Business owner Alex Pardo shares how being an entrepreneur has affected his family life and reveals some good ways to keep things healthy at work and home.
Entrepreneurs go hard to make their business work but often have a hard time figuring out how to balance the other areas of their life. Many entrepreneurs desire to spend more time with their families. Business owner Alex Pardo shares how being an entrepreneur has affected his family life, and what some good ways are to keep things healthy at work and home.
Alex shares some great tips with healthy perspectives of how his family life is affected by his business, but also how he makes it work well and how you can too.
@AlexPardo The Flip Empire Show
1:30 How I got into real estate
3:06 How life got simpler
5:53 Balancing freedom with responsibilities
7:31 Spiritual Journey - Learning to surrender and release
11:44 Investing time in your children
18:06 Realizing relationships are more valuable than things
20:37 How to vacation with family well
26:27 How someone passing reminds us of the brevity of our time
27:31 Flip Empire show & Ascend Mastermind Community
In this episode, we're talking to Alex Pardo. Alex Pardo, we've been friends for a while. We're glad to have you on. Thanks for coming on.
My brother, I am blessed to be with you. It's exciting to see you venture out into the world and Iron Deep. I love what you and Brett are doing. I'm excited to be on and just be an open book and share, brother.
Brett has assembled an Avenger-like team to help with the show. I'm the guy with the least superpower, but I'm glad to be on the team. He has got a good team. This show is specifically about guys like you. You've been a business owner. You've been an entrepreneur all your life. We're trying to attract other entrepreneurs to read because there's a component that is not talked about a lot with businessmen specifically, and that's their spiritual journey. We want to get into that. Before we do, people don't know who Alex Pardo is. Give me an overview of where you were, how you started, and where you are now.
I'll do my best. Again, I appreciate the opportunity to share. I was born and raised in Miami. My parents came from Cuba. My sister and I were born here in the States. I didn't come from a family of entrepreneurs. In fact, I'm the very first one to go out and start a business. I thought I wanted to climb the corporate ladder back in 2003 when I graduated from FIU and ended up taking a job at General Electric in their financial management program.
I'm not very good at many things, but I'm good at a few. One of those is being able to reverse engineer the path that I want to get on. I remember three months into that job looking at my boss and all the way up the ladder to the CFO, which is where I aspired to be one day. I just didn't want to do that. I saw the life that they had, and I'm like, “Why do I want to do this? That's not the life I want.”
I finished my two-year commitment. I decided to go backpacking around Europe for three and a half months with a couple of buddies. I was single. I was on a train ride. I was going from Spain to Italy. I decided to pick up the book, Think and Grow Rich. It was that book along with going through Carleton Sheets’ No Down Payment that opened my eyes and said, “When I get back from this trip, I'm going to start a real estate business.”
I read somewhere in one of those books that most millionaires have some real estate in their portfolio. I had always been interested in real estate. I thought I was going to get back to Miami and start assuming loans because that's what my boy Carlton Sheets taught me. I decided to go to marketing for deals boot camp and learned all about wholesaling. That was my path.
That was your path. Now, you're in the wholesaling business with many years of real estate experience. What do daily operations look like? What does Alex's day look like? What's he handle? What's he taking care of? What are his responsibilities? Tell us about that.
I'm smiling because the answer to the question a few years ago was very different than it is now. It's much simpler. Life is a lot simpler. A few years ago, I built out a team. I had 9 or 10 team members. I had this wholesaling operation with $40,000+ a month in overhead. I thought I wanted to scale. I'm sure your audience members never heard that word scale before.
It's a buzzword.
I joined the mastermind that you and I are both very familiar with. It was a great community. I saw people building and scaling. I felt that that was my path. I then quickly realized similar to my corporate world that I didn't want to do that. Building that business wasn't aligned with my vision and the lifestyle I wanted. Back in 2020, I exited out of that wholesaling operation and took a little bit of a sabbatical. Six months later, I decided to get into self-storage, which I'm sure we may talk about. To answer your question specifically, operations are pretty simple. I have a personal assistant who's phenomenal and takes so much weight off my shoulders.
One thing I've learned, Mike, is to surround yourself with awesome people with whom there's a core value alignment and who are rock stars and great people. People talk about the A players, the rock stars. I truly believe that a lot of the success that I have is due primarily to God, which is why I give God all the glory. Then, it's really about the people that I've surrounded myself with. I have a pretty small team. I have two VAs and a personal assistant. It allows me to operate a couple of profitable businesses and not go crazy working 40+ hours a week.
Let me give a brief recap of that. A few years ago, in the middle of it, we are wanting to scale because we were seeing what other businesses are doing and we were like, “Maybe I want that.” You’ve run and get to the point where like, “That is exactly that corporate lifestyle that I was running away from that I didn't want when I went backpacking, the Carlton Sheets education, and Napoleon Hill.” You had another epiphany. Do you feel like you're living the life that was the antithesis of that or where you at in that journey?
