#13: The Journey to Silicon Valley, Lessons From 6 Months of Inventing The Future, Startup Challenges, & Ayahuasca Reflection w/ Your Host, Julian Alvarez

Hello! I’m Julian and I’m a Gen Z entrepreneur, software engineer, and podcaster. I am the fusion of an ambitious entrepreneur, a tech whiz, a futurist, a productivity aficionado, and a self-improvement junkie.
I am currently the Co-Founder & CEO at Mindflow (https://apple.co/3QFdPlE). Previously, I was the co-founder & CTO at Vize and worked as a Software Engineer at Meta, LinkedIn, and Goldman Sachs.

“There is nothing more beautiful than discovering and manifesting what you are capable of becoming, giving, creating, and achieving in this life…

And on the contrary, there is nothing sadder than to leave your full potential untapped”

– Julian Alvarez

Sit back for an overdue reflection on Julian’s recent transition from college to Silicon Valley, where he recently moved to start his career at Facebook as a Software Engineer.

Julian graduated from college in December 2020 and took 7 months off before he started working at Facebook. During this 7 month journey, he started this podcast, worked relentlessly on his startup, Vize, traveled to South America for a month (and did Ayahuasca), and invested a significant amount of time into building systems, networking, and learning.

This episode is a reflection on his journey and his most valuable lessons from all of these experiences.

Julian co-founded his startup Vize almost four years ago and even though there have been minor wins, the team has struggled tremendously to get paying customers and find product-market fit. The entrepreneurial journey has been nothing short of incredibly challenging but he’s not willing to give up until his mission-driven team has tried everything they possibly can.

Six months into his podcast, Julian has been careful with measuring the right success metrics. Analogous to entrepreneurship, the initial results will be disproportionate to the amount of effort expended. Fortunately, he set a 100-episode goal before he would allow himself to consider giving up. Find out how he defines his core success metrics and hear about other valuable lessons Julian has learned from running the podcast for half a year.

In South America, Julian discovered his immense privilege. South America is filled with poverty and in some countries like Venezuela, the minimum wage is $5 / month. Julian’s most profound experience was his 3-day ayahuasca retreat. He shares the most important lesson he took from this mystical experience in this episode.

The key to success is to demand more from yourself than anybody could possibly expect of you.”

– Julian Alvarez

💬 Discussed in this episode…

● [03:07] Building systems for his life and his work
● [06:41] Building a second brain or knowledge management vault
● [08:51] How to network with intention
● [11:10] The Art of Impossible
● [14:00] Update on Julian’s entrepreneurial journey
● [17:24] Update on Julian’s podcast journey
● [19:28] Who Not How
● [21:49] The invaluable power of networking
● [24:24] Travelling to South America
● [25:39] Julian’s 3-day Ayahuasca retreat
● [28:42] Julian’s move to Silicon Valley and starting at Facebook
● [28:52] Why Julian chose Facebook

Instead of being a business operator and doing all the work, become a business owner that delegates all the work on the operational side of the business so that you can have the time and freedom to focus on the growth of the business.”

– Julian Alvarez

💣 3 Value Bombs

  1. With each ascending level of success, your ability to produce results will be increasingly contingent on “Whos” and now “Hows.” When doing anything, your first thought should be “Who can I ask to help me?” rather than “How can I do this?” Learning through traditional methods, such as books, is linear, while learning from others is nonlinear because you can get immediate answers to your specific problems and questions. Moreover, your network is your scope of opportunities.
  2. Take some time to reflect and list out your growth opportunities. What are your weaknesses? What is holding you back? What limiting beliefs are limiting your potential? After you have written down your list of growth opportunities, hold yourself accountable by reviewing them on a weekly basis and write a brutally honest reflection on how your progress, or lack of progress is going. Nobody wants to be held accountable but it is one of the most important things you can do to support your own growth.
  3. As knowledge workers, we have a similar challenge as investors deciding where to invest their money. Our attention is our valuable resource (in place of money) and we have a limited supply of it. At any moment, we have to choose where to invest our attention. Any time we choose to focus on something, we are making a bet that it will provide us the greatest return out of all the options we have. Are you making the right bets with where you are investing your attention?

People & Resources Mentioned 

Julian Alvarez’s LinkedIn
Julian Alvarez’s Instagram
Vize’s Website
Vize’s Instagram
Vize’s LinkedIn

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Inventing The Future


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Episode 13