Neil Patel

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Embarking on the entrepreneurial journey is much like navigating uncharted waters. It’s a thrilling yet challenging expedition that demands unique skills and insights. Conversation with seasoned entrepreneur Pablo Fernandez Alvarez gave us several invaluable lessons.

Each of these lessons gives you insights into startup culture and business endeavors. From the critical importance of cultural fit in hiring to the wisdom of prioritizing profitability from day one, this interview delves into Pablo’s entrepreneurial acumen.

Pablo has bootstrapped his latest AI startup, Clibrain, investing $2M of his own money.

In this episode, you will learn:

  • Focus on hiring individuals with the right values and cultural fit rather than relying solely on experience, ensuring a positive and cohesive team dynamic.
  • Consider building a profitable mindset early on, as it not only aids sustainability but also provides flexibility and control over the direction of the business.
  • Serial entrepreneurs should acknowledge the consistent underestimation of the challenges involved in starting a new business and be prepared for the ongoing demands of each venture.
  • When faced with overwhelming challenges, break them down into smaller, manageable milestones, adopting an “act small, think big” approach to stay focused on incremental progress.
  • Recognize that building a successful business takes time, and balancing patience with ambition is crucial for long-term success.
  • Prioritize customer satisfaction over external funding at the initial stages, making clients the primary source of capital to maintain control and ownership of the business.
  • Embrace the entrepreneurial journey, understand that challenges are inevitable, and find joy in overcoming them, steering the business with a sense of purpose and resilience.


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About Pablo Fernandez Alvarez:

Pablo Fernandez Alvarez is the co-founder at CliBrAIn, an AI company focused on enabling infrastructure for AI with the vision to enrich the lives of people and organizations, generating a positive and lasting impact

He is the co-founder of Clidrive, a global technology car financing platform that connects car owners with financial institutions to unlock the value of their cars, turning them into cash while continuing to drive them.

Pablo is the chairman and also one of the main investors at Clikalia, the #1 proptech real estate platform in Europe and Mexico that streamlines, simplifies, and brings transparency to all processes related to housing, with almost 700 employees and profitable that raised €460M in the largest financing round of a Spanish Startup with global investors like SoftBank, FifthWall, Luxor Capital, Mouro Capital and Deutsche Bank.

Previously, Pablo was the co-founder at Clicars, a €360 million profitable business and #1 e-commerce platform to buy used cars in Spain, acquired after IPO by Stellantis (#2 world car manufacturer).

He is an investor in +100 startups (individually and as a partner of a Harvard alumni fund)

Pablo has worked at the Boston Consulting Group and Santander Bank, being the Group´s youngest Executive Vice President, leading the corporate strategy in the US

He graduated from Harvard Business School and Complutense University of Madrid (national graduation award for best academic transcript in Spain).

Pablo is the holder of 6 Guinness World Records in Marathon Swimming, including the longest Ocean Swim (250km) and the fastest 100km unassisted Ocean swim (2x nominee by the World Open Swimming Association for “Performance of the Year” and “Man of the Year” Award)

Pablo has pledged to donate part of his net worth to social impact initiatives such as education through the Clicollege Foundation and climate change.

He is also an endeavor entrepreneur and Board Member at Endeavor Spain and Princess of Girona Foundation

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Connect with Pablo Fernandez Alvarez:

Read the Full Transcription of the Interview:

Alejandro Cremades: Alrighty hello everyone and welcome to the deal maker show. So today. We have a really incredible guest. You know I’m obviously a little bit biased because he’s from Spain from madrid and as you all know you know I’m from there. So obviously very inspiring conversation that we have in front of us. We’re going to be talking about boottrapping building profitable companies versus going crazy at raising money with growth. We’re going to be talking about as well international expansion and how to think about it also culture and team. How to think about mentoring your people versus just getting outsiders and then lastly reflection after an exit. Again, really amazing conversation that we have in front of us so without farther ado let’s welcome our guest today Pablo Fernandez Alvarez welcome to the show. Hey.

Pablo Fernandez Alvarez: Thank you Alejandro for having me on this show is a big pleasure to to be sharing the the learning of these years.

