that’s kind of bad. Right? Was it awkward? Was I scared? And like, didn’t want to do this? No, I didn’t want to do this right. But wasn’t what my audience and the people that I was serving were calling for. Yeah, it was. So didn’t need to get out of my own way. I absolutely did. And now am I better? Sure. Right. But it’s taking me time. So any thoughts on that? And getting out of your own way, Alex?

 

Creating a Brand with Alex Sanfilippo

Creating a Brand: “Buyers decide in the first eight seconds of seeing a home if they’re interested in buying it. Get out of your car, walk in their shoes and see what they see within the first eight seconds.” – Barbara Corcoran

 

Alex:

Yeah, this is a good point. If I’m like you, I would never go back and listen to my first like, 10 episodes. I mean, if somebody wants to, I guess go for it. But don’t tell me what you think he knows, he could get past that point. But yeah, I think that many of us, get in our own way. Because at this point in the game that we’re talking about, we feel a little bit like we’re being an imposter. Or it’s such an unknown space. And for us that we’re like, not sure that we’re qualified, right? Like, we’re just like, okay, Is this real? Like, what am I doing? And I’ve never met anyone who doesn’t feel that way. As a matter of fact, I was actually Lisa recently talking with, Dean Graziosi who had a conversation with him, which is really cool. And there was another person there who asked, they said, Hey, do you ever get nervous about what you’re doing? Or like, do you ever struggle with anything like when you’re in front of like, he was just recently in front of three quarter million people, like a live event that he did, which is insane. And so people are like, do you ever struggle? And he said that? Yes, every time I do this, I still struggle with imposter syndrome. I still feel like I’m not necessarily the best person in the world to talk about it. Because I don’t know all the answers. we all struggle with that. But the thing is, this was said really well by a friend of mine, Jeff Goins. And so I didn’t say this, this is kind of funny. But the way he put it, he said that he actually when he was going to Boy Scouts, that someone said, if you see a bear in the woods, and everyone’s running away from it, you don’t have to be the fastest person there, you just can’t be the slowest. And I think it’s true when we come to teaching other people and like actually serving somebody else if you’ve got one hand in front of them, you can pull them up, then you owe it to them into yourself to actually get out there and try this and overcome the fear of that you might fail or you might not be the best person for it. If you can serve that one person, then you have to have the mindset that what I’m doing is totally worth it.

Brett:

And who could agree with you more? I can’t get out of your own way. Right? Yeah, of course. We’re all nervous. And we’re all you know, I think public speaking is the, you know, the number one fear, top fear, it’s crazy, you know, but I’m gonna give some practical tips for our listeners here now. So what I do is I start hiring coaches, right? And like I don’t if you grew up playing sports or anything else, or you’re in the military, and you get drill sergeants or coaching screaming at you’re yelling at not that these coaches online are screaming at your that stuff. But they are motivating and they are inspiring and they are holding you accountable. And they’re doing in a group setting. So I took the one funnel away challenge like I had never heard of Russell Brunson. I mean, I kind of had seen some ads and stuff. Did I jump on this thing for 30 days, and I’m telling you, I thought I knew how to sell Alex, you know, sell commercial real estate, obviously sell the deferred sales trust and we help people with you know, different capital gains tax. I didn’t know how to sell, right, once I took that 30 days, I’m like, Oh my gosh.

Alex:

I do the same thing. 

Brett:

I thought I knew how to sell right and, and I guess sell is probably not the best word except for consult or tell stories really overcoming false beliefs, right? By using stories, rather than just trying to deal with logic, right? Which is so fascinating. So I’m curious about your journey, and if you’ve ever even experienced Russell stuff, and what do you think about that?

Alex:

Yeah, so I did the same thing you did. And I said the same thing. I came from a sales background for a while like I met you have like a kind of vast business experience for many years. I was a salesperson and a sales director. And then I went through that and I was like, cool. I know nothing about selling anything like it was really funny.

