Facing uncertainty can be challenging – being a business owner facing uncertainty is tougher.
Red Direction helps you [fast track and] grow your business – authentically, pragmatically, and resiliently.
Starting the conversation:
To meet and accept yourself is fundamental for showing up as you are, especially in a world where so many expectations exist outside of ourselves. Your will, that passion and drive, is there and the more you listen the more you can define what success is for you — AND embrace the twists and turns of the journey from having a clear set of principles to live by. Alex Sezer, CEO of Alex Sezer Ventures, shares about the intersection of talent, skill, and effort necessary to find your unique formula for growth and success.
Cumulative learning — from seeking knowledge and dedication to building skills — is more transferable than you realize. From college football team captain to successful entrepreneur, Alex Sezer used the depth of knowledge he had as a competitive athlete and listened to the inner voice that pointed him in a new direction. He found his experience proved to be useful in transitioning to entrepreneurship.
In this program, you will hear tips about how to cultivate being content (even during times of tension and stress); that the experience you have is useful in unfamiliar situations; and the importance of doing the inner work to cultivate a mindset that helps you achieve your goals. Jess Dewell talks with Alex Sezer, CEO of Alex Sezer Ventures, about the principles that connect your talent, effort, and skill.
Host: Jess Dewell
Guest: Alex Sezer
What You Will Hear:
Show up as YOU are, not as the expectation of “you.”
Tips on how to cultivate content (without losing passion or drive).
“Why?” is an amazing question as it can get past symptoms and get to the root problem.
You have a custom equation, and it is up to you to find it out.
Know the start of where you want to go: Alex Sezer talks about his Directions to Destiny.
Let things go because you change with each experience and situation.
Be open to the new, as it is easy (and common) to be attached to methods that got you here — yet those methods won’t get you to your next.
Additionally, for the Fast Track Your Business Today Uncut conversation:
GROW! What it really means to grow.
Know why you want to grow and what you are willing to pay since growth has a cost.
Transition is hard, and transition is a part of reality.
To achieve success, goals must have metrics to measure effort and progress.
Knowledge is power.
To change in the moment is to learn to slow down in life.
It is BOLD to have clear principles to live by.
Alex Sezer 00:00
Let’s commit to accomplishing the mission. But how we get there, we have to be willing to be flexible and willing to change our methods, marry the mission and data methods.
Welcome. This is the Bold Business Podcast. Your business has many directions it can travel. The one true direction of your company creates the journey for you to move toward a new, exciting level. We call this the Red Direction. In today’s program, we delve into one idea. The idea will support you as you work on ever-present situations, including how to stay competitive in a changing market, how to break through the business plateau, and how to anticipate the changing expectations of your stakeholders. Jess Dewell is your guide. Jess brings you a 20-year track record of business excellence, where strategy and operations overlap. Your Path comes from consistently working from the special place. Your unique True North. Now, here’s Jess.
Jess Dewell 01:04
Welcome to the Bold Business Podcast. I’m your host, Jess Dewell. And you know, here’s what we’re talking about. We’re talking to real people doing real things, on journeys, just like you, maybe it’s different. Maybe their challenges are slightly different. But guess what, if you’re not there yet, on the path to success, you will be and if you’d been there on the path to your next and creating and iterating forward, I know you’ll find some nuggets in that conversation. So whether you need this right now, you know somebody who could benefit from this information, don’t forget to tell them to stop by and take a listen. Because today with me is Alex, Alex. Cesar E is somebody that I knew I wanted to talk to in front of you. And as you listeners, as you watchers are setting the stage grabbing your team getting everything ready to go, here’s the thing, you’re not going to want to miss what we’re talking about. Because Alex Sezer has founded and scaled multiple multimillion-dollar businesses in his early 20s. I don’t think he knows this. But we have some of that in common. Now, here’s the thing. He knows what it takes to take pains to success. That might be something he got earlier than I did. And let me just be real. I feel like I’m still learning. Now here’s the thing, he’s not keeping it to himself. Like what we’re doing with this podcast. He is here. He wants management with a mission. He wants profit with a purpose. He wants culture with Christ. Because there is a message there that combines what we know from the Bible, and what we actually see in transformation. And so for those of you who just went, Well, don’t worry, because principles are principles. And believe it or not, we share them across all walks of life. And this is one of the reason only one of the reasons I’m excited to have Alex with me today. All right, I’m telling you what, Alex, these are Jr. Thanks for being here today.
