O.P. Alamaraz: “Burn the boats! ”

Never before has this been a more opportune time to provide extraordinary value to your employer. Employers are looking for employees who are willing to put in the effort, put in the time, and develop creative ideas to expand and grow the business. Your efforts will not be overlooked, but if they are — give me a […]

The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres on our open platform. We publish pieces as written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Community stories are not commissioned by our editorial team and must meet our guidelines prior to being published.

Never before has this been a more opportune time to provide extraordinary value to your employer. Employers are looking for employees who are willing to put in the effort, put in the time, and develop creative ideas to expand and grow the business. Your efforts will not be overlooked, but if they are — give me a call, I just may be hiring! 🙂

As part of my series about people who stepped up to make a difference during the COVID19 Pandemic I had the pleasure of interviewing O.P. Alamaraz.

O.P. Almaraz and Allied Restoration are the first OSHA-certified COVID disinfecting service for businesses and homes affected by the Coronavirus pandemic. With over a decade of restoration expertise, Allied Restoration’s customer service reputation and its focus on discretion and privacy have earned them the trust of countless celebrities and ultra-high net worth individuals. Almaraz is also giving away his training and knowledge, by including a number of helpful resources on his company’s website, like COVID-19: 10 Things Your Business Must to Do to Survive This Pandemic. Allied Restoration not only provides cleaning services, they instruct owners, estate and property managers and/or contracted operators on how to adhere to standards with ongoing maintenance and clean-up.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dig in, our readers would like to get to know you a bit. Can you tell us a bit about how and where you grew up?

I was born in the great City of Los Angeles and had the privilege of being raised in the poor neighborhood of South El Monte, Ca. I describe my poor upbringing as a privilege because I would never appreciate the great experiences of my life if I hadn’t lived through strenuous times.

Is there a particular book that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story or explain why it resonated with you so much?

The Bible. The David and Goliath story captivated me the first time I heard it. How is it possible that a scrawny kid, who’s purpose in life was to herd sheep, ever defeat an Experienced Giant Warrior?

This story gave me hope. Maybe even a kid like me, who grew up with a father who physically abused my Mother, would someday rescue my Mother.

Do you have a favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Do you have a story about how that was relevant in your life or your work?

Burn the boats! — Spanish conquistador Hernan Cortez.

It’s 2010, my little brother Victor and I are celebrating two years in business as Allied Restoration. Off we go to a business seminar; one moment we’re taking notes, the next moment, Victor is vomiting, and I rush him to the hospital. The doctor admits him right away. It turns out that he has a severe case of pancreatitis. Fourteen days later, I watch my little brother take his last breath. Victor died at the age of 39.

How in the hell is anyone ever supposed to deal with something like this! Victor was my business partner, my operations manager, and my best friend.

On top of that, the 2008 recession was in full swing. Customers were not spending money. When they had insurance claims, they decided to keep the money because a spouse lost their job. I didn’t blame them, because, under those circumstances, I’d probably do the same thing. It wasn’t long before our business began a downward spiral.

It’s during these times of pressure and darkest hours that we do our best thinking. It hit me! I need to target a different type of clientele: the High Net Worth and Celebrity Market. “The rich and the famous.” Naysayers told me I was crazy, and even my employees needed to be persuaded and convinced. So I Burned the boats! I invested every last dollar in learning how to attract this new type of client. Here we are ten years later, and Allied Restoration has gained the reputation of delivering white-glove service to high net worth and celebrity clients.

When you have a vision that stirs your soul, burn the boats, and chase it with all your might. Once you believe it, the right people will follow.

Ok, thank you for all that. Now let’s move to the main focus of our interview. You are currently leading an organization that has stepped up during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Can you tell us a bit about what you and your organization are trying to address?

We responded quickly to this Pandemic. In March of 2020, I invested in having 22 of my staff Certified by OSHA and extensive training on decontaminating properties from Bacteria, Ebola, types of norovirus, and similar strains of COVID-19. We have helped hundreds of customers during some of the most challenging times of their lives. Currently, it revolves around doing our part to Crush COVID-19.

In your opinion, what does it mean to be a hero?

It’s feeling the fear and finding the courage and reasons to jump into the fight.

In your opinion or experience, what are “5 characteristics of a hero? Please share a story or example for each.

Faith — Having the belief that I can attain what I set out to do. I imagine it vividly in my mind first, then allow myself to feel what it feels like when I achieve it.