Alejandro Cremades: So born in Spain they are in Madrid give us a walk through memory lane. How was life growing up Pablo.

Pablo Fernandez Alvarez: I was great. So I am I am the the number 2 of 6 brothers and sisters and I’ve lived like in a cities in in Madrid. So my fathers were moving a lot so I always have like this sense of adventures of ah. Taking risk and following your your passions with my with my parents and I study international relations as mayor in the University Of Madrid I was trying to be an entrepreneur but I failed a couple of times as a student so I always have this entrepreneurial thing. And I started my career like in a very traditional path with consulting at vcginthemadrid office then I moved to New York in investment banking working for the large spanish banks and then there. Um, um, then I I joined the the global strategy team and they ap appointed me the head of a strategy of sattan there the us in Boston where I spent a few years in their inter I I did my graduated education at Harvard school in Boston.

Alejandro Cremades: And before before that Pablo you know it’s it’s interesting. What you mentioned here because you know obviously working in in Spain you know versus working in the us is a little bit different. You know and and and I guess my question here is what was the culture shock or what kind of worldview did it. For you being able to come to the us seeing you know how things the dynamics how things operated here in in the country. So how was that experience for you as well.

Pablo Fernandez Alvarez: Well I remember the first day I arrived to to New York and I felt that the speed in the subway and people were moving much faster than than than the madrid but I was lucky I was in Madrid I was working for an american firm at Bcd or working like hundred hours per week. So I have that. That culture of hardworking. But what I love about the us is the this american dream I live the american dream myself many people in Spain they don’t believe these and just pain typically if you are born poor. You don’t scale up and people hesitate about so soability. But in my case. I live the american dream and for me the big cultural I saw was that there was not hierarchy. There was not bureaucracy. It was everything about work working hard and um meritocracy and it really opened up my mind to to see other people that were thinking big know so it it helped it. Help me to to think bigger than than Spain.

Alejandro Cremades: And you did work at Bcg as you alluded to it. You know you were there for a couple of years and 1 of the things that I see with the founders. You know they have very similar backgrounds in the in the sense that they either went to consulting investment banking private equity or bc before. They decided to pull the trigger on venturing into the unknown now one of the things that I see from consulting is that it gives you the opportunity of being able to break down big problems into smaller problems and then tackling them so what kind of framework would you say working at Vcg gave you to tackle problems.

Pablo Fernandez Alvarez: Well I guess that’s kind of like a traditional answer. But for me honestly at a hundred it’s more about work ethics right? I think and I invest on times in consultants. But for me, it’s if you work at 1 of these places I know that you can work. Ah. 1 ne one hundred hours per week during a few years right? So working very hard for me. It’s very important of course being able to communicate right? Even if it’s full, sit some time as an entrepreneur you need to sell you need to convince people so this this this person they help you how to do powerpoint with de good presentations. How to convince others and in my case, my cofounder work at bcd also so it’s a good network ah thing. So you really find like out of cofounders I also invested in other people at vcd that were very invest fees where I multiply by 100 my investments like ah. Serge fuat credit us that work with me at dcd or paw arietolapi was investor in them. So it’s for me’s ah it’s it’s network its work efforts. It’s also communication communication skills and also in my case, it help me it also helps you to go to. Business schools so traditionally in spain and many peoples that want to go to top business schools in the us going to consulting health so also.

Alejandro Cremades: So the Nba at Harvard you know came at the time the idea of doing it came at the time where you were at santan there and the in sent there. You held several roles. You know whether it was in Boston or you know the different offices that they had now. Why did you decided to shift gears and to. Say hey you know I think it’s time for me to maybe take a pause you know, really a go on study and especially doing an Mba. What? what? What was the trigger for that.

