Bubbling Out: a podcast for people who lead.

The EXACT Framework This Leader Uses to Run Two Web 3 Companies

June 26, 2024 Emily Rose Dallara "The Leadership Doula" Season 2 Episode 1
The EXACT Framework This Leader Uses to Run Two Web 3 Companies
Bubbling Out: a podcast for people who lead.
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Bubbling Out: a podcast for people who lead.
The EXACT Framework This Leader Uses to Run Two Web 3 Companies
Jun 26, 2024 Season 2 Episode 1
Emily Rose Dallara "The Leadership Doula"

In this episode of Bubbling Out, I sit down with Mario Alves, an entrepreneur and founder of LayerX and BakerFi, to unpack the nitty-gritty of self-leadership, belief, and successful team management. Mario's journey from the banking world to becoming a leader in the Web3 space is full of lessons that'll resonate with many of you.

We dive deep into the power of self-reflection, setting clear goals, and trusting your gut - skills that are often overlooked but crucial for any leader. Mario doesn't hold back when sharing his experiences, and I think you'll find his practical advice on handling those dreaded difficult conversations super helpful.

One thing that really struck me was our discussion on personal boundaries. As entrepreneurs, we often push ourselves to the limit, but Mario reminds us why it's so important to define our non-negotiables. And let's be honest, who doesn't struggle with that sometimes?

We also chat about fostering a work environment where your team feels genuinely valued and aligned with your vision. Mario's insights on knowing when to let go and trust your team hit home for me - it's something I'm constantly working on in my own business.

Whether you're just starting out or you've been in the game for a while, I believe Mario's journey and the lessons he's learned along the way will give you a fresh perspective on leadership. So grab a cup of coffee (or tea!), and let's dive in!


00:00 Introduction to Mario Alves

03:37 Mario's professional journey and discovering crypto

06:47 The challenges of newer generations in the workforce

10:01 Understanding self-leadership

14:09 The power of belief in achieving goals

17:24 Manifestation and rewiring your brain for success

22:16 Advice for having hard conversations

26:21 The most vital part of being a successful leader

31:15 Building a team of "keepers"

35:22 Knowing when to let go as a leader

38:49 Closing thoughts and where to find Mario

connect with Mario:
-> https://layerx.xyz/
-> https://www.linkedin.com/in/marioribeiroalves/

🪩 don't forget to subscribe for a bi-weekly break and pick-me up from the chaos of leading a team.

free resources for new leaders:

come hang out with me
- insta → / emilyrosedallaracoach
- linkedin → / emilyrosedallara

Sign up to my newsletter to get exclusive content, tips and strategies to help you thrive at work, without the self doubt or working 24/7. Direct to your inbox each week.

Show Notes Transcript

In this episode of Bubbling Out, I sit down with Mario Alves, an entrepreneur and founder of LayerX and BakerFi, to unpack the nitty-gritty of self-leadership, belief, and successful team management. Mario's journey from the banking world to becoming a leader in the Web3 space is full of lessons that'll resonate with many of you.

We dive deep into the power of self-reflection, setting clear goals, and trusting your gut - skills that are often overlooked but crucial for any leader. Mario doesn't hold back when sharing his experiences, and I think you'll find his practical advice on handling those dreaded difficult conversations super helpful.

One thing that really struck me was our discussion on personal boundaries. As entrepreneurs, we often push ourselves to the limit, but Mario reminds us why it's so important to define our non-negotiables. And let's be honest, who doesn't struggle with that sometimes?

We also chat about fostering a work environment where your team feels genuinely valued and aligned with your vision. Mario's insights on knowing when to let go and trust your team hit home for me - it's something I'm constantly working on in my own business.

Whether you're just starting out or you've been in the game for a while, I believe Mario's journey and the lessons he's learned along the way will give you a fresh perspective on leadership. So grab a cup of coffee (or tea!), and let's dive in!


00:00 Introduction to Mario Alves

03:37 Mario's professional journey and discovering crypto

06:47 The challenges of newer generations in the workforce

10:01 Understanding self-leadership

14:09 The power of belief in achieving goals

17:24 Manifestation and rewiring your brain for success

22:16 Advice for having hard conversations

26:21 The most vital part of being a successful leader

31:15 Building a team of "keepers"

35:22 Knowing when to let go as a leader

38:49 Closing thoughts and where to find Mario

connect with Mario:
-> https://layerx.xyz/
-> https://www.linkedin.com/in/marioribeiroalves/

🪩 don't forget to subscribe for a bi-weekly break and pick-me up from the chaos of leading a team.

free resources for new leaders:

come hang out with me
- insta → / emilyrosedallaracoach
- linkedin → / emilyrosedallara

Sign up to my newsletter to get exclusive content, tips and strategies to help you thrive at work, without the self doubt or working 24/7. Direct to your inbox each week.

em (00:01.294)
Welcome back to Bubbling Out, where we're popping the norms of leadership and creating new sustainable, powerful ways to lead. Today, we've got Mario. He's an entrepreneur and also a wonderful client of mine. Welcome to the show, Mario.

Mario Alves (00:03.069)
Thank you very much. Thank you for the invitation. It's a pleasure to be here.

em (00:20.174)
It's so nice. And I realized that I'm looking in the wrong direction now. So Alex, when you're editing this, I'm moving my screen around and trying to make it. There we go. That's better. I can see you straight in front of me now. But yeah, thank you so much for coming. I feel like we've talked like 10 million times this week already.