It's a really good question. I don't think anybody's ever asked me that. I wouldn't say I'm living the life that's the antithesis of that. I would say I have been very intentional about creating more space and time to focus on self-care to plug into God. You mentioned this spiritual journey that I've been on for the last months or so. Whereas before, my faith has always been important to me. It's always been my foundation. If you were to look at my calendar, my phone, and my bank account, you couldn't tell that. Somewhere I learned and heard that you can tell what people prioritize by looking at what they value, by looking at their bank account, their work, and their time. I'm allowing myself to be guided by what God wants me to do with my life and with my businesses.
I had a call with a mutual friend, Mike Wagner, talking to him about God, my business partner, and allowing Him to guide me to the best decisions versus me making the decisions that I think are best based on selfish reasons or based on reasons because I want to help people and I want to impact people. I'm at more peace. That doesn't mean I'm not faced with a bunch of challenges. That doesn't mean that at times I don't feel like a firefighter putting out all these fires that I probably started. It doesn't mean everything's perfect. I’m far from it, but I'm much more at peace and I feel in alignment with the direction God wants me to go in.
It's funny you use that metaphor for fires that you started. We're all arsonists, aren't we? We're not the firefighter. We're like, “Can we hold the hose?” God's like, “No, I got this. Just listen to me.” You mentioned a couple of months and you're on your spiritual journey. This is what I want to dig deep into. Tell me what it was like months ago. Was there a hinge point? Was there a linchpin moment? Was there something that you read or a mentor that guided you? You mentioned Mike Wagner and how he's mentoring you. Tell us how you got there months ago and how you continue that spiritual journey that you're on.
I'm going to be very vulnerable and share with you that I might not have all the answers to your questions because I'm in a phase or season now, as they say, where I'm doing my best to surrender, release, let go, and let God. These are all words and phrases that resonate with me. There was a moment or something that happened in my life. We feel something internally and put our finger on it. People have referred to it as a tug. Things started happening. People that I would meet, that would stir something up inside of me. I knew I was on this path. I was raised Catholic. We don't consistently go to Catholic church every Sunday and gotten away from religion.
I then found this community that was very different. It's Christianity, but it wasn't a structured Catholic mass. I remember the very first service I attended. I was crying probably twenty minutes into that service. I'm like, “Why am I crying? What is it about this message and the music that I'm listening to that has me feeling emotional and is giving me physical chills all over my body?”
That happened the second week and then the third week. I'm like, “God's trying to tell me something here. He's trying to push me in a certain direction or he wants me to open my eyes. He wants me to maybe create some space.” That was when I started to realize, “I'm feeling something inside of me.” To this day, I still can't quite put my finger on it.
When things happen that don't go according to plan, I've been saying to myself, “He's got the wheel.” Maybe I should shift and say, “He's got the fire hose.” I don't know that I can give you a very specific answer to your question about whether was there a linchpin moment. Maybe that was it, but I'm being very open on my podcast and even with my family about what I'm feeling and what I'm experiencing. I'm noticing now my daughters have an even greater interest in exploring their faith. That’s cool. I'm guessing a lot of people reading this are believers. If they're not, maybe that will open their eyes to plug into the source, which you and I both believe is God. Life feels more at peace.
It does. There's a lot of scripture that talks about letting him take care of your yoke and letting him take care of your burdens, especially men because we have all these struggles. We want to be the driver. We're very ego-driven. We want to be the man and we want to take care of things. It's easy to read it and go, “Yes, I want him to take my yoke,” but then it's another thing to give it to him. The peace comes from letting go or letting God take care of it because he is the bearer of those burdens. That's what I'm hearing. You mentioned your daughters.
Being a father is one of the greatest gifts God has given my wife and me. It's something that I'm intentionally reminding myself on a daily and weekly basis not to take for granted because I've heard a gazillion times how quickly it goes and I'm seeing that. I stumbled across some iPhone pictures from when they were 2 and 4 years old. I had to almost jog my memory. I remember that, and that's scary because those are precious moments you'll never get back. I'm doing my best to be as present as possible. At the same time, I fail pretty often, if I'm being honest.
This is all about it because I'm the same way. I fail consistently. I've got two teens. It just went by like a snap of the fingers. Social media is great and good, but it's also terrible. The best part of my socials is when the memories come back and when they put a memory on there that's five years ago. You're looking at your kid who was fifteen at the time. Now, they're twenty, and you remember that moment. I get it. You'll have more of that at 8 and 6. It's going to come in waves.
What's great is their curiosity. You said it earlier. They're curious about, “What's life all about?” Those girls are going to look to you and look to your wife Natalie for guidance there. That's a gift from God because what we show and tell them is ultimately what's going to anchor them. How's that been? Tell us what that looks like.