Pablo Fernandez Alvarez: Yeah, so I remember it was ah a professor at harbor at tode long I remember one day he told me like okay, what do you have to lose you. You are not married yout have a mortgage worst case scenarios that you start something and then if it doesn’t work. You can always go to do. Bullshit powerpoint and get paid two hundred k per year so that was like a wake up call and says okay, oh he’s right? Ah, in the meaning like I have nothing to lose and then it was the the regret that I will have in my life. No so I was in a moment in with okay, no liabilities ah job with experience and. I said if I don’t do this now when I am eighty years old and laying in my bed and thinking about my life I would regret not having to start the company. So I remember that was um but I delay it a little bit because after the and Nba they offered me to be head up a strategy of something there in the us. So obviously I was. Making a lot of money I’m progressing I was part of the board of directors and and the executive community of ah three thirty Thousand company 30000 people company. So it. It cost me a lot so I do I deferred entrepreneurship until I was 34 years old. But at that point.

Pablo Fernandez Alvarez: I really took the decision to to to Quickt and it was the inspiration of some of my fellow ah people at sandity that were starting their companies and they inspired me to to to. To to take a note to to leave my job and historically cars my first company.

Alejandro Cremades: What were what was that day like when you finally decided to take action to give your notice and to ah and to just jump off the cliff.

Pablo Fernandez Alvarez: Ah, so also. Ah so it was ah October Fifteen Two Thousand Two Thousand fifteen so I always remembered that day and ah, the good thing is that when I told this to my boss my boss ah was the. Ceo I’m president of London in the us he said to me. Okay I will invest half a million in you. Okay, so they was like wow I’m quitting my job. Um, um, my boss was invested in me many of my bosses. Ah they invested in me. So I that that was very reassuring that the people. Ah, know me where we’re trusting to my new venture.

Alejandro Cremades: So how did the? um how were the early days of click cars like.

Pablo Fernandez Alvarez: So I left satan there on October Two thousand and fifteen and I I remember I remember arriving to madrid and the funny thing was like I went to the notary to start the company and then I wanted to to print the deck to talk to some early investors. And then ah the the print the the print place was close and it says say we come back. Ah, and I said like okay I was like I have like a very cultural shocking coming back to Spain because I was used to the american speed the mindset of everything and you know people here they close the store because they to go to have lands what the fact. So I was kind of like ah oh shit. Maybe I sud haveest in the us but the opportunity was in Spain so we saw when I was at santanders and then there is the largest car financing bank in the world and and I knew a lot about car financing. So i. I saw carbona and other players starting to sell cars online with with Michaelfoer we identifi an opportunity to create an online ah use car Ecommerce site. So we we started on.

Pablo Fernandez Alvarez: Since day one I mean we were very lucky to find product market feed very quick. So we we start buying and selling cars. Ah online. We’re starting in a little garas in Madrid that were were a pay in 700 years per month. It was. It was a cheapest place in in Madrid or seven Euros a square meter I also it was a very crappy place but we were very happy and I remember so we started in November and in January first we saw the first card it was ah Apollo of ah white pollo I was with my family you know in Spain on January first and the customer calls me and I go right away to meet the customers and. So it was like a very nice experience knowing that we only made four hundred Euros with these cars but on the first year we make a five million Euros on the second year we made 14 on a fair year 30 and then we went to 64 25500 so it was like a journey from 0 to 500000000 in written revenues. Ah, in in 6 years it was quite a journey but the most interesting thing as a were always profitable so we’re always ada positive and that help us to to raise very little money. We only raise a million as a seat round. Um, then we raise a 4000000 with a series a in the first year. But then since you are 1 to year six the final exit we didn’t raise any money we raised that because we’re profitable and we could to get that from banks for in the car for for car inventory. But ah, that was the big, the big glaring know that is possible to grow very fast.

Pablo Fernandez Alvarez: While being profitable and minimizing delluium because when we saw the company we my cofounder and I we own 70% of the business. So that’s an advice I always give to funders that is possible to hyper grow without delusing yourself now.

Alejandro Cremades: Now What? What would you say that the field that the school of thought because obviously at that point I’m sure that now things have changed obviously with the macro environment on on thinking about growth versus profit. But I’m pretty sure that those were the days too. Where. Was growth above everything else and when you have those numbers and that level of growth on the revenue side you have vcs that are literally throwing money at you. So What do you think cost you guys to wanting to be laser focused and to not take more money from outsiders.