Mario Alves (00:35.517)
Yes, but always productive thoughts and productive conversation.

em (00:37.87)
It's so nice though. Yeah, exactly. And you know what I love? Like all of the people that I've worked with have become friends, acquaintances, mentors, like whatever. And I think that's the beauty of doing what I do is like coaching people. And I guess it's the same for you as well with partners and stuff, right?

Mario Alves (00:58.525)
Yes, absolutely. I love people. So I find that, you know, by collaborating instead of being my own bubble, which is appropriate for your podcast name, I feel like I can evolve even further and actually learn from other people. And I think that's what we're all here for, right? As human beings.

em (01:09.934)

em (01:22.254)
Yeah, definitely. And I remember when I was a lot younger, when I was first starting out in marketing, I used to put people on a pedestal a lot of the time and I forgot that they'd been where I was. And so for a long time, I didn't dare ask for help properly. And then when I got older, I was like, this is the only way that we grow.

Mario Alves (01:42.013)
Absolutely, absolutely. And yeah, I also feel like the people that, you know, we consider to be idols or things like that, typically, they're just people, you know, normal people, and they probably share the same fears and anxieties as we do. So it's just a matter of, you know, understanding that we're all the same, and that we all, you know, are happy, struggle sometimes, and that's part of life. So.

That's why I also believe that instead of putting people on a pedestal, I think that you should, you know, talk with them and speak your mind. Even if it's something that is not so positive at that time, but eventually you'll find a way and that specific person will probably help you out as well.

em (02:31.406)
Yeah, definitely. I think that comes through in your, how you lead your team actually. And I really, I feel like we shared that similarity where we are all just equal. We are born equal. That's who we are. All that puts this at different levels is society and experience, right? And it's all a facade anyway. And so I think being, yeah, and being able to lead a team like that is really wholesome and it helped. That's a word that.

Mario Alves (02:44.573)
Yep. Yes. Absolutely.

em (02:58.798)
I'll tell you about that story in a minute. Wholesome is a word of the week. And it just really helps us to get on the same level. Like for example, my assistant, yeah, who you've, you've dealt with. I bloody love this woman. I see her as my wing woman in life and I want her to work with me for everything that I do. Right. And that, and I think we've developed this relationship and the way that she works is, is really in tune with me and my energy. And I think you only get that if you...

Mario Alves (03:13.597)
Yeah. Absolutely. And if you only keep it professional, you know, in a very cold manner, I think that you're losing a lot, you know, you're losing a lot of insights and a lot of, you know,

em (03:27.374)
approach people on the same level.

Mario Alves (03:43.005)
spark and innovation that could come from that. So I truly believe that that should be the opposite, right? We are humans and we should treat each other as human beings. Even if it's on a professional level, of course, like you need to balance things out and make sure what is your personal life and your professional life. But at the same time, there's always room, you know, to make yourself more human and have that human touch to it.

em (04:11.406)
Yeah, exactly. And I was going to go before we go off in a different tangent, but before we do, I don't always get people to introduce themselves, but I think it would be worthwhile because the people who are listening, and usually I do a bit of an intro before, but the people who are listening are probably really intrigued to know, okay, who's this guy and how does he have all this knowledge about leadership and building a team and stuff? And I think that'll be really good to know.

Mario Alves (04:36.861)
Nice. Yeah, absolutely. Um, so I'm, uh, Portuguese born and raised. Um, I love my country and, uh, I love being here and living here. Um, so I started my journey, professional journey, um, by, uh, getting into banking. I hated it. Then I went to do something else. I did some consulting for a while for a big four company.

And then I went back to banking, if you can believe it. But in this time around was actually investment banking. So different type of banking. I was always keen to learn about investment and all that. And that's when I discovered crypto. And since I discovered crypto and blockchain and Web3 and all of these things, I said to myself, okay, now is the time to do something for myself instead of...

working for other people and for bigger organizations. Although I always had that in me, you know, so I've always felt like one day I will be able to create something of my own, but I need this time to learn. And it's part of what I consider, you know, a normal path and a good path, a healthy path to lead to success. So everything that I know about leadership,

I think that I either find it out by working with previous leaders that I consider good, also working with leaders that I don't consider good because then you can find the bad things that you don't want to incorporate into your leadership. And in 2018, going back to crypto and Web3, I created my own company called Lyrics. So we specialize essentially into hackathons and bounties and all of these

fun and innovative stuff. And more recently, I also started to contribute to another project called BakerFi, which I'm also a co -founder. And this is in a nutshell a bit of a butt -wink.

em (06:47.118)
Yay, thank you so much. I actually didn't know you were in investment banking. Makes sense. But I like the point that you said about how you felt like you had to have that experience first to build your own company. And I don't know about you, but I think with the newer generations like Gen Z, there's not that belief. Have you seen that?

Mario Alves (06:50.653)

Mario Alves (07:14.077)
Yes. I also think that when I was younger, I also didn't have that belief. So I'm not sure if it's actually a generational problem or, you know, age problem or experience problem. Because when I started my career, I also struggled into how can I make something for myself? How can I become a better leader? How can I be, you know, more proactive?

And I think that what this new generation has is a tremendous amount of access to all sorts of information, channels, all of that. And that is good in a way, because I felt like I didn't have that when I started, but it's also bad in a different way because by having everything in the power or at the palm of your hand,

then you suddenly start to feel fear of missing out and you're always trying to look for the next big thing and you don't commit to something. And that is something that I also feel that can be a generational problem due to the adoption of internet, smartphones and all that.

em (08:37.422)
Yeah, I think that's a really good point. And the fact that they have all this information readily available means that they can learn anything. However, what I find is, and actually, I've consulted on a few projects where this has happened. They've got immense hard skills. So they, maybe a lot of the time they're in marketing tech, like growth tech or whatever. And they've developed these hard skills and they're really well known and maybe they're influencers in their little corner.

but they have zero soft skills. So they haven't been in companies before. They've just, they're like 18, out of maybe not even gone to uni, just like learned off YouTube, become really good at what they're doing, but then have no clue how to interact with anybody. And so that's definitely a challenge for, actually some of my older clients who've come to me who are like much more senior in their leadership, that's a challenge that they're struggling with right now. It's like all of these young people are coming in.