Brett:

Yeah, it is. So but the point is, it’s all of that is hire that coach right? It’s okay. He don’t know we all started somewhere else. But it’s also it’s all So not great to just stay in that and feel like you got to just 100% take that load on your back like literally jump into these 30-day challenges, right? Same thing on my podcast, right? It took me forever, ever. And then I jumped on a podcast, a little plug for Jamie Atkinson. He’s got a podcast profit lab. And he’s amazing, right? And what he does, and he specializes in the podcast, and launching and getting that going. And by doing those things, all of a sudden, guess what? You’re not if you don’t feel alone, second, you got someone who’s just a guide like Alex was saying that maybe one step ahead of you, or even 10 steps, but they’re just gonna help pull you up a little bit. There’s power in community, and there’s power in collaboration, and there’s power and having somebody just a few steps ahead of you. So hire that coach, take that challenge. Do that thing. You’ll be glad that you did. Alex, that being said, anything else to add on creating a brand that you want to touch on? and I were talking about your services, let’s plug a little bit of that, like, if someone wants to connect you and be like, hey, Alex, what can I expect? What would that look like? You know, give us a plug for that?

Alex:

Yeah, real quick, I’m gonna comment back on that thing to kind of wrap this thing up real quick. First off, that there’s a proverb that says if you if you’re waging war, obtain guidance, and I feel like all of us in some extent, if you’re looking to disrupt a market or change something, even your own life, you’re waging war, like, get that guidance, it’s so important. I’m by no means a self, like a self-made entrepreneur or anything like that, like I am here, because of the people that have helped me get here that are years ahead of me that I consistently seek counsel from, that I seek guidance from any chance I get. So to Brett’s point there, make sure that you’re always seeking that counsel, getting a mastermind, find someone who can help you and add value to their lives as well. And to kind of tie-up this whole like this art of creating a brand, if you will, like this is where the branding comes in. For me. It’s always a personal brand. So it’s always us before the actual brand. And I just call this doing things that don’t scale. Now, let’s say you’ve solved the problem for somebody, right? You’ve validated it, you went through MVP status, or just minimum viable product, it’s really helping and serving people. Now doing things that don’t scale means talking to the people that are using it to re-qualify the fact of Am I really serving the Am I solving a problem did this cause another problem, get to know those people get on calls with them. Again, there is no way to scale this, like you can’t talk to 1000 people a day. But especially in the early years of it or the early days of it, you want to do your best to get on calls with people to really talk to them. And this is what makes people feel like, wow, I’m part of the solution that Brett and Alex is making, I’m actually part of this, I’m helping make this thing better, not just for me, but for other people. And that’s when you start building that personal brand around you because now people have loyalty because they’re like, I love this solution because it helped me. Let’s go out there and get to other people. So with my latest company, I’ve never done any marketing or anything like that, or really anything to really get the word out there. And we have more than 10,000 people using our platform. And it’s from organic growth and me being willing, every day, or every other day, let’s say to get on calls with people to just see hey, what can we do to make it better? Is this still solving your problem? What could it do to solve more problems for you? Or like, what else are you looking for? Right? By doing these things, it’s really helped us establish a strong brand, in the eyes of our community, and the people that are using our products. I think that that’s kind of how we tie this whole thing together all sorts that personal brand is how you really build it out.

Brett:

Beautiful. So now plug your stuff. What do you provide? What does it look like? 

Alex:

Yeah, sure. So first off, again, thank you so much for having me here. So for me personally, my podcast is called Creating a Brand, it really helps early-stage entrepreneurs make that first or next step in their business, the right one. And I do that by bringing on some really great names, and a lot of them being authors to talk about very specific topics and give us some steps on that. So that podcast is creating a brand, super, super important to a passion project. And then another launch is what’s called pod match. So podmatch.com is a service that I provide the basically think online dating, but for podcast guests and hosts be able to meet and automatically matches the two of them together. It’s how guests can find host can find guests iPad thing, we have an algorithm that runs through all that. And that’s the main product I’m doing. I found that by launching my podcast and realizing you know what, podcasters need guests because I’m struggling with it, too. And that’s how we’re able to make that happen. 

Brett:

By the way, I’m a part of the pod match. And I love that. So we had some great guests like Alex on the show, and it’s a phenomenal service. So check out pod match by match. Excellent. Alex, are you ready for lightning round?

Alex:

Let’s do it.

Brett:

Alright, knowing what you know. Now, if you go back to your 25-year-old self with the one gold nugget, make sure to tell yourself what to do.

Alex:

Yeah, so to get out of my own way. You kind of said that earlier. So I hit that hit. Did you use that? But really, I was just stuck in my thoughts. I talked about my natural ability being strategy. And I was just always thinking strategy, but no implementation was just being a dreamer thing about these perfect systems. The truth is like Alex just needs to get out of his way and take some action.

 

Creating a Brand with Alex Sanfilippo

Brett:

Beautiful. Second question, what’s the number one book you’ve recommended or gifted the most in the past year?