Pablo Fernandez Alvarez: So 1 thing is been being tip. So I mean we we we took the cheapest offices in in Madri. We my my counder and I we didn’t have salary until the exit. Even the trave we paid by ourselves I mean we I think it’s very important to make sure that every euro counts. That you have that that culture right? because it’s very difficult to change the culture so you have a profitable mindset It’s very important to have this from day one then going from hyper growth and losses to to profitability is super hard is is very so that’s the first thing is culture that every count every euro. And every dollar matters since day one and the other thing it’s about having control in your company. Um because I was sitting bestor before being an entrepreneur and I’ve seen many entrepreneurs raising like a lot of money. And then one day they wake up only is that only less than 10 percent of the company I’m being in our rooms who run it by 10 guys who are head of Bc but they are not operators entrepreneurs. They don’t understand the business and you lose control of your company right? So we didn’t want to lose control of our company you want we wanted to control our destiny. Um, we decided that being profitable was the way to go to guarantee that independence and that it also gives you like a dual path optionality if you start the Bt you get into our trap of racing racing and then someone buying you but when you are terminating cash flow.

Pablo Fernandez Alvarez: You have a lot ofality. You could keep the business for long term. You could go private equity. You could go ah get ah that financing so you have more options and you control your your your freedom.

Alejandro Cremades: So the company you guys ended up selling it for a reported amount of 100000000 plus which is absolutely incredible. First company first day exit and also a big exit so make us insiders you know here you know what drove that decision. Get a acquired because because I mean you guys were doing great incredible revenue I mean why? what? at what point were you guys like okay I think it’s time to go after this acquisition.

Pablo Fernandez Alvarez: Exactly. So so when we got the the offer we we check with our friends and entrepreneurs what to do right Ah because and and I think the rationale was look. This is our first company. Um, this is a lifeanging event for us financially and reputationally so of course we we could keep the company growing and maybe bring it to a billion dollar valuation but ah for us was like look ah you never know when we’re going to have an an offer so it was. Good enough for us to and in my case I have other ideas to keep to to keep a start in other companies I said look with my cofounders. We decided. let’s let’s accept let’s settle this company and then with the money we can create more companies. We can be financially secure. And that’s what I ah give the advice to many funders like ah the first exit is very important and I’m particular in Spain I mean right now in Spain we have like ah 13 unicorns. But at that time there was no unicorns. It was not in Spain getting like a 100000000 offer in ca.

Pablo Fernandez Alvarez: Ah, that moment. It’s not something normal. So ah, we decided to accept hopefully because then most of our competitors were looking at Kazoo Kava got all these guys were worth like eight billions and um, um. But now some of them are bankrupt or disappeared. No so you never know right about it. But we decided to accept and then move on to.

Alejandro Cremades: What kind of reflections. Do you typically do when you go through an exit you know through a life-changing event. You know, especially when it comes to the financial site because this gives you you know without a doubt financial freedom as you were saying you guys owned 70% of the business. The Cofounder. So. But kind of reflections you know and thought process Do you give to yourself and to what could be the next chapter when you go through? Um, you know changing event like that.

Pablo Fernandez Alvarez: Yeah, so in our case I um I’m happy. We’re happy to be part of ah of endeavor as an organization with 2500 entrepreneurs globalia and I am member of the world in Spain so we talked to many entrepreneurs who have sold their businesses for lives and and everybody was telling us the same like ah okay. Ah, you have a unique opportunity to to think about what’s next. Ah, it was funny Sam told me I mean don’t don’t don’t change your card or change your wife and the other thing like what don’t is was wife car on house. No something like this now. So like ah. Don’t become crazy like ah reflect about ah about it financially. But the most important thing is like sometimes when you are ah ah an entrepreneur you always like not having time to think right? you as executing towards the exit or towards the mandate from your from your investors. But this is a moment in your life. This is like a look ah in my case. For example I have like a pressure to keep delivering like I’ve always been trying to have success professionally and everybody was asking me. Okay, what’s next power. What’s the next startup and I was feeling like a lot of pressure and 1 funder told me look. Don’t be pressure. Yes, it’s okay not to to do nothing it’s okay to reflect it’s okay to so I what I learned is that the most important is not what what do you do after the exit but do the things for the right reasons right? do the things because you like it because you want to do it so you earn the right to do what you want.