One of the things that I've really learned is when things don't go to plan with the kiddos and when I start to feel a level of frustration, they're teaching me something in that moment. I'm trying to remind myself of that. It can be a struggle at times. You know me, Mike. We've been good friends for years. For those that don't know me, I'm not the one to ever come on here and pretend like I have all the answers or no at all because I certainly don't. I'm learning on a daily basis. When these kids are born, they don't come with a manual outside of the word, but I'm learning on a daily basis.
One of the things I think I've really latched onto is they're teaching me as much, if not more, than I'm teaching them. As parents, particularly fathers, it's less about what you say. Words have power and people give meaning to words. It's more about what you do. These kids are watching. Even when we don't think they're watching, they’re watching. I notice sometimes them noticing me with my morning routine or reading the Bible, and that piques their curiosity. Sometimes they ask me questions. I get to play a little bit of a role in shaping them while understanding that the antithesis is true. They model their parents.
I understand that I have the ability to shape them and also have the ability to “screw them up” in some way, shape, or form. I know because I've had coaches throughout the years. I've gone to therapy and different things. I realize that even something that happens when you're a child you don't even realize has shaped your view or your mindset or your perspective on something. We make decisions based on our paradigms and based on our experiences. I'm just being more mindful that I tell them, “Daddy makes mistakes. I don't have all the answers, but I know who does. That's the man upstairs.” I'm still figuring out a lot of this process and being open to surrendering and seeing where God takes me.
The process of having kids and raising them is probably the most challenging because it does reveal. When you're at home and when something goes all right, it reveals any issues that you need to work on pretty quickly. I've learned so much. I've got four kids. There are a lot of benefits to having four kids. Me and my wife always go, “We did that wrong. Let's do it right this time.” That's the cool part.
When I see you, Natalie, and the girls on social media, I see you at their events and things like that. You're right, they are watching. I remember as a kid your parents live close by you in Florida. Whenever I went to a baseball game, I would look for my dad. I'd look for my mom. They went to as many baseball games as they go to. I remember doing that because, as a kid, it's important that you have that support system.
My daughter is playing for her high school softball team. What's cool is she comes up to the plate, looks behind, and looks for us before she steps in the box. I'm thinking, “Man.” That moment right there is the best because you can put yourself back there and know that that's the best part of life. Doing deals is great and being an entrepreneur is awesome, but that is the good stuff.
The one thing that I would comment and piggyback on is they don't learn this because everybody knows it to a certain degree. If they prioritize, it's all about the quality of our lives. This is from Tony Robbins. I'm paraphrasing. It's determined by the quality of our relationships with our creator, our relationship with our kids, our spouse, our family, our friends. The older I get, the more I realize that it's less about attaining more and more money, more this, and more that. What I'm after are deeper relationships with the right people.
When I hear that story about your daughter looking back before she steps in the box, that's a relationship you have with your daughter, you and your wife. That's relationally driven, and I had that. I was fortunate that as a child, my parents were always plugged into my different sporting events or whatever. I had that support. I was able to model that. You might be reading this and maybe you didn't have that. That can reveal to you the parent that you want to be or the kind of parent that you can continue to strive towards being. Just because you had something in the past, it doesn't need to shape or define the person you are or the parent you are. We can learn from all those things.
We certainly can. That is the best part. One of the things I've been listening to is as entrepreneurs and as men and human beings, we’re wired to get more stuff. What you articulated very well is, “I just want to have good mentorship relationships and good relationships with good friends. I want a great relationship with my wife. I want my kids and me to have a relationship so that when they are adults, we are best buddies.”
What I know about you and what I've been so excited to share with you is that I'm going on vacation with my in-laws. We're going to go on a cruise. That's something that you consistently do. Alex Pardo, you're not solo on your events and things like that. When you’re on vacation, it's more than the nuclear family affair. Talk to us about that and what memories you're making with your kids and with your parents and in-laws. What does that look like? What have those experiences been like?
For me, I have such fond memories of going on trips with my family. My family is middle class. They did well, but we certainly weren't wealthy. We also certainly weren't poor. I remember my parents sacrificing to take us on trips, even if it was to Disney three hours away or whatever just to create memories. I have such fun. I can tangibly remember those moments as a child and how I think it shaped me. My wife and I wanted to create those moments for our children. We love travel. That's a big part of our vision. One of the things we try to do every month is we try to take a Friday off so that we can have an extended weekend or even during the week. Every quarter take at least a one-week trip somewhere.
The year before, we planned out, “What kind of travel do we want? Where do we want to go? What do we want to experience?” We try to get the kids involved. “What do you guys want to do?” We were just talking before the interview about how we got back from an eight-night cruise and we're going to spend twenty days traveling the Amalfi Coast in Italy.