Alex Sezer 03:12
Thank you so much, Jess, that was probably one of the greatest introductions I’ve ever heard in my life. Thank you so much. I will try to live up to everything you just said.
Jess Dewell 03:25
Well, then we’ll do it together. We’ll do it together. Yes, ma’am. So speaking of living up to this thing, I’m having a regular conversation, not only with my clients but also in my house about, we’re not the same every day. And maybe that’s a great place to start. And so have you had that experience where somebody expects you to be this way, and you’re actually just not that day?
Alex Sezer 03:49
Absolutely. I’ve lived my life in front of a camera from an early age. The reality of life is that sometimes you’re up, and sometimes you’re down. And whenever you live your life and you grew up in the spotlight, it’s kind of an expectation that you’re always up. So I’ve learned what it means to kind of be up and down and also be able to handle those things with maturity as well. Because sometimes the world will praise you when you’re up. Oh, he was great. This Saturday, everybody loves you. And a million people that watched our games that were televised, and then you have an off day. Maybe it’s not just an off day, but you have an off play one play in there’s this heavy criticism that comes from one moment that was in the public eye. So absolutely, I know what it means to be up and be down and to be praised and also criticized from the same people sometimes.
Jess Dewell 04:45
How did you handle that? Right? When you would get praise? And then you would get criticism? What did you lean into what were you able to grasp on to, to navigate it because when it comes close together or even farther apart, they both have those challenges? They have challenges associated With that,
Alex Sezer 05:00
I found that having my identity rooted in Christ, rather than my performance was really the guiding light in the foundation for me, Paul said that we always quote, Philippians 413, I can do all things through Christ, who gives me strength. What Paul was actually writing about was attitude, that accomplishment. So he was writing a letter from prison, get this from prison, and he goes, I’ve learned to be a bass and to about to be hungry, and to be full, to have much and to have little, I can do all things through Christ, which gives me strength. So what he was talking about is, literally I’ve learned how to behave, when things are going great. And I’ve learned how to behave when things are going poorly. So what he’s saying is that when we have abundance, abundance should not prove us to be arrogant. And then we have little, little should not send us spiraling into fits of depression. Because for me, it was, hey, I know who I am, before the world tells me. So no matter what people are saying about me, no matter what I may have, financially, no matter how my business is doing relationships, whatever it may be, I know who I am, outside of all of those things. And when you know that, it’s easier to not allow people’s opinions to become a person.
Jess Dewell 06:20
You know, and that’s a conditioning, I think many of us have many of us, and many cultures, raise children with these outside expectations. And I’m gonna go on a limb here, and I’m gonna say, in our society today, we actually tell people and train people that they can’t believe in themselves, that they need to always have an external expectation. It’s funny to hear me say this out loud because I do this once in a while, Alex, I’m like, Well, I’m in the business of helping. So of course, I want people to come to me, but at the same point in time, I am against that particular training because I don’t want anybody to be reliant on me, I want them to be reliant on themselves. So that inner strength that they bring.
Alex Sezer 07:05
What you said was actually brilliant, because you said that it’s something that’s trained, it’s taught, literally, right before Paul said, what I just said, he says, I learned to be content. So it’s not something that he was just born with are something that’s just only it’s this esoteric thing that only he has, it’s literally something that we can learn. It’s something that we can accomplish. It’s something that we can drive to attain. So it’s not just either you’re born kind of self-confident, and nobody can tell you anything. Or you’re just so reliant on other people’s opinion. No, literally, you can learn how to be content, in whatever circumstance you find yourself in. How did you do that? It was hard for me, because I’m very competitive, like, sickening. Competitive.
