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ivan alfaro gets baptized

Ivan Alfaro Shares About The Simple Life, Walking With God, & Sponges As He Fully Embraces Entrepreneurship

My blog is focused on sharing stories and systems to help you live better and work smarter. And, this interview series gives you the opportunity to collect insights from people I know and work with, and provides a break from my ramblings :-)

In the following interview, we'll connect with my longtime friend, now entrepreneur, Ivan Alfaro. Ivan is a former freelance web developer. We originally met to discuss a potential web project during the years running Noodlehead Marketing. While we never had the opportunity to work on a project together, we did connect on a personal and spiritual level becoming friends and sharing life over the years. 

Ivan has made a significant series of transitions going from a Senior Web Developer at Turner, leaving the comforts of corporate America, for the rewards of entrepreneurship. He's also now engaged to be married, so he's got exciting insights to share.

Let's jump right into the interview with my friend, and explore how he lives better and works smarter. 

To you, what does it mean to live better and work smarter? Is this something you strive for? Why? Generally speaking, how do you go about it?

Living better means learning to let go of tasks that can better be delegated by others so I can focus on growing the business through sales, training others, and of course: self-care (so I don't burn out).
Self-care for me means spending time with my fiance', pet pig (yes, I own a pig), or just enjoying a book/meal/movie/comedy/song. Very simple things bring me peace, especially popcorn.

As a leader in your home and work, what does it look like for you to help others live better and work smarter? What drives you to do this and how do you go about teaching others?

Helping others to live better and work smarter is done by force in my industry. Property sales can be stressful, especially because real estate associates are solely working on a commission basis. It's high risk and effort. Plus, if we don't have a backup closing, we're setting our finances up for a world of pain.

Based on that, I'm constantly encouraging my associates to have more than one deal closing with multiple fallbacks. Mitigating risk is a big deal and that's why I'm also training them to only bet on 3 things:

  1. Their ability to perform.

  2. The potential of others dropping the ball.

  3. The unexpected variables that are likely to come our way.

Most of my associates are constantly getting hot leads and providing regular check-ins about next steps to close. We also incorporate a method to pump our team up by enthusiastically celebrating achievements.

I want my team to perform like an entrepreneur, which motivates me. I want them to have the freedom to leave their full-time hourly-based job to work on an effort-based model with the potential to expand their income exponentially.

What are some the impactful stories you've heard over the years? How did they resonate with you?

A story that Jason shared with me one day is the story of the oxen, cows, and the rainstorm. When the storms come, the cows run with the direction of the rain clouds. By doing so, they extend the amount of time they're in the miserable conditions of the storm. The oxen run towards the clouds. While the oxen also face storms like the cows, by facing them head on, they minimize the time they experience the terrible conditions of the storm.

Another analogy I've recently embraced is how each of us is like a kitchen sponge. We can be doused in water of different types (cold, lukewarm, or hot). These reflect our negative, neutral, and positive experiences. And while we can't entirely control what water flows our way, we can decide how we'll respond.

To add, while some people help us drain the negative waters out, it's ultimately God's loving squeeze that makes us stronger no matter what temperature we're given. Sponges (people) that learn to navigate all waters, service God and discern circumstances more effectively. While God gradually helps us drain the cold & lukewarm water with ease, the process of letting it flow for His purposes is not an easy one.

When you think about systems, what does that word mean to you? How do you apply it to your life and work? What systems do you use that are most helpful and worth sharing with the readers here?

Systems provide us with a measurement of successes & failures. It's plural because this needs to be constantly cycled. As a tracking method of what I do or don't do, systems reflect my underlying why. In my business, it's especially easy to lose track of details, so we use checklists upon checklists to measure do's and don'ts ― plus it releases the millions of ideas roaming my head. 

And, I've learned how to appreciate why things don't get done. As a result, I delegate contract writing to an assistant, because I find more joy in other parts of the business like scaling up & mentorship.

In terms of software, we use SmartSheet & Bitrix24 for tracking our leads, and related tasks. My favorite part of SmartSheet is being alerted to changes, so when an offer needs to be written, I know the snowball is about to get rolling. My favorite part of Bitrix is the Kanban board where we can track the high-level points of each deal. My team and I also use file-syncing software to easily keep track of contracts.

A system we're deeply considering is quantity tracking. This resource allows us to see if our associates are hitting their numbers, and it provides a quick summary form when we are meeting for 1-on-1 sessions.

And lastly, we are developing custom customer relationship software to help our associates in a simple way, because all of the CRMs out there today have too much feature bloating.

While life is unfair and challenging, there are also contrasting moments and seasons of joy and prosperity. As people traverse through this journey we call life, what parting words of wisdom would you share with readers?

"Enoch walked faithfully with God; then he was no more, because God took him away." - Moses

I wonder about the life of Enoch, who was only one of two people (Elijah is the other) God took to heaven ahead of time (as indicated by the Bible). Enoch walked with God. And walking implies forward movement, no passive or defensive lukewarm behavior. Also note that in Enoch's brief life summary of Genesis 5:21-24, it never said he was perfect, but simply came to faithfully walk with Him.

My advice. Let your walk with Him be your first thought, everything else in life is just a distraction.

Thank you for sharing your insights. How can people connect with you? Also, what are you up to and how can people work with you?

People can email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. | I'm currently scaling out my real estate investment business (CommonWalk). Here are the three other business initiatives I'm looking for talented partners to help with.
  • A creative company launched with some close friends for all the writing/film/fun ideas.
  • IvanAlpha: Serving others through speeches through my begotten name "Ivan Alpha".  Join my email list on my website to be stay informed about upcoming events.
  • Rayvan: An invention company for the simplification of life through technology.

Also, I'm looking for a short film producer, short film writer, patent attorney, and electrical engineer. If you know someone interested, have them reach out directly.

Ivan Alfaro

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