Courage — The confidence to act on my beliefs and those that believe in me. You’ve heard the term “imposter syndrome,” and at times I felt this way; this is why it’s essential to have strong mentors in your corner. A great mentor will stretch your thinking, hold you accountable, and help you get out of your own way.

Love — Love is, by far, the supernatural force that provides us the power to perform heroic acts.

Passion — Passion is an intense desire that I use to make things happen. I use passion as my fuel push through difficult times.

Creativity — Being a hero can be an episodic event, and it could be a way of life. In business, frequently, the leader is endowed with doing heroic things and is why creativity is one of those concepts that unleash the potential to conceive new ideas. Creativity can open doors to new opportunities.

If heroism is rooted in doing something difficult, scary, or even self-sacrificing, what do you think drives some people — ordinary people — to become heroes?

Having experienced frightening and excruciating times, it’s very similar to sacrificing yourself for someone or something else. You are willing to stand in the line of fire because of the meaning you give your heroism. For me, it’s a battle that I fight against Poverty. The way that I fight Poverty is through education and execution. I execute as if Poverty is chasing me and is why my competitors will never outwork me.

What was the specific catalyst for you or your organization to take heroic action? At what point did you personally decide that heroic action needed to be taken?

Whenever we feel that our backs are up against the wall, we at Allied Restoration take heroic action. It’s what we felt in March when this Pandemic hit home. Our regular business began to suffer, and we knew that we had to pivot and create a new vertical of business. Enter COVID-19 Disinfection Services.

Who are your heroes, or who do you see as heroes today?

My Mother, Julieta, is my hero. Even among the physical abuse, raising three boys, struggling to make ends meet, and losing her youngest son, my Mother never lost her faith. She is the pillar of our family, and I am honored & blessed to be her son.

Let’s talk a bit about what is happening in the world today. What specifically frightened or frightens you most about the Pandemic?

It has created abnormal anxiety in our fellow man. What causes me concern is the “micro” aggression that is being experienced by many. Because everyone is on edge, you never know what one thing can push the person to react maniacally.

Despite that, what gives you hope for the future? Can you explain?

As it was in the recession of 2008, new businesses will emerge as a result of the Pandemic and economic challenges. We have created new verticals of business for our company, but what excites me the most is the youth’s opportunities to capitalize on these times. Young people have skillsets that small companies are begging for. Small businesses are on the verge of losing it all unless they figure out how to get more customers. Anyone who understands how to capitalize on Social media (LinkedIn, Facebook, TikTok, Instagram, YouTube) can create a business model that will last for years.

What has inspired you the most about the behavior of people during the Pandemic, and what behaviors do you find most disappointing?

The most inspiring behavior is seeing people’s resiliency. Their decision to not be shaken!

The most disturbing is seeing the mental health decline. It’s become a real struggle for some, and people must have the awareness to get help before it robs them of their happiness.

Has this crisis caused you to reassess your view of the world or of society? We would love to hear what you mean.

It has exposed two different types of people.

  1. People that are willing to put in the work, face reality, and do what it takes to survive.
  2. The other group of society chooses to stay home, take it easy, take advantage of unemployment for as long as possible, and take the lazy way out.

What permanent societal changes would you like to see come out of this crisis?

I’d like to see people seek mental, spiritual, and emotional support to improve their quality of life and their families.

If you could tell other young people one thing about why they should consider making a positive impact on our environment or society, like you, what would you tell them?

Never before has this been a more opportune time to provide extraordinary value to your employer. Employers are looking for employees who are willing to put in the effort, put in the time, and develop creative ideas to expand and grow the business. Your efforts will not be overlooked, but if they are — give me a call, I just may be hiring! 🙂

You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

When I spoke to the students at Ontario High School, I was surprised and saddened to hear their afflictions.

I would start a mind-growth movement! Weekend boot camps that will give the youth tools to expand their minds, break free from the old narrative, and create new empowering ones.

Is there a person in the world, or in the US, with whom you would like to have a private breakfast or lunch, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them. 🙂

Tyler Perry. We have a similar upbringing, and I’m most impressed by his faith, passion, work ethic, and ability to think way outside the fricken box!

How can our readers follow you online?

TEDx talk

This was very meaningful, thank you so much. We wish you only continued success on your great work!

Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

You might also like...


Tom Keya on Why it’s crucial to understand and manage stress and mental health in the workplace

by Dave Devloper

I am facing redundancy — what now?

by Hans Schumann

Diana Rodriguez-Zaba: “Know the Worth of Your Services”

by Ben Ari
We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.