Jess Dewell 07:57
Alex Sezer 07:59
In Texas that used to be a test was a standardized test. And it was a text test T A, KS, I believe, okay, Texas assessment for knowledge and skills. Maybe I maybe made that up. I know, it’s called tax, the, what it means I potentially made up. Now we have the STAR test, Louisiana has delete test. Whenever we would take those tests. They weren’t necessarily timed test. It was a very long window of time, so you never felt rushed. At least I can’t speak for everyone. I never felt rushed. But there’s something that was inside of me that not only want it to do my best and better than everyone else on that test. But there’s this guy inside of me that wants to turn test him first. So I have to daily check myself and balance that spirit that is competitive, and may be borderline prideful if I’m honest. So it’s like how do I balance those two things? With Hey, my identity is rooted in Christ. Hey, it’s not about my performance. Whether I performed well or poorly today. I’m still Alex. I’m still Miranda’s baby and Alex’s son. Like that’s not going to change based on my performance. I think it’s something that I just have to daily practice and remind myself of and feel when I’m in those moments and really take a step back and go, Why? Why is such an amazing question. Whether it’s, I want to start a business, always people come to me all the time. I want to buy real estate like you did. And I just say why? And I’m like, well, because I don’t want to boss. Well, why? I don’t want anyone to tell me what to do. Why I want freedom. Why? What are you going to do? So? I’m always asking that question within myself of I feel a little frustrated today. Why is that? I’m feeling a little anxiety. Where’s that coming from? Because a lot of times I’ve found that we are adjourned. Seeing symptoms and not the root problem, whether it’s organizational culture, whether it’s a headache, not feeling like ourselves. So it’s oh, well, for example, it may be that I have a headache. Well, you take an aspirin or something like that you mask that pain, but know what actually caused your head to ache. Well, my, my, my back is really I have back east and football, my back is really tight today or my back is hurting. Well, sometimes it’s your back, maybe it’s your hamstrings are actually tight. That’s what I’m always trying to do is to figure out like, what’s actually the root cause of this issue? Let’s solve that. And then we solved the problem, versus just masking the symptoms or addressing those symptoms.
You’re listening to the Bold Business Podcast. We will return to the show soon. But first, I want to take a moment and give you a peek into what additional services and solutions you could access to Fast Track Your Business. This program was created to develop your capacity on demand by sharing insights, tips, as well as lessons learned by business leaders, unedited and uncut. And we don’t just stop there. There are three additional benefits to help you reach your growth goals. You will also have unlimited access to one, hearing tips and insights to develop yourself as a leader to get better results more often. Two, experiencing viewpoints from many different business leaders. Three, receiving frameworks to build core competencies and to more effectively focus on business growth and leadership. Altogether, The Fast Track Your Business program will allow you to face uncertainty, anytime, anywhere. You can access what will become your most versatile tool in your toolkit by going to FastTrackYou BusinessToday.com. Now back to Jess.
Jess Dewell 11:49
I have a very strong negative reaction to the word why. And we don’t need to go into all of the reasons behind that. So I came up with a way to be able to do this work that you’re talking about with one small change in the question. And that is, what’s the cause here? What am I seeing here? What am I responding to? or reacting to? And so for those of you out there like me, you’ve got why it’s very powerful. And I’m going to give a little disclaimer, if you can’t do it that way. Try it this way. Absolutely. Why? And what does right what, whichever way goes, we’ll go with the why. Why automatically creates the opportunity to reflect and reflection is scary.
Alex Sezer 12:38
You might actually see yourself in the mirror.
Jess Dewell 12:43
I will tell you what, you when you see yourself. It’s so cool. Because all of the criticism and all of the praise turns out to be right. And that’s a big one. That’s a big one. So like you, I feel like I’m a student and in all of that. And I’m a proponent of the reflection process on some schedule that makes me think about this. And now I’m curious to find the root cause. Is that only possible when we know ourselves?