To me, that's what business and the money we make. It's a tool. It just allows us to experience the things we enjoy with the people that we love. Those moments are priceless. Those pictures that we talked about, that's worth 100 deals. Those are moments and experiences that can't be taken away from you. Travel is just a big part of our life. It's cool that my kid has more stamps on her passports than her age. That's pretty crazy to be able to give her a different perspective for her to see how people live, different cultures, and different languages. That broadens her horizon.
Five years from now, she's going to open that passport up and look at those stamps and have memories of all those places. There will be things that she is just so grateful for those experiences and living life with the family. That is something that I have experienced quite a bit. We take a lot of pictures. I find my older kids going back and looking at things and being nostalgic about trips. We haven't been to Disney in about 4 or 5 years, but it's talked about on a monthly basis. “You remember that? Remember this? That was so much fun.” That's the stuff.
We always try to involve our parents when possible because I understand the importance of the relationship that their grandparents want to have with their granddaughters and vice versa. Maybe it's the Latin culture. I can only speak from my perspective, but we've always been a very tight family unit and that's just very important to us.
You and I are about in the same stage of life. Our parents are getting older. One of the things that we have to be mindful of is that time is fixed whether we believe it or not. We've got enough time here on this earth to spend with family. If you can take advantage of it as much as you can, you need to do that. I was again reminded, and I've heard this a million times, but it hits you differently sometimes because my daughter's going off to college. She spent about 80% of the time of her life with you at that moment.
Eighty percent of all that time that you've spent your one-on-one time with her is already done at eighteen. That's an average. I hope to not be average. I don't want to be mediocre, but it is just a sober reminder of the amount of time that we have left. She has 120 days. It's 119 days until she leaves for college. She's going to Chatanooga. I'm trying to be mindful of that to do something every day and to make sure that has an impact because we got limited time.
There's this gentleman that I had the opportunity to interview on my podcast. Jim Sheils, I believe, is his name. He authored a book called The Family Board Meeting. It talks about how as parents, when you put things in that perspective, we have eighteen summers with our children. Let's say your kids are nine. You got nine more summers before they're probably off to be adults and have their life. Not like you can't experience more summers with your kids, but things are certainly different. They're going to probably have their own family at some point, or they get older and life happens. We feel like we have all this time.
Sometimes I find that it takes a tragedy, the passing of somebody we know or somebody we don't know, like a celebrity. I remember when Kobe Bryant passed away years ago. It hit me. I'm like, “Man.” This is somebody who I felt I knew because I'm a Lakers fan and a big Kobe fan. I never met the dude, so I don't really know him. For life to just be taken away in an instant at 41 or 42 years old, however he was, it's very sobering to know that we have no idea when we're going to be called and to try to take advantage of every opportunity.
When those things happen, it's always good to do an introspection. I have another buddy of mine who's a big Lakers fan. His name is Nick. When Kobe died, that was on a Sunday. I talked with him on Wednesday. I didn't realize how big of a fan he was. He knew everything about him. He was a wreck for a week.
One of the things we talked about is what you just alluded to. He's got two boys. He goes, “I can't waste any more time.” That helped him change. It made him pivot on a lot of stuff, that event. It's apropos that you mentioned that. Alex, we're coming up to the mark here about the end of the episode. If people want to know a little bit more about you, how would they find you? Tell us a little bit about that. What's that look like, Alex?
I've been very grateful and fortunate to have been hosting a podcast. We're coming up on several years with almost 700 episodes, which blows my mind. It's crazy. When I started it, the intention then and the intention now was to give back and help people, but I never could have imagined that I'd be doing these 700 episodes later. It's called The Flip Empire Show. Don't let the title of the podcast mislead you. It's not about flipping. It's much deeper than that.
We had a lot of the conversations we had on this show. If you enjoyed that, you would enjoy plugging into that. We also talked about business and lifestyle and things of that nature. A mutual friend of ours, Steve Cavanaugh, and I are at a mastermind that the three of us were a part of at that time. We started a community of entrepreneurs called Ascend, which is a mastermind community. We still do that to this day. AscendYourSuccess.com would be another place to get in contact with me.
I have sent a few entrepreneurs to Ascend.
I’m so grateful.
Alex and Steve do a great job and they impact lives. Alex, thanks for coming on the show. This show is for businessmen who are entrepreneurs. I appreciate you being vulnerable here and talking about your spiritual journey because what that's going to do is give men permission to think a little deeper about it and ask some questions. If you're reading this and have questions about God, about Jesus, about any of that, and maybe you just want to have a conversation about what Iron Deep is all about, please reach out to us and let us know. We'd love to connect with you. Thanks for being on the show. Thanks for reading. We'll see you next episode.