We had the good fortune of connecting with Alexandre Saliba and we’ve shared our conversation below.
What was your thought process behind starting your business?
Throughout my life I always worked for someone else, either for a company or for someone. I started working with soccer, which was my biggest passion growing up, when I was 18 years of age. I was giving classes and personal training to kids before I transitioned to a bigger and better opportunity at a professional soccer club in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where I am originally from.
I worked with under divisions teams until I joined college in the USA back in 2012. I had everything to grow and develop my work at the soccer club, but I still wanted to become a professional soccer player and at my age at that time it was almost impossible to achieve that dream in Brazil.
After a couple months, brainstorming with parents, English teachers, coaches, and people who helped me along the way, I made it to upstate New York where I joined a community college before transferring to San Diego, where I am currently based. Just living in the US for a couple years made me realize I had more to bring to my life than I thought I had and even though I knew I wanted to be my own boss and do the things I wanted and liked to do by my own efforts, I did not know how and what to start with.
Going from my second year to my third year in college, I started to really realize what I wanted to be and what I wanted to be doing when I would reach 40, 50 years of age. At that point I had 2 more years to go in college, and after many attempts brainstorming what to create and how to guide myself to my own business creation, and soon failing to become a professional soccer player I finally realized that I should take a different path in my life and not far from that it came to my mind what I really felt my future was for: to be in the Real Estate industry.
I always had something special with real estate and wanted to be related to it somehow, but that did not come until March of 2021 when I started my journey as a Real Estate Agent with Keller Williams La Jolla Realty. In 2016, right after I graduated college, I was broke, jobless, living in friends couches and after bouncing from place to place, I was done with the life I was having and decided to change my future.
I cannot appreciate enough my wife Christa, who was my girlfriend at that time. She helped me get through one of the hardest times in my life. She was a real inspiration for me to be better in life and even going through hardships on both of our lives, we stayed together and started building our new life together.
Between 2016 and 2020, I already worked many different jobs, which helped me develop skills in different areas. By 2020 I already have worked at a moving company, I washed dishes at a kitchen, I worked nights as a parking valet, I also coached private and group soccer lessons in clubs and high school, I had different gigs to make extra money, I delivered food and worked as an app-based driver with a 15-hour-day schedule for more than 3 years which by that time was my main source of income.
I lost my job when Covid-19 hit the world. I, then, realized it was the perfect time to make a transition and start building a better career for myself. I am completely appreciated to the jobs I worked at and what they brought to me and how they built me as a professional. They kept me in the game for years, but I had a bigger vision in life.
In 2021 I decided to enroll in a Real Estate school to get my Real Estate license and start my own journey as a professional in the area. I always look forward to being the best professional, consultant, person, husband, and father I can be, and I do not regret anything I have done to get where I am right now. With all the hardships that a young international student who did not know anyone and having no English coming here, I can tell nowadays I am the happiest I could ever be with the decision I made, and I can guarantee my family’s life will only get better from now on.
Risk taking: how do you think about risk, what role has taking risks played in your life/career?
Risk is important. Risk is one of the things that we need in life that place us out of our comfortable zone. When I am in the comfortable zone with anything I tend to feel stuck and I don’t evolve.
Back to when I decided to move from Brazil to the USA in 2012, I was working as a soccer coach, which by that time was everything I wanted to do in life. I also had 1 more year to go in Sports Management at Universidade Federal of Rio de Janeiro but I decided to change plans to pursue my main goal at that time: join college in the USA for my last chance to be a professional soccer player.
My father was 100% against me dropping out of college in Brazil to come here. I only had 1 more year to finish college and after that I could decide to do whatever I wanted. Instead, against his wishes, I gave up everything in Brazil to try a new life in the USA. Nowadays I could not see myself living in a different place or doing something different than what I am doing now.
If it wasn’t for the risk I took back in 2012 when I decided to start a completely new life away from family and friends in a different country where I did not know anyone and didn’t even know to speak the language, I would most likely regret the fact that I didn’t follow my heart.
So many great things would not have happened in my life if it wasn’t for that risk I took back in 2012. I would probably be living my life regretting not making the decision to come to the US, then I would not have made the great friends I have, I would probably not have the same professional skills I learned from living by myself, I would not have the opportunity to meet my wife, and we would not be expecting our baby soon. That’s when we can see that one risk taking decision can change the path of our lives.
Taking risks can be hard in the beginning when you don’t know if that decision will work out or not but what I can say from experience is that risks have been part of my life and I now like the fact that taking risks is the way to develop a better version of myself. I would probably be living my life in Brazil regretting the fact that I never took that risk and as a matter of fact I would be living a life that I didn’t want to have.
Other than deciding to work for yourself, what was the single most important decision you made that contributed to your success?
The single most important decision I made that contributed to my success was building a strong and resilient faith mentality that I could accomplish anything I put in my horizon, and I use it for anything, both personal and professional life. Life taught me to be resilient through experiences and made me realize there is only one way to do things; through ACTION. I can either find a solution or an excuse, never both.
At some point in life, I realized that I am the real and only driver to my success. Faith and motivation are two different things; you can be motivated for a specific length of time and that motivation can go away but when you have a strong faith on whatever you are doing you can keep going, especially in moments of hardship or when that motivation is not there, you have your faith to keep pushing you until you reach your goal.
What is the most important factor behind your success / the success of your brand?
The most important factor behind my success is my family. My family is my biggest strength and the reason for me to keep going, the reason to be happy, and the reason to be the best father and husband I can be.
We found out earlier this year that we will be expecting our first baby Olivia due to be born November 2nd. We could not be happier and more excited about growing our family. Creating and growing a family will be challenging but who said I don’t like challenges? This will be the most beautiful challenge I will have in life, and for me my daughter will be the extra fuel that will fill up my tank forever.
I cannot start speaking about success by not mentioning what and who made me the person I am today. Family is my “faith” and my “motivator” (as I mentioned before) at the same time, and it gives me what I need to be the best professional in my field and to be the best person I can possibly be in general. Without my people around me I would not be able to stay strong and be the best person and version of myself both to myself and to others around me.
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