Mario Alves (09:32.636)
Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. And I also feel like, you know, the work conditions that I had.

em (09:36.11)
great skills, but they're really, they describe it as entitled. I don't know if that's the right word, but they describe it as entitled and they expect everything handed to them because they know stuff that you don't know, if that makes sense. And they don't, they don't realize that also the senior leaders know a lot more in terms of life skills, work skills, all that kind of stuff.

Mario Alves (10:01.725)
when I first started to work were completely different. So again, after starting my banking career, I immediately switched to consulting and consulting is a very demanding job, especially at a big four level. And I worked my ass off nonstop to deliver and it wasn't good enough at all the times. And I had like

this pressure that's looking back. Now I see that it has helped me to become a better person, not just, you know, a better professional, but also a better leader and all of these things combined. And what I feel is that by having so much access and by, you know, having technology that is able to accelerate your work at, I don't know how many, how many times you don't need to work as much. You don't need to.

make an effort as much. And for that specific generation, I think that's the problem because they always feel like until they start to work, they didn't need to work their asses off for anything else, you know? And it's that cultural difference that I believe it's where, you know, the bad things are. And also at the same time, agreeing with you, like these people,

em (11:15.182)
Mm -hmm.

Mario Alves (11:30.717)
think that internet has everything and they tend to undervalue the experience of more senior people, which is something that I also believe that should play a very significant role.

em (11:39.15)

em (11:42.733)
Yeah, it's interesting. We either adapt or, I don't think they're going to change, right? It's a generational thing. So it's like, how are we going to adapt as a workforce? I don't know if you follow, are you on Instagram?

Mario Alves (11:55.741)
Um, not so much to be honest. I was, you know, more, uh, on Instagram before I started my company, but then I felt, uh, this is, you know, uh, a vicious cycle that tends to pull me in and start to see, see things that don't actually make me productive. Um, although I'm there, you know, to follow more of, uh, tennis, uh, uh, stuff, uh, and to learn, you know, specific things, uh, more than.

em (12:15.982)

Mario Alves (12:25.341)
you know, just to browse it and to check other people out.

em (12:30.254)
Yeah, that's what my answer used to be, right? Until I, I think it was October time, I went to Regan's house in Amsterdam and her husband, very structured, logical person and Regan very creative. She's a creator. And they both said to me, sat me down, why are you not on Instagram? And I was like, why do I need to be on Instagram, Regan and Philip? Cause you're the logical one here. You should tell me not to be on Instagram.

Mario Alves (12:30.589)
Thank you.

em (12:56.654)
And they said, no, you're missing out because this is where your clientele are. And you've got so many stories to tell and you're really creative. You need to go and tell it on Instagram. So I did. And I've grown Instagram and it's going well. But Emily Rose Dallara coach, by the way, everybody follow me. But on there it's amazing because you can really curate the feed. And I, I feel like my husband curates it for me, to be honest. He sends me everything, but there's this guy called Creein, I think it's Creein Burnie and he makes so many.

Mario Alves (12:57.789)
So, we're going to take a few minutes to get started.

Mario Alves (13:21.053)
Yeah. Yeah, please do. Please do.

em (13:26.286)
reels about the different generations at work. And it's really funny, especially as a millennial, you're like, I can't believe that Gen Z it's like so accurate. Like he does boomers, millennials and Gen Z. And then he like films how it is remote working and leading a team remote working. It's just really funny. So I need to, if you're on Instagram, I would have sent it to you. But yeah, so I will do.

Okay. So I am going to get back on track because everyone knows when they listen to this podcast, I go off on a tangent. I think that's the beauty of it, to be honest. But I want to ask you a question. So self -leadership. This is something we don't often talk about, but what does it mean to you?

Mario Alves (14:00.701)
Of course.

Mario Alves (14:04.733)
Mm -hmm.

Mario Alves (14:09.661)
Okay, so for me, it's kind of like controlling your own destiny, if you believe in that sort of stuff. And that has good things and bad things as well, right? So the good things is that if you're able to create your own destiny or control it, then you're able to make what works for you and actually achieve your goals. At the same time, I think that it also brings a lot of responsibility.

And this doesn't fit with some people, right? So for me, self -leadership in a sentence is you being able to define your own goals and self -regulate in order to achieve them and to achieve your team's goals as well. And this is something that typically is hard because you need to have some discipline and you need to follow...

that specific process. And this is something that, you know, by having a two year old daughter, I try to look at her and see if she's able to become a self leader. And I see that for her, it's more natural than it is for me or for any adult. And the reason why that is, is because over time we create mental barriers that, you know, we're not capable of doing this.

And we don't believe this enough. So we tend to, you know, devalue our goals and devalue our mission. And that's why we fail at self leadership in my opinion. Um, but yeah, in a nutshell, I think that's how I would describe self leadership.

em (15:56.11)
That was very well said. And you've told me before about your two -year -old and how, what did you say? I'll let her do a thing as long as she's not going to die. But it's true. And I think it's amazing because you allow her to become herself, discover her personality, discover her limitations, right? And I think as you continue to do that, she's going to have a lot more freedom and ability to be herself in other situations too.