Alex Sezer 13:14
Oh, that is a great question. I will say it depends. But when if we’re talking about personal issues, I would lean towards Yes. And here’s why it’s from personal experience. Because a lot of times when you ask those questions of reflection, it causes you to actually dig into the core of who you are. So without actually knowing the answer to who is Alex? Like, what experience made me who I am, what experience made me have a negative reaction to a word or like what actually, when you understand that, so for example, I probably do this, it’s not on, I have to do it on this day, or I have to do it this many times a month. It’s really based on how I feel. But I took a personality. I’ve taken many personality assessments, but this one really stood out to me because it was an assessment that was essentially critiqued and analyzed and verbalized by a consultant. And I think this person may have had like a team of therapists, and it was a huge team. So I have a 75-page report. On who is Alex?
Jess Dewell 14:23
What is the discipline?
Alex Sezer 14:25
Yeah, so the, the root of it is the bones. It’s a DISC assessment at the core of it, but it really, it really breaks down beyond that, like, what does this actually mean? So for example, if I find myself feeling frustrated about a certain situation, maybe it’s you’re working for a boss, and there’s a lot of oversight in that, you know, I find myself frustrated. I go back to this assessment, and it says how best to communicate with Alex. What Alex likes what he doesn’t like. So when I look at this report, I’m just like Alex doesn’t like a ton of oversight. Alex may have issues with authority. So then I really start to, instead of going, I hate my boss, and I don’t understand. And I look within and go. This is an Alex problem, even like in my marriage, like, there are certain things, I’m just like, this upsets me. It’s human nature to go, it’s your fault. And by you, I mean, not mine, it’s your fault. So, when you when I start to read that, I’m just like, oh, this is why I’m frustrated. This is not a data issue. This is analysis, it’s been very helpful for me to get past some frustration by knowing who I am and what makes me frustrated. So that’s why I lean towards Yes.
Jess Dewell 15:46
I’m impressed. And you’ve inspired me, I have a couple of different reports like that. And I’m like, oh, yeah, I’ll remember those. But do you ever in the moment, and I am appreciative of the fact that not only as a commitment to knowing who you are, and how you show up, and the way you wish to be to create the change in the world, you want to see that you have something that you’ve incorporated, and I’m inspired by that.
Alex Sezer 16:12
I believe that kind of that road to recovery, so to speak, or at least to realizing starts with that kind of self-assessment that looking within versus, you know, pointing the finger outward. No matter your theology, if you’re listening to this, when you know we for those that do believe it, Adam, in his fallen nature, the first thing that God asked him, he says, Adam, where art thou? Now get this? You know, God omnipresent? All-Knowing like you, what do you mean? Like? Why ask a question like, Where Art Thou? You know exactly where he is? That question, it wasn’t to get Adam to realize his physical coordinates on the earth. It was a question to assess, like, where are you in relation to where you want to be? This fall in nature, like, let’s actually talk about this. Because until you recognize where you are, you can’t get to where you’re going. Directions to Destiny always require a starting address. So whether I’m doing consulting for a business, or if I’m in the school system, talking to teachers and students alike, the first thing you have to do, whenever you want to take a journey, make it set destination, the GPS requires a starting address, where am I in proximity to where I want to be? And that’s where we started, I just kind of break out that journey. But yeah, it starts with being honest. It’s hard, like, it’s hard to look in the mirror and say, whatever it may be, I want to make this much money, or I want to do this, well, where are you, you may have to develop a different skill set to make that much money. And so just self-assessing.
Jess Dewell 17:43
And here’s the thing, I like to talk about this, because what I find and, and you may find this with your clients too, during the work in culture and management development that you’re doing. So we might have a similarity here. And that is that what I see is everything that you’ve just talked about, is instrumental in creating that roadmap, that path, what that journey could be like, with the leadership team, that has to guide a company of people who are choosing to come to work every day, even if they feel frustrated one day buy something within themselves or something that is out of their control. Both of those they can be simultaneously who says oh, that’s I think one of the things that I find fascinating because I sometimes I wonder if we overlook that part and think well, now we’ve got to address the whole one of my favorite stories in our modern history in our lifetime, even as the reintroduction of wolves into Yellowstone, the fight between agriculture and nature, and all of the changes and nature’s like, Okay, I’ll work my best with you. And, and agriculture is like, Okay, I’ll work my best with you with right in there, these common rules will turn out but the rules were good for a time. And they had a shelf life. And by the reintroduction of the wolves, all kinds of other things positive have happened to both for nature and for agriculture. And so I think about what the work that you’re doing, and I think about the stories that you’re sharing and think about your experience so far. And if we don’t have that base, we can’t understand when to let go of something because we don’t know.