Alex:

Yeah. So the number one I have to give two if that’s okay. The first one is the book of Proverbs, which is in the Bible. Whatever day of the month it is read that chapter of that book. And I promise you whether you’re a Christian or not, it will change your life. Some of the best wisdom that you ever find is in that book, outside that I’ve not given the Bible way a whole lot, but I always recommend it. The book I’ve given up The most is actually called Indistractible by a friend of mine named Nir Eyal. And he talks about the art of actually not being able to be distracted. And we live in a very distracted world, like disruptions everywhere. And he talks about how you can really live above that. And it’s been super helpful for me to get rid of social media and like, have time for all that stuff. So very helpful book, especially for today’s world.

 

Brett:

Love it. Question three, what’s the one leadership theme or quote that you strive to live by?

Alex:

Yeah, so a true leader is one that knows the way goes away and shows the way it’s by John C. Maxwell, a true leader is one that knows the way goes away and shows away and for me, it just means that like, I have to constantly be learning that way. So always trying to find it. And am I actually living that out? And then Am I showing others bring them along? So not trying to be the person that’s capitalizing everything, but bring others to the success and leadership that I’ve been able to find in my own life?

Brett:

Beautiful. What do you most curious about now?

Alex:

I’m really curious about app development. I’ve never done that before. And I know most probably a little late to the game. But I’m realizing there might be some synergies there among what I’m doing. So I’m very curious about how that whole system works, how it’s different from web development. I know nothing. But like I said, I’m a lifelong learner. So I’m having a really good time along the way in this process.

Brett:

Cool. The last question is this, after all, your success helping people out, building their brands? Getting out of your own way? All of that neat, amazing stuff you’ve done so far? How do you stay centered in your values? And how do you stay encouraged to charge forward to reach new heights?

Alex:

Yeah, so I have a very meaningful morning and evening routine. And in that I’ve built a lot of Scripture a lot of time with God, that’s what I found that’s the foundation of my entire life. So it’s very important to me, but to make sure that I’m just re-releasing rereading all the things that I believe in that I’m striving for. And I revisit those on a regular basis every morning and night. I’m going through that same motion, the same routine, and once a month I’m going through it really in detail making sure I still feel the same way so I’m very intentional about where I’m going in life. And to me, it all boils down to just the 20 minutes in the morning 20 minutes a night the first and last thing that I’m doing it’s really been the biggest help for me

Brett:

amazing how’s Hey Alex, I want to thank you for being on the show sharing a bit about your story sharing some really cool tips and expertise on building a brand. I would encourage you to keep using the God-given gifts you’ve been given to think strategically but also implement and take actions and create systems helping more people for our listeners who want to get in touch with you could you remind them one last time where to find you?

Alex:

Yeah, everything’s at creatingabrand.com you can find all my links there on social media, anything that you’re looking for.

Brett:

Amazing Alex. Thanks for being on the show and for our listeners I want to thank you for listening to another episode of the Capital Gains Tax Solutions is a podcast. We’re also streaming live on expertcresecrets.com and you can find that on YouTube as well. As always, we believe most high net worth individuals and those who help them struggle with clarifying their capital gains tax deferral options not having a clear plan is the enemy and using a proven tax deferral strategy, such as the deferred sales trust to sell your business cryptocurrency real estate is the best way to defer capital gains tax and grow your wealth also it’s great to hire and get with someone like Alex so that you can level up your brand and let’s say increase revenue and get a higher price because you have more revenue so get with Alex as well. Please rate review subscribe we still appreciate everybody got a capitalgainstaxsolutions.com to learn about the Deferred Sales Trust or experttaxsecrets.com to learn how to implement it if your business professional thanks so everybody, we so appreciate you out there.

 

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About Alex Sanfilippo

Creating a Brand with Alex Sanfilippo

Alex Sanfilippo started his first business at the age of 12, selling used golf balls. From there he went on to a real estate investing and technology startup, which he sold two years later, for the past decade. He went into aerospace and worked way up from a part-time employee all the way to a senior executive in a large publicly traded organization. During his time in corporate America, he stayed active with his side hustles which mainly consisted of conference speaking in business coaching. He is also the founder of the lean SaaS startup, PodMatch.com

He got into productivity and business startup coaching which lead him to the launch of the Creating a Brand Podcast so that he could serve his audience in a more direct way. His lifetime goal is to help others succeed in life and business and he devotes all of his time to the service of others.

 

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