Mario Alves (16:06.109)

Mario Alves (16:24.541)

em (16:26.382)
And I think as leaders, it's, and we were discussing this last night on the group coaching call with Thrive Circle. It's having the ability to self -regulate, but knowing what that is, what does self -regulation look like for you? What are your limits? What is your, what are your non -negotiables and what are your boundaries? All these kinds of things is part of self -leadership. If you can regulate yourself, how the hell are you going to regulate anybody else or help anybody else regulate themselves? So yeah, that's, I loved your...

Mario Alves (16:37.981)

em (16:55.406)
I love your description of that. And you also mentioned belief, and this is something we often talk about and you sent me, was it Bob Proctor? You sent me maybe a podcast with Bob Proctor. Yeah, the OG on belief. I want you to tell me more about this because it's played a big part in, I think it's played a huge part in your success. Like having worked with you for the last three months, the belief was always underlying, underlying tone, I would say.

Mario Alves (17:05.149)
Yes. Yes, yes I did.

Mario Alves (17:24.605)
Yeah, I would just grab on something that you said. If you don't believe in yourself, then you will make your job as a self leader harder, right? So you really need to build that belief over time. I don't think it's something that you just gain instantly or something that you get a calling or something like that.

And after that, you start believing in yourself without a question. I think it's actually a process. And I would like to grab one example of one book, which is Atomic Habits. And the author describes as atomic habits as being little things that you do every single day so that you keep getting better at the end of one month or one year. So it's that 1 % that you change that will be.

improving you over time. And that's the same thing about belief, right? It's believing yourself just a little bit. If you can believe more, the better, of course, but just believing a little bit and you'll start to see the results. So it's belief and process that are aligned. And by following that process in one week's time or in one month's time, you will see that your belief actually paid off and you start believing more.

and more and more and more over time. So for me, that's what I feel like is working and that would be the advice I would give to people.

em (19:03.086)
Well, yeah. Well, if we have a look at the, and I've seen this play out actually, and I'm going to ask you about how that played out for you, but this is basically manifestation from a different angle, right? So traditional manifestation is visualization paired with belief, paired with feeling and being. All you're doing really, apart from when you like go into the more spiritual realm, is rewiring your brain to think something is possible.

Mario Alves (19:16.125)

em (19:32.238)
That's what visualization does. And that's what belief does. So when, when something happens that you believed you could do, that creates a belief that you can do it. And then you do it again, and then you do more of it. And then it starts to cement the belief and that's literally rewiring your brain. Um, and so that's your own way of manifestation. And I think belief is really, like you just said, if you don't have it, then you cannot, you will not succeed in what you want to achieve. I mean, you might, but it'll be an extreme struggle.

Mario Alves (19:32.413)
Yeah. Yes.

em (20:00.974)
It won't be enjoyable. And I've seen this play out in my own life. Like when I feel like I've not believed fully in myself, things just haven't worked out. And that's the reason why, right? And, so you go first.

Mario Alves (20:01.661)
Yeah, absolutely. And, you know, there are a few days. Yeah, just wanted to say that there are a few days in which you won't believe in yourself. So it's not something that, you know, as a human, you can do every single day. But again, it's a process, right? If you have a positive...

some of the days that you believe in yourself, then you will succeed and it will be less painful. I just wanted to bring an example here, which is the Jim Carrey's example, this famous actor. So he believed in himself so much. Actually before that he didn't, so he was practically homeless. He had very little money, but then he started to believe in himself and he wrote a $1 million check to him.

Um, to be withdrawn, I don't know on how many years, but he read, he has written a date on, on it. Right. And before that date, he actually got a contract of $1 million, uh, for, uh, you know, a movie that was being done at the time in Hollywood. So he got there before a, he had believed that, that he could do it. Um, and did it's that force and that belief.

that actually makes you work harder or work towards your goals and actually make you succeed. So yeah, that's a very interesting story that I always like to tell because it's very tangible and everyone knows Jim Carrey, right?

em (21:48.846)
Yeah, no, it's a great example. It's like similar to like this, the manifestation book, the movie, I think is the secret, right? And it's all about like stating that something will happen, believing and doing. So many different ways of doing this. It's like, we should maybe do a podcast on manifestation because there's many different elements. People think, oh, it's just woo woo. No, it's scientifically backed that if you do these kinds of things, it works. And the fact that he wrote a check.

Mario Alves (21:56.605)
Yeah. Yeah.

Mario Alves (22:08.093)
Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. Yeah, exactly.

em (22:16.846)
with a specific date and time, give him a deadline. It was specific. He just had to put the actions in place. And so if, yeah, and I've, there's like many, many stories like this where you really don't know what's going to happen, but you know that it will. And I think our advice here for people who are struggling right now, or they're feeling like they can't get this done, or they won't be able to get this role, or they won't be able to build this business.

Mario Alves (22:43.005)
Absolutely. Yeah, I think that you got your answers within yourself, right? So you just need to reflect. And this is something that people should do more often, myself included. I think that if you reflect on what's gone right in the past,

em (22:46.286)
Look back at what you've already achieved and pull little bits from it. And it helps you.

But yeah.

Mario Alves (23:13.149)
and what made you achieve that specific goal that you set out to, it will become easier for you to go towards your new goals. And that's exactly how it works. Again, it's a process and it doesn't work if you don't believe in yourself.

em (23:31.15)
Exactly. And what was that? I was listening to a podcast the other day and they were talking about, how do you increase your intuition, right? In the spiritual world, it's like, oh, you need to do all this kind of stuff. But really, all you need to do is be quiet. You need to be, you have to understand that the answers are within you. Everything is in you. Your whole resourceful and complete. And if you just were a bit more quiet every now and then, not looking at technology, stimulation, self -soothing, if you were just quiet more often.

