Stay Hungry — Everyday you wake up, how bad do you want it? And if the answer is not bad enough then you don’t want it. Ask yourself where did I lose the hunger? Trace this back taking a walk in your subconscious mind to revamp why is it you started doing what you’re doing in the first place. The difference between hunger and no hunger is what you’re willing to do to see your vision through.
As a part of our series about the work ethic lessons we can learn from professional athletes, I had the pleasure of interviewing Alexander Olave.
Alexander Olave is a Professional Athlete and Entrepreneur helping transform lives through his passion, purpose, and mission. From being obese and homeless, to becoming a professional athlete and owner of a Multi 6 Figure Business, Alexander Olave is on a mission to help others tap into their potential and manifest their dreams into reality through monetizing their passions. Alexander has spent the last few years helping 6 & 7 Figure business owners scale their time and revenue taking the same exact methods that he’s used to help transform businesses and lives.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! It is a great honor. Our readers would love to learn more about your personal background. Can you tell us the story of how you grew up?
Absolutely, well first of all let me start by saying, I don’t believe anything in life is handed to us. Anything we want in life we have to go through a series of challenges to earn it. In my particular case what you would see as “success” today, there are years of uncertainty, years of pain, years of doubt, that without I honestly can’t say I would be where I am today so where does this story start?
My father and mother were just 18 years old when I was born. They were merely kids trying to figure out life with really no guidance or financial literacy to understand the stability needed to raise a household. Like any man would, my father had to figure out a way to provide for this new family created, so he joined the Military relocating us to the state of Virginia where I guess you can say I recall my first memories. I would spend the rest of my adolescence in Northern Virginia which is where the sequence of events that you could say helped create me unfolded.
I grew up around domestic violence, my parents drug addicts, my father very abusive to my mother, siblings, and myself. Now before continuing let me say this, it is amazing how time has the ability to heal all. Both my parents are 2 completely different beautiful individuals today because of their experiences and their transformations that contributed to events that shaped their reality.
As you can imagine, relationships where drugs and alcohol are involved always end in chaos. We get to a point as human beings where enough is enough. For my mother, she was checked out. She saved herself and got away from the terrible reality when I was 9 years old, leaving me with my siblings and yes my father.
At the age of 11 I mustered the confidence to run away on foot to go stay with my mother who now was remarried to my stepfather, still going through the cycle of drug abuse.
At this particular time in my life, a kid with no understanding for what I wanted in the world, no goals, no guidance, not a clue on what the universe had in store for me, I decided to take a leap of faith and take myself out of a very dark environment to interject myself into another.
Fast Forward Easter Sunday, 13 years old, our house was raided by the FBI & DEA due to the actions of my mother and stepfather. On the spot I was taken out of my home and into foster care. I would say this event was inspired by divine intervention. I was introduced to some amazing people who showed me for the first time as a child true unconditional love reinforced with structure, and a need to achieve academic excellence.
I lived with Cindy and Chuck for approximately a year before my father fought the state back for custody and well as you can guess he won.
Back in the same household now as a teenager I was happy to escape, it was only a matter of time before the pipe burst and it did.
Just a short few years later at 16 years old I left my home to begin my journey at life.
I needed a plan, a kid out in the world now as a young adult forced to provide for myself I worked in retail, scooping ice cream, and even making drinks at Starbucks. I earned my GED, enrolled in an online college and by the age of 18 graduated with a bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice. An 18 year old kid with no drive, motivation, hunger, or confidence, I lost myself. Working and eating working and eating, I became obese at 250lbs, depressed, no fulfillment, I however knew there was more out there for me. When I finally woke up in my younger 20s to the reality I could tap into my passion and purpose, nothing stopped me from grabbing life by the horns and running with it.
What or who inspired you to pursue your career as a high level professional athlete?
The inspiration to become a professional athlete was not a sudden shift. I let the pressures of life overcome me and suppressed my emotions through food becoming obese at 250lbs . I knew that I needed to lose the weight as I was extremely unhealthy. , I tried running, absolutely not! I gave up. I tried lifting and still I did not have enough of a why to continue. And then it clicked….
I could lose weight by hitting a bag boxing. I mean I was a fan of MMA and Boxing, I always loved watching, why not just get in shape taking out some aggression?