Pablo Fernandez Alvarez: Not what others people want not the what the investors at the Vc. So obviously Dvcs were telling me. Okay, Pablo. Thank you for the returns here you have like ah do want a million you want to million. Ah let’s go to the next one. So I was spending like a lot of pressure on that one but I decided not to get. That pressure and then okay, whatever I do I do it because I want to do it and not because other people tell me right.

Alejandro Cremades: So as they saying goes once an entrepreneur always an entrepreneur and the next one you know the next opportunity that came knocking you know for you was clickalia so. Why did you think that the model of Clickalia was meaningful enough. You know for you to take action. You know on this opportunity.

Pablo Fernandez Alvarez: Yeah, well it was a clickalia I was funded by my best friend alista I and I right after we we sold the aliar and the funny story is like a ah A. Alister was supposed to be a funder in Clickar but we them companies and at that time but when we saw the company say okay now it’s time for you to to leave ah sandtan their bank and and and and start the company. So for me was like doing this with my best friend. Um with all the earns that they have from the first experience right? And and. The the thing was like okay, let’s dream bigger like in our first business. Ah we we sell for for for for that amount. Ah, but because it was like the first business but that one we said look let’s do something super big. Let’s not settle. Let’s not have an exit or Ison this is going to be something super big. Um, we are going to enjoy it. We both love real estate and in that we decided to start Scalia that is ah ah real estate a transactional where we are selling around one thousand six hundred house per year 240000000 in revenues. For countries with 1500 people and in that case so we started with our ah own money the first million but then ah buying houses was um, a little bit more expensive than buying a cars so we raised.

Pablo Fernandez Alvarez: A seriesius a of 12 a series v of sixty and a series c of 100000000 and then a 400000000 debt financing so 600000000 in total in capital 200 inequities four hundred in debt. But with the investors that we like it that we want and with the rice space. Um, we decided to to run the company with our own culture with this stuff. So I I think when you are like a second time entrepreneur I think you you feel like ah more is not more relaxed because you’re always working but you feel like more that that. That you are doing things for the right for the right reasons. No so we we felt like in this one Alice Terre also was a big investor in clickar so he make also like a lot of money so we were like look we’re going. We’re doing this because it’s ah it’s what we want to do and where. Onboarding investors but investors that will be happy to to see in the board meetings will be happy to have dinner with them because sometimes as they probably know when you pick up cofounders or team members or investors that you don’t like your fact um because you are going to to see them every single morning and um, we decided look. If we are going to do this. We don’t need the money we’re doing this for fun. Um, because of our ambitions and goes we want to create something big. Let’s do with the people that will that we that that we like to see every day right.

Alejandro Cremades: And talking about people you know I know how when it comes to culture and Team. You know one of the things that they that you are a big fan of is really mentoring and and coaching folks as supposed to hiring outsiders. Um, so walk us through this like. What are some of the key essence or key ingredients for having that mentorship and that coaching and developing people internally you know become a successful initiative.

Pablo Fernandez Alvarez: Yeah, well first they have to say and there’s there’s no secret and you just learn my mistakes and 50% of the hires that the people. Yeah you want. They’re want to promote it fails right? but but for for me for Allison and I was has very important both in glicars and clickkaia was to. Say look let’s let’s identify the people that have the right values the right culture. Um, and also if you want to be a b d a positive you cannot pay super executive salaries right? So you have to to pay smaller salaries so we decided to to hire people that were a little bit younger and less experienced but we. We held them to growth of course at the end when like around 50% of the executives. We hire 50% of the executives we promote because it’s it’s impossible to promote all the people but we saw many mistakes in many starttas that were hiring. Like the superstars coming from Google from uber with ah 6 figure salaries a crazy amount and these people didn’t came with the right culture right? And culture is very important in your executives. So um I think that’s something that ah that I’m very proud for example in clickars. Even a few years after the exit. The Ceo is the is the one that we put there all the executive management team they remain there. There are same people with the same culture. So I think that’s important sometimes the speed of the business doesn’t allow to be people don’t grow as fast as the business and you need to hire.