Mario Alves (23:45.629)

em (24:01.006)
It's all there. You don't need to chew. I mean, you can try and dial it in a bit more, but it's there. And I think a lot of people are so structured in the way that they work and they move in life and they forget that they're like energy just flowing through this weird world. We're literally on a rock. People forget like how crazy that is. And they become so in the narrow focus that they forget that they're this like magical being that is on an earth that is also a miracle.

Mario Alves (24:13.149)
Sometimes you just need to look up, right? Instead of just marrying it down.

em (24:31.054)
Yeah. So I just think it's really, yeah, sometimes you have to go back. Yeah, exactly. Have you seen the film?

Is it a film or a series? I can't remember. It's called Don't Look Up and it was like really interesting. Anyway.

Mario Alves (24:47.261)
Oh, yeah. Yeah, actually, actually saw like a Schwartz movie where people were constantly looking at their phones. And there was this one little girl that didn't have a phone. So she was the only one that was actually in color, color mode. And she was, you know, trying to enjoy life. But every time that she was trying to make a friend,

em (25:10.35)

Mario Alves (25:15.293)
everyone was addicted to their phone and just looking at their phone until someone actually noticed her and they become best friends and they enjoy life together. And this for me, I think it's very interesting because it's the same analogy here, right? It's not just looking at your life as it is right now and not just focusing on, you know, I need to solve this problem by today and I need to do this thing by this week. It's just,

taking a step back and actually thinking about the bigger picture of your life.

em (25:52.878)
Yeah, a hundred percent. I think as leaders, it's very easy to want to solve problems all the time and fix everything and be there, ready to handle everything. And what that does is it, it dysregulates everything around you. You become ungrounded, unanchored, and then that creates emotional dysregulation, right? You start to feel anxious and worried and fearful and all the emotions that you're trying to regulate are just going out the window.

Mario Alves (26:13.533)

em (26:19.022)
And that's when you find like all of your toolkit unraveling. You're not able to use your toolkit because you're like completely frazzled. That's what I see time and time again. And so that's why grounding is so important. And it doesn't have to be woo woo or spiritual. It can be simply like imagining yourself planted in the earth, feet down, calm, doing breath work. And I think that's what you do really well. Like when we were working together, it was like, you were just trying all the things. And that's what I loved.

Mario Alves (26:41.181)
Absolutely. Yeah. What I feel about that is that, you know, um, some things.

em (26:47.31)
Some leaders don't have a clue what breath work is. No one's tried it. They haven't tried visualization. So I think there's so many cool tools that you can use to just take that step back, pause and realize that life keeps going on regardless. You can just continue whenever you need to.

Mario Alves (27:10.269)
work better in some people than other things, right? So you just need to be open -minded and try everything, right? Even if it's outside of your comfort zone. I would say especially if it's outside of your comfort zone, because then, you know, you're doing something that is quite the opposite of the things that you typically do, and that might work. So I would say, you know, apart from believing in yourself is not being afraid to try out.

em (27:19.726)
Mm -hmm.

Mario Alves (27:39.453)
new things, even if they seem a bit crazy. We are a bit crazy, all of us, right? So that's part of life.

em (27:46.702)
Yeah. Like, yeah, like I wrote a LinkedIn post about this the other day. Like we forget, I mean, I don't, some people forget that we are just kids in adult bodies. We never like the fun child inside of us didn't go away. It's still there. Um, and I think we, we've, we think that we should be serious and structured all the time. And it means that we're missing out on a huge part of life.

Mario Alves (27:55.165)

Mario Alves (28:14.173)
Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely agree.

em (28:16.302)
But yeah. On that point, I was going to ask, you mentioned some people are being pushed outside of their comfort zone, trying like different practices that are a bit crazy. What are your top three practices that you use to self -regulate, to manage your energy, all that kind of stuff?

Mario Alves (28:25.821)
Okay. Well, first of all, I would say, you know, really defining your goals is key for your success. Independently what that is, it can be either professional or personal. It doesn't matter, but really defining it and then...

Breaking it down to see any little steps, how you're going to get there, right? What work do you need to put yourself into to make those goals become accomplished and sticking into that process, right? So that is something that you need to do. So this is number one. Number two, I would say organization is key. So in order to keep that process running, you need to be...

organized. So having an agenda, for example, when we started working together, Emily actually sent me this beautiful physical agenda, which I never use, by the way, because I built my own process and that, and I did a virtual agenda, which is, you know, what works best for me, but, but still anyone can fine tune that. But I would say that that has helped me a lot because by bringing the things that are the most important things.

em (29:33.198)
I know. Yeah, exactly.

Mario Alves (29:51.965)
Um into that specific agenda into that specific week I know that I have to get those things done because it's very easy to fall into temptation to fix everything again, my name is mario. Everyone called me super mario So, you know that that fixer guy that does everything that that used to be me, right? I was like trying to fix things Um whenever I could but that doesn't get you anywhere. So taking care of your

important tasks first, I would say it's vital and crucial for you to actually evolve. And the number three thing that I would add is also something that you already mentioned, which is the non -negotiables. So defining your boundaries and your limitations and saying, okay, I'm willing to, in my case, do four conferences a year instead of doing...

12 or 15 as I did last year. And this is something that you should actually work towards too, because by defining your boundaries and your limits, you're actually being able or making yourself more available to actually reach your goals.

em (31:07.118)
Yeah, I love all those three. Especially the non -negotiables, that's my favorite thing. It's like a game changer and it's so small. Like I do a workshop on this. I should maybe do it again, actually. And it just teaches you how, like, this is so simple, but so many people don't understand how to do it properly. And I'm so glad that you've been able to use that and structure your life and work in a way that supports you now.