Alex Sezer 19:21
Yeah, when to let go of stuff.
It’s time to take a brief break from our show. Fast Track Your Business will improve your business results. This high-value program is an unbeatable value, to make it easy for you to act now. With your subscription, you have access to “Ask Jess Your Business Questions” and exclusive resources on key leadership topics. Subscribe now; visit FastTrackYourBusinessToday.com. And know that you are moving forward in the right direction. Let’s return to the Bold Business Podcast.
Jess Dewell 19:56
Are you oh hanger-onner?
Alex Sezer 19:57
Honestly, I’m just looking My life is I’m not driving the boat, I’m taking directions. So it’s easy for me to transition based on me not getting tied into imbiah tied into me my identity rooted in whatever I’m doing. So for most people from being a big-time football player to transitioning out is a very tough transition. Because for your, for most of the guys their whole life, they’ve been doing this one thing, and doing the very well people praise you for it. And then you walk off the field one day, and you’re like, you’re not that anymore. And it’s hard to kind of detach from that. So whether it’s a relationship ending are it’s a career change. So many times we when we meet people, what do you do? We that’s how we kind of identified what do you do? Well, I am a banker know, you perform banking activities. You’re not a banker, you’re so much more than that. So for me, the transitions have been easy. Because at the end of the day, like, I’m Alex, I’m a child of God, that’s not going to change. And like I said, I’m Miranda’s baby and Alex’s son, so. And they just husband and soon-to-be Audrey’s father. So for me, those things won’t change everything else, I’m okay with God shifting it, no matter how good or how big I get at any one task. If God says, hey, it’s time to go in different direction. I’m taking directions not driving the boat.
Jess Dewell 21:20
I think that’s important to remember too, is part of that ecosystem of business. When we are thinking about management, when we’re thinking about strategy when we’re thinking about the business model we want when we’re watching the business model in the industry, we are in chain as another big thing, right? There’s a lot of uncertainty. And so when people are looking to us that much more important, we know ourselves, we don’t have to be all-knowing. But we do have to know ourselves because it’s the only way for me I can be confident enough. Or let them borrow our belief that everything is going to be the way that we want it to be.
Alex Sezer 21:53
And in the shifting of business, and coaching people, a lot of times what you’ll see is that people get so attached to the methods of yesterday. And one thing that says that we should marry the mission and date the methods, the methods will change, like how will we accomplish that mission is shifting every single day. So we can’t get so attached to well, our customers like are so used to this, well, your customers may be changing our, our employees, we’re so used to doing it this way. Maybe there’s another way, like let’s commit to accomplishing the mission. But how we get there, we have to be willing to be flexible and willing to change our methods. And you’ve seen great businesses do that we can we can all name them. And we’ve also seen people that refused to change their methods. And in doing so they didn’t accomplish their mission.
Jess Dewell 22:48
Okay, if you didn’t get it already. Now, you know, from the very beginning. This is why I wanted Alex either Jr. on our show. This is why we are having that conversation. Not only do we speak from the same place of love and care, our paths are so different yet we can come together and share those with you. In this conversation. Though Remember, you’re listening to the Bold Business Podcast. And you can listen on all the platforms that you could possibly wanting. Shooting pieces of this will be on YouTube. So stop by Red Direction.com Make sure to get this whole program and guess what else.
Thank you for joining us on the Bold Business Podcast. Your journey towards greater success continues with our Fast Track Your Business membership. By subscribing, you unlock the rest of this enlightening interview and gain access to a wealth of resources. These include invaluable tips, insights, and experiences shared by leading business figures, all curated to foster your entrepreneurial spirit and professional growth. So, DON’T DELAY. Visit fast track your business today dot com, and take your business journey to the next level. Special thanks to The SCOTT Treatment for production assistance.