Pablo Fernandez Alvarez: Ah, but when you hire look at culture and for us culture was like a humility thinking about profitable Mindset. Um, and and and have the ability but to having said that I mean I had meant a lot of mistakes and whenever you make a mistake you have to be fast. Right in firing the the the executive that doesn’t work right and or doesn’t have the right culture.

Alejandro Cremades: And how have you done it to Pablo um, you know of being part of of you know in this case, you know we’re now on the second company you know, 2 fantastic success stories. But for you also to grow at the same speed as the company. How did you go about that.

Pablo Fernandez Alvarez: Yeah, that’s that’s that’s very important so in the first company I was I was the Ceo in the second company with alista we decided that he was going to be the Ceo I was president more helping ah him on day on day managing the board the investors they on day on the.

Pablo Fernandez Alvarez: And the learning is from from click card. So I think what’s important is is deciding what? Ah, what’s your role now and sometimes you need to to to ah to stop being Ceo or to jump into ah and another type of roles and at the end the most important thing is what’s best for the business. So. The other thing is. Ah, scaling up yourself so you could be like a good Ceo of ah 50 people company. But when it was to ah 1000 maybe you are not good. So ah for me what works is like ah talking to other entrepreneurs that have been there before um. For example in our cup table atlicalia we have a yomosadd that is the funderency of a checkout right? Ah, big success and ah or people like serchio foo the founder of creata. So. We’re calling. Okay, ah, how is about ah raising a seriesra c of 100000000 how is about talking to sobo how is about hiring at 1000 people. um um I think it’s it’s amazing to be surrounded yourself with season entrepreneurs that have been there before. And they can tell you your whenever you have a problem you can pick at the phone and call them and they are going to tell what they did what they learned ah and that’s the other thing I would say is ah being very honest with your cofounder talking.

Pablo Fernandez Alvarez: About your your weakness your gaps things that that you don’t know how to do it? Um, um, and and also understanding what you like or you don’t like their ah there for a sample in my case I love bringing a company from maybe 0 to 100000000 but then when you have like a 100000000 revenues or five hundred people one thousand for me, it becomes more like a corporate corporation and I miss that real. But so you need to know how good you are, but also what you like or you don’t like um. Um, be honest about it to take measures like putting another Ceo or or moving on to another problem.

Alejandro Cremades: So talking about moving on to another project a year ago you decided to turn page what happened.

Pablo Fernandez Alvarez: Yes, no so I I was missing the energy of day one and that one and with the experience that I have with Clickar selling cars. Ah my experiences and under financing cars I I decided to start my third company it so clear drive. It’s a car financing platform where people that own a car can get a credit line with their with their card. So it’s a broker. It’s marketplace with banks. Um, um, car owners where car owners can get money for that. So I I have this idea but on this this third time I decided to do it differently actually look this time. I really want to own 100% of the business right? because ah, um, in both previous companies. We raise money and we have outside investors and I always feel like a pleasure of I’m I’m managing other people’s money. So it’s not my company. It’s not my money but in this one I wanted to really have a sense of ownership. So in this case, what what I did is like ah I boosttrat the company I put a few million Euros from my own money and so far it’s been 1 year it went from zero to hundred million revenues positive bda not a lot of people like I have like ah 50 people but ah thinking about long term right? So I was thinking. Ah, how can I create a business that can be like ah a billion dollar dollar business but in which I own 100% of the business in 10 years right maybe not in 5 years but without raising money and that’s.

Pablo Fernandez Alvarez: That’s the challenge and I don’t have pressure of mans other people Moneys I don’t have banking debt and for me that gives me like a lot of freedom and flexibility and a piece of mine to do to run a business as you like.

Alejandro Cremades: Now in parallel, you’re also doing clear brain. So why you know you decided not to go out at once but at twice at the same time you know as the next chapter.