Mario Alves (31:26.365)

Mario Alves (31:31.965)
Yes, thank you. Thank you for that. What I realized, and this is something that will sound a little bit presumptuous, but I won't say it in any way because I feel like you helped me a lot achieving my goals, but I was the most important piece in it. So if I didn't commit myself to working towards that, your help would be for nothing.

So you would feel frustrated, I would feel frustrated. And at the end, we both wouldn't got anywhere. So I would say that the most important piece is within yourself. And you might have external help, you might have all the tools, you might have everything that you need. But if you don't put in your effort and your work and your mind to it, I would say it will be very, very difficult for you to achieve that.

em (32:01.774)

em (32:28.718)
Yeah, a hundred percent. If you're not committed, it's not going to go anywhere. Like I can try and coach you till the cows come home, but if you don't apply and practice and be consistent, none of it's going to help you. And that's what I found. Like in the past, I've had, I've had clients like this and, and at some point I'll say to them, is this still something you want? Because I don't feel like this is maybe right for you at the moment. And you have to have difficult conversations, but it's the same with me. If I've done, I do cause like, you know me, I'm obsessed with learning.

Mario Alves (32:40.381)
Absolutely. Yeah.

em (32:58.606)
And I go all in on things or I don't. There's no real middle ground. And so I'll sign up to a course knowing that I'll absolutely not do this. And I've just wasted like a thousand euros or whatever, but it's exactly the same. Like this course might have so much content in it. That's amazing and perfect the person who is committed, but if you're not committed, you'll get absolutely nothing from it. Like I've seen, I've got friends actually who've got courses and they will get, um,

reviews or feedback from people that it's been useless and they didn't find it good at all. And when they go back through, this person's maybe completed one module, attended one call, and it really is, you get what you put in. You get out what you put in, sorry.

Mario Alves (33:37.853)
Yes, yes, absolutely. Actually, you know, I'm remembering my old university days and there were, you know, these classes that I related with the most and it was easy for me, you know, to attend those classes and to be motivated to be there. And there were these ones that were not, you know, very interesting for me. And I had already that...

failure mindset because I didn't go to classes or when I was I wasn't paying enough attention then I was like this is not for me and I hate this and all of that but at the end I think it's just a matter of perspective and the matter of putting your mind to it again.

em (34:24.558)
Yeah, exactly. There really is. I think it's good that we brought that one up. Okay. I think we get into time now. I'll try not to stretch out too long, but what we're doing now is at the end of every chat, I'm getting people to step into the bubble. And actually I remember when I asked you about the title, you're like, I'm not sure about the bubble bit because it feels like I'm isolating myself. I'm like, could be taken that way. But we're trying to create a new meaning. Bubbling out is...

Mario Alves (34:39.357)

Mario Alves (34:45.213)

em (34:53.87)
All the good stuff that you've put into you is bubbling out to everybody else. That's what it is. So now you have to tell everybody this.

Mario Alves (34:56.765)
Nice. Nice. And it could also be, you know, stepping outside of your robot. So that's, that is something also interesting. Yeah.

em (35:03.726)
Yeah, outside the comfort zone. I like that one. Yeah. Okay. So at the end of every chat, I'm asking people three questions. So let's step into the bubble. I really want like, you know, like a, what's it called? A chat show. Like that kind of music. Maybe I should get that. Step into the bubble. Anyway.

Mario Alves (35:20.989)
Maybe, you know, just step into the bubble and then some little bubbles, the sound of a bubble, you know, popping.

em (35:29.582)
Yeah. Yeah, that's what we need. Okay. Next time we're going to do that on the editing. So question number one, given your years of experience, what advice, like your experience now, what advice would you give to Mario who was just starting out?

Mario Alves (35:47.261)
Okay. Does, uh, buying more Bitcoin count? I'm kidding. Um.

em (35:52.142)
But where do you get the money from? That's what everybody says to me. Would you have bought more Bitcoin? I was like, well, I was hustling. I was a consultant who didn't have loads of money at the time.

Mario Alves (35:57.789)
Yeah, yeah.

That's true. That's true. No, but, but the advice I would give would be, you know, going back to the belief part is believing in yourself more. As I mentioned before, like when I started and it's normal, although we've discussed that it's different from generation to generation within my generation, it was, you know, hard to get a job.

em (36:04.878)
Anyway, continue.

Mario Alves (36:31.037)
after after uni, it was the after the 2008 crisis. So everyone was struggling. And everyone needed to work a lot to reach their dream job, or at least their job that that could, you know, support them and have a salary on it. So back then, I believed in myself, but not in the way that I do now. So my advice,

would be to believe in myself more and trusting my instinct more than trying to consult with everyone. This is something that when you're starting a company or when you're creating a new venture, what people tend to do is go to their mom and dad or go to their friends and say to them, look, I'm...

creating this new thing, what do you think about this? If they're not your clients or if they're not, you know, the audience that you want to target, perhaps those are not the people that you should ask these things. Apart from that, probably your friends and your parents will want the best for you. So they will probably say, look son, probably it's better for you to find a more stable job, something that provides you steady income.