Pablo Fernandez Alvarez: Yeah, exactly that was a mistake I joke with many entrepreneurs that I decided to have twins voluntarily you know? So ah I mean I would’t done it I would have never done it again if I could come back because. I mean one of the problems where when you start business is that I am opera optimisim miss this. So so you forget about the pain of start the business right? So ah and it never gets easier like you. It’s like you think oh it is the third time it’s going to be easier. No, it’s ah is more difficult. Maybe you have. More relaxed financially or you know you have more nowha but it’s always very difficult but but I was over atimistic and I said okay I’m going to start the the fourth business so clearbrain is an artificial intelligence company helping companies to to turn the and unstructured data into ready to use data for. Been used with the public ah and lllms and and it’s a very small company. We only 8 people I’m just they I put $2000000 of my money in this company and I and my register holders and I and. With ah my advice of the cofounders and the team I caning like a lot of equity I we boottrapping the company is still not external funding. Ah, but in this case I am not operational I am I don’t have an executive role I just put the money and and and gather the team.

Pablo Fernandez Alvarez: And it was also for me to to get inside of an an exciting industry artist artificial intelligence that has helped me also with Dealia or with my investment strategy. Ah but I think that the big lesson is that serial entrepreneurs. We Always underestimate the pain and effort. Ah, takes a start in the business room scratch is.

Alejandro Cremades: Now talking about underestimating the pain and effort. You know for the people that are listening. You have ah quite ah, an amazing hobby and that is a swimming in the open Seas. So What is. They say tell us about this because you have several records there that day that you’ve been able to break and how have you been able to Adapt. You know that experience or that those learning is from that into the world of entrepreneurship and the pain that you go through as an entrepreneur as well.

Pablo Fernandez Alvarez: Yeah, so well. The story is ah my father was a professional soccer player. So I have a good genetics and but when I was seven year old I have an injury my niece and the doctors told me during 1 year you can only swim you cant do anything it was I was like. Super happy. But then I went to the pool and they discovered that I was very pold so I was very competitive along this time swimmer streamming. Um and I started to to do all the crosses around the world like ah the stra ribralta or Mahaan Island english channel I mean all this. And and then at some point I decided to go further so I became ah the the fastest person to swing one hundred kilometers in the ocean that I did the fastest ah distance in the longest distance in 24 hours both in the ocean and in the swiming pool. 36 hours to continue non continue continue streaming in a pool and then my my biggest record that is the longest distant in the oceans you hundred fifty kilometers from Miami beats to cap andia in 2021 and the funny thing is that I was doing these records while I was building clickars and and unclekaia and. Ah, the funest thing is like ah I I couldn’t go to the to the pool. So I put the pool in the company. So I install ah a counter current pool in the glika factory. So all the necanies were working on the cars. Yeah in the factory and it was like a swimming at 6 yeah in the morning but for me, um.

Pablo Fernandez Alvarez: It being being being a competitive athlete. It helped me to be a competitive entrepreneur because I always think it’s important as an entrepreneur sometimes you are overwhelm with work and and you don’t exercise. Don’t eat well and do have burnout. So in my case as a sporto gave me like a way to escape from my stress entrepreneurial life on im thinking about that. Obviously the trick is I I am not married I don’t have kids so I I only I was focused on I was waking up every day at 155 going into the pool from 6 to 9 and then working Clickar and clickalia until late. So it was very this but it really helped me to have this discipline mindset to that. Um, the funny thing is that I implemented the analytical mindset to streamming so I i. I put like cameras into this into the pool and I was using a visualization to improve my stroke with analytics I was very very I put a lot of effort on that. Ah, and also yeah.

Alejandro Cremades: But mindset my mindset Pablo. You know you say is something that that you were alluding to earlier that that I think is ski ah because you were talking about doing a hundred kilometers swimming nonstop for 36 hours you know your mind you know I’m sure that in many instances there was. Telling you to give up. You know you probably started hearing the voices of hey you know I’m tired I’m not feeling good or this happened you know maybe I give up how do you How do you deal with those voices and and especially like how did were you able to shift. You know that way of. Of dealing with those voices and with your mindset as maybe you’re dealing with like challenging events with a business where maybe you’re running out of money or maybe you know like there is ah someone quitting or whatever fire that you have to deal with where you’re also having those voices I’m questioning yourself.