So those are the things that you typically should avoid. So again, believing in myself is definitely the key advice that I would give to my younger self so that I could grow faster and have my goals achieved more quicker than I have.

em (38:21.134)
Yeah, that's brilliant. And it's all about like understanding whose opinion has weight and really weighing up like, does this person, can this person actually give me advice that's valuable and constructive? And that's something I also had to learn. Like I was forever calling my dad like, what shall I do now? And he was like, well, you should, you should probably just get a job. And I think maybe that helped me because I did get a job and I managed to grow fast and earn money. But, um,

Mario Alves (38:27.855)

Mario Alves (38:34.461)

em (38:47.822)
Now, if I asked him, what should I do with my business? He'd be like, I don't know, I'm a doctor. So yeah, so I think it's knowing your audience when you're looking for advice and really trusting that you have the answers, like they're within you. Even I forget this, honestly, like I have a business coach and she's like, you know this, like you don't need me to tell you this. And so she like pushes me, go and...

Mario Alves (38:51.773)
Yeah, exactly.

Mario Alves (39:00.573)
Yeah. Okay.

em (39:13.069)
Journal, go do something. You've got the answer. But yeah, so totally. I agree with that. Okay. I know we've discussed this before. What is your one tip for having hard conversations? If you could give anyone just one tip.

Mario Alves (39:30.941)
Well, it depends on the time that you had for that specific hard or hard conversation or negotiation. What I would suggest is a good night's sleep. So typically if you have a good night's sleep and you think about it and then have that hard conversation on the next day, typically it's better, you know, just venting off and probably, you know, not reaching.

the goal that you wanted with that. I would also suggest not taking too much time, you know? So postponing something, especially when it's a hard conversation, I think that doesn't take you anywhere and you'll be with that in the back of your mind and you will be constantly anxious and thinking about that. So again, taking things slow in the sense that you should think about

how you're going to approach it, prepare for it, and prepare for the best outcome, not the worst outcome. Typically, people say, prepare for the worst, and then you'll get the best. I would say that you shouldn't focus on that. You should actually focus on the best outcome, right? Because that's what you want to achieve. So keeping your head positive and trying to achieve the best outcome typically helps.

em (40:46.094)
Mm -hmm.

Mario Alves (40:56.701)
to soften those hard conversations. And again, not taking too much time because you want to face your problem ahead. You don't want to postpone it until the end of time because otherwise you will have many different hard conversations that you will need to tackle at some point. And you're just delaying that specific problem.

em (41:21.006)
That's amazing advice. And it all comes back down to where your energy, no, wait, wait, wait, where your focus goes, your energy flows, right? So if you're focusing on the best thing, then more likely it's going to be a better outcome. And difficult conversations is something that everybody asks me about actually. I'm like, I've had lots of horrible conversations, both with me and I've had to have them with other people. And it gets easier the more you have these conversations, but it also gets easier the more you self -regulate.

Mario Alves (41:37.661)
Yeah. Yeah, absolutely.

em (41:51.022)
It's not about not showing emotion, it's about managing your emotions in a positive way. You can show compassion and care for somebody. You can feel what they're feeling without compromising your role, for example. But yeah, these are great answers.

Mario Alves (42:06.621)
And this goes to professional, but also to personal life. Right. Um, so typically I'm a person. So there are, I would say two types of people, probably more, but these are the most common types, the ones that tend to, you know, have a hard conversation when they're having a hard conversation, venting out and being too emotional and being, you know, too aggressive or sounding too aggressive. Um, and then.

There is this other side, which is more rational, trying to avoid conflict. I would say I'm the latter. I typically try to avoid conflict, but you need to at least be there. And if there is a conflict, you need to manage at some point. So I think there's no point in trying to ignore...

em (43:00.238)
Mm -hmm.

Mario Alves (43:05.981)
a problem when you know that it might be a problem, or it might not even be a problem, right? You might think that this will be a hard conversation and then it will be the easiest conversation in the world. So it might happen sometimes.

em (43:18.926)
Yeah. Yeah. And I see a lot of leaders or even people who are having these kinds of conversations will sit on the conversation. Like you said, it's like not taking too much time because the more you sit on it, the worse it will get in your head. Yeah. It's never as bad as what you think it'll be. Okay. And last question. What's the most vital part of being a successful leader in your opinion?

Mario Alves (43:33.757)
Yeah, yes, absolutely.

Mario Alves (43:41.725)
Okay. Well, I would say that it truly depends on what you consider successful, right? So success is relative and everyone has their own definition of success. And the example that I like to give is thinking about steep jobs. So steep jobs, I would say that most of the people would consider

him to be a successful leader. Um, but often people also criticize his way of leadership because he was too harsh on, on his team. He put a lot of pressure. Of course he created beautiful products and everyone loves their products, but this might also unbalance things. Right. So for me, and this is a very personal view, a successful leader is someone that's

is able to create the original vision, but at the same time doesn't, you know, think that he knows it all or doesn't think that he will be able to, um, to manage these, this vision or, or, uh, this direction just on his own. So I would say that you need to bring people and make this vision collaborative. So if you, uh, actually make your team, uh,

the same boat as you are and actually showing them that they are actually by your side and you're sticking out for them, then this will be completely different. So for me, the definition of a successful leader is actually someone that is able to bring the team on board, help them out, making sure that their needs are taken care of while achieving the vision that you set out to.

em (45:36.27)
Yeah, that's a really good example actually, because it's like, can you get people, like they always say, don't they? Like you can't get other people as excited about your product as you are, right? I don't believe that, to be honest. I think you can help other people feel as excited because you're sharing a vision. I think they can't get excited about your product if the vision's not there. If the vision's there and they can clearly see how it's impacting humanity, the world, whatever your product is impacting.

Mario Alves (45:57.373)

em (46:06.574)
and they have the shared, what's the word, shared interests, then they can get on board. And I think that's the team that I dream of creating actually for Payant. It's like, and all the people we've worked with on Payant shared it and they were so excited. And it's like the best feeling ever when you're on a call with someone and they're like, as excited, like even more excited than you are about building this thing. And it's like, this is so cool. And you know that they know way more about everything that they're doing than you do and being fine with that.

Mario Alves (46:23.645)
. .

em (46:34.574)
And it's really about putting the ego aside and knowing I'm really good at all this stuff, right? I came up with this cool idea. I don't have a bloody clue how we're going to build this. Like I'm a prime example, pay on. This is a good idea. I need this idea. Lots of other people need this idea. How the hell do you code a smart contract? Right. I knew, I think it's very much about knowing who you need, finding them, trusting them to help and guiding them in the right direction and making sure things are staying on track.

Mario Alves (46:39.453)
Yeah. Yeah. Absolutely. And, uh, I think that trusting your team is definitely the first.

and most important step. So if you're able to do that, then you're creating an environment where people can be also self leaders, right? And this is coming back full circle into our initial question. If you can provide them all the necessary tools for them to be able to make their job in their own way, they will be able to do it the way that they want it to. And...

That is for me, something that has helped a lot during my journey is to find those people that are actually willing, you know, to take on responsibility. Because again, you need to take on that responsibility, but not just following orders, someone that is able to, um, to be, you know, conscious that what they're doing impacts the company impacts the products. And, uh, it's the type of people that we want to keep around. Um, actually listen to one.

podcast episode the other day, I think it was on the team fairy show and it was the co -founder of Netflix that was saying that they had this filter for hiring people, which would be the keeper filter. So every time that they hired someone, they would think, okay, if we lose this person, will you be upset or not? Will you...

think that it has an impact on the company or not. If not, then it's not a keeper and it's not the type of team that we want to build. We want to build a team of keepers. And this is something that I truly relate with because that's exactly what I try to do also in my own company.

em (48:51.79)
That's really cool. I like the way he's put that in as an example. That's the, I'm the same. I'm on the same page. I don't get upset, but you put a lot into, I mean, sometimes you get upset when your team leaves because you put so much into helping them build and grow. And I think it's interesting that so many, I'm generalizing here, that a lot of startups, especially in web three, emerging tech, don't put the time and effort into their people.

Mario Alves (49:06.685)

em (49:17.742)
They just hire on a whim and hope that it's going to work. They don't really know. And I think it all comes back down to learning how to build teams. Put in time. If you don't know how to build a team, then you need to find someone who does and you need to hire them. You need to get them to help you. And I think it comes back to this. It's like having the, putting the ego aside and knowing that you don't know how to do everything.

Mario Alves (49:24.925)
Yes. Yeah. Yes, absolutely. And there's no shame in it, right? I think that if you truly believe in that company's vision, then you should be focused on.

making it work and by making it work it means hiring the best people to handle it and to be able to build it. So that's what I think that a successful leader should do. Just not focusing on themselves or on their, let's say that their original vision is not working and they need to shift it. I think that sometimes founders think of their startups like babies.

em (50:02.702)

Mario Alves (50:22.813)
but sometimes they're not babies anymore. They are growing their own thing, you know, so they need to treat it in a different way than they used to treat it before. So another example is, you know, you're a founder and CEO, but then it comes a time where you believe that the company is at a stage in which you need to put a more professional CEO that is not yourself. I think that's very courageous on the people that do this because it means that

They consciously know that it is the best decision for their team, for their company to stay true to their vision. So yeah, that's what I believe in. That's what I feel like it's probably the most interesting thing to be thinking about when you're starting a company.

em (51:15.278)
Yeah, that's really interesting. It's like, how would you feel about getting to a certain stage where you're not the sole decision maker? Not everything is running through you anymore. And that's very scary for some people to, to hand over the responsibility.

Mario Alves (51:30.365)
Yes, I think it's scary for everyone at first, right? But it's something that with practice, you start to learn that it's okay, right? It's like, you know, you're not, and picking up the kid example again, I'm not with my kid all the time. I go every day and deliver her to school, and then I pick her at school at the end of the day.

em (51:40.078)
Exactly. Yeah.

Mario Alves (51:58.141)
I don't know what she's doing and I don't know if the person that is taking care of her will do the same things as I would do, but I'm okay with it, right? Because, you know, if you're bringing something to life and if you're educating someone, then you need to, at some point, be willing to let it go and be willing to let that specific person be whatever they want them to be. And I think it's the same...

with a company and you should be conscious about when you should let go. Some parts of the company might not be the whole company but trust your team and trust the people that you're hiring to do so.

em (52:41.198)
Yeah. I love that example. And then it all comes back around to knowing yourself, self -awareness, self -regulation, knowing your skills, your strengths, your weaknesses. And I think we can end it there because that is just the core of this conversation is like knowing yourself, listening to yourself, believing in yourself will help you make these decisions.

Mario Alves (52:47.869)

Mario Alves (53:01.277)
Absolutely. Sure. Again, thank you very much for the invite. It's been a pleasure to be here. People can find me probably not on Instagram because as I mentioned, I'm not that active, but...

em (53:04.27)
Yeah, amazing. Thank you so much for coming. It's been a wonderful conversation. And if there's anything you'd like to share, would you like to share about your company anywhere that people can find you?

Mario Alves (53:30.717)
On Twitter, they can find me, Mario Alves on LinkedIn, the same, and my company, if they want to learn more about how hackathons are made, I would suggest for them to go to lyrx .xyz and yeah, that would be it.

em (53:49.294)
Perfect. Thank you. And I'm sure we'll have you on again next time. Speak soon. Bye.

Mario Alves (53:53.469)
Thank you. Speak soon. Bye bye.

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