Pablo Fernandez Alvarez: Yeah, so obviously we all have these voices on this classroom mas both in the business and the sport life I remember in this the two hundred and fifty kilometers at night I was attacked by many jellyies I saw like a gray that it looks like a shark and I was called and I was like what the fuck I’m doing here in the middle of the ocean risking my life. Um, and but then for me what works is like okay, don’t think dream big back thing is an act Modelll meaning okay put a big dream. But if you’re in the middle of the ocean. Don’t think about the. 6000 strokes that I have to give that day I mean think about 1 stroke at a time. Okay I can’t do like I was counting the strokes I I can’t do like I cant do like 100 strokes. Okay, then another hundred I can go to the next meal cycle in one hour I can’t wait until the sun rise. So. Divide the big problems into a small mileeststones right? Even when you are like in ah in in in the company like when when we raise our series a. Ah, for example, I were looking at some this I mean sometimes when you have like issues in the company. Break down the problems into a small problems like okay think about the next day think about the next meeting think about the next client. Um, and and that was really help me know dream big but think and act ah as small and then at at some moment just stop. You look at the whats it’s like oh shit 36 hours you under fifty kilometers what just happened.

Pablo Fernandez Alvarez: And and and something that my family they they gave me some values of not believing I mean knowing that what you do is not because of you is because you are lucky or or because ah the people around you helps you? So ah, not believing that your success is because of you but just. Just focus on what you can control that is 1 stroke at a time 1 client at a time. Ah one one day ah thinking about the day and that’s it put like a Mark Bureau

Alejandro Cremades: So I want to put you into a time machine Pablo and I brought I want to bring you into the into the past. Okay I’m bringing you into a time machine now bringing you back in time I’m bringing you back in time to perhaps you know that moment where you were still. You know at some time there you know maybe like in 4015 let’s say I bring you back to that moment where you’re now thinking about giving your notice you’re thinking about venturing into the unknown jumping off the cliff not knowing what you have in front of you. Let’s say you’re able to stop that younger Pablo on the tracks that younger Pablo that is coming out of the santander office. Ready to be coming entrepreneur trippping around you’re able to sit down that younger pavlo right? there on the spot and being able to give that younger Pablo 1 piece of advice before launching a business. What will that be and why given what you know now.

Pablo Fernandez Alvarez: Okay, so I would tell them ah don’t ras be patient I mean building a business is not about creating a un uniqueor in three years I mean it takes probably 10 to 15 years to create like a great business so be patient second if possible do not raise money. Keep hundred percent of the business or or at least a lot a big percentage of the business and and try to focus on clients. Even if you grow a little a bit less at the beginning but try to to not focus on on funding but focus on customers. No make your customers your venture capital and your and your capital providers. No. And um, and third is like don’t take things so it said I mean at the beginning everything is like a fire right? Everything is like and and you are so stress. So so. Try to to to be happy managing problems and managing stress and enjoy your life because as an entrepreneur all your life is going to be ups and downs super stress. So enjoy the journey because you never know the outcome. It depends like a lot of things your co-founder product market risk dynamics financing economics wherever competition. So you don’t control the outcome that everybody wants that is great. A very valuable company but at least enjoy the journey and enjoying the journey is like relax. Don’t take things so seriously.

Pablo Fernandez Alvarez: And just focus on doing the right things at the at the ah every day I have a patience longtime or horizonon I look at the cost flow. Don’t mislead yourselves with Vanity Apis and at the end of the day. Cash flow is a is is is keen I’m making sure that. Cash flow and customer satisfaction are the 2 things that you should focus.

Alejandro Cremades: I love it so Pablo for the people that are listening that will love to reach out and say hi. What is the best way for them to do so.

Pablo Fernandez Alvarez: Well, you can reach me out the linkein or through my email Pablo at Palo Fernandez Dot Com I if you want to invest I have invested in more than hundred startups I love to to Sarah to to share ideas. So happy to to to connect in social network course and. Um, thank you for having me at hand been great.

Alejandro Cremades: Amazing. Thank you so much for being on the deal maker show today Pablo it has been without a doubt and honor to have you with us.

Pablo Fernandez Alvarez: Alvarez: No thank you so much I handle.


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