I had no idea that this action would actually trigger the start of my professional fight career. I didn’t see it, I didn’t know it, like every experience that has catapulted me into abundance in life, it wasn’t clear until it manifested. I often say life is one giant puzzle, each experience is a different piece and thus we can not see the bigger picture until it has all been laid out, that is the journey of life.
What really inspired me was the gradual series of events to follow that were laid out by staying consistent to the process. The love and enjoyment of what it is that I was doing, kept me grounded to the vision of what was really possible through each and every day.
None of us can achieve success without some help along the way. Was there a particular person who you feel gave you the most help or encouragement to be who you are today? Can you share a story about that?
I’ll say this,
One of the most important things I can take away from these last 10 years of life, Overcoming obesity, becoming a professional athlete, being homeless, coming back an Entrepreneur is this …
Surround yourself with great people, not even good, because good is not good enough.
Surround yourself with Phenomenal people who you know are in your corner and want nothing but the very best for you.
I have always been a nomad,a wanderer from the minute I was on my own. I spent time traveling the world, living in some beautiful countries, training martial arts. Hopping around the world you tend to meet some amazing people.
On the other side of the coin comes the Struggle that no one sees in pursuit of the end goal. Everyone sees the Millionaires and Billionaires and want what they have, but did they look at everything they lost in pursuit of the process to get there?
My coach and mentor Nima for me was that one person who helped me believe I could be capable at achieving something greater than myself. Way back before I became an entrepreneur I had one dream of being a professional fighter and was willing to sacrifice anything to get there. This wasn’t the first time that I had been homeless as when Nima found me I was sleeping in my car every morning before practice to be on time to train. I worked at night as a Security Guard which doubled as a school where I would spend time completing my masters degree.
I came to Nima, living in my car, sleeping in the parking lot of the gym after working overnight. Eventually Nima would give me an opportunity and hire me to work at the gym to be able to focus on training full time. Throughout this process of dedicating everything, he became a great mentor along the way not only providing me insight about martial arts and fighting, but business as well. He is someone I have much respect for who has helped guide me throughout the years.
Can you share the funniest or most interesting mistake that occurred to you in the course of your sports career? What lesson or take away did you learn from that?
Ohh wow I can lol
It’s amazing what competing teaches your moral character. I received an amazing opportunity to fight on one of the Worlds most prestigious Muay Thai Promotions, Lion Fight. This was the opportunity I had been waiting for, National TV Slot, Main Card, press writeups ohh man this was it.
I dreamt about how this opportunity was going to change my life and trained extraordinarily hard. In combat sports Emotional Intelligence is everything. A Smart fighter is more dangerous any day of the week over an emotional fighter. I went out to that bout cocky, stuck in ego. I envisioned that I had already won, that regardless of my performance I had this in the bag. I went out there and swung for the fences and got caught 15 seconds into the 1st round.
15 seconds. That’s all it took for my dreams and hopes to be crushed in a second. Now there is a happy ending to this.
Through this process I lost myself, one of the best things that could have ever happened to me as an individual.
I may have lost the fight, I may have lost my pride, I may have lost the big opportunity to compete on this world class stage, but what I got was more rewarding then I can imagine.
After spending my younger years overcoming limiting beliefs coming out of obesity, and putting all my trust and faith in the reality of being a professional fighter, I lost my identity. I had no identity outside of Alexander the fighter.
After the loss I became depressed, angry, and began to deeply reflect and search for who Alexander was not who Alexander thinks he is. It was this turning point I began to search for a deeper meaning of life.
It was single handedly one of the most humble, insightful, and transformational experiences of my life. They say in order to find yourself you have to be lost, in this particular case this loss was the biggest win of my life. I refound my passion purpose and an identity outside of the ring. It’s all about perspective when it comes to dealing with adversity.
OK, thank you for all of that. Let’s now shift to the core focus of our interview. As an athlete, you often face high stakes situations that involve a lot of pressure. Most of us tend to wither in the face of such pressure and stress. Can you share with our readers 3 or 4 strategies that you use to optimize your mind for peak performance before high pressure, high stress situations?
- How you train is how you will compete, if you’re just going through the motions of the tasks you are doing whether it’s in a sport, life, or in your profession, when it comes time to play this is how you will perform. Overcome the monotony by remembering who you are and why you’re doing what you’re doing to spark that fire to give your absolute best.
- Self Reflection — There is so much clutter in the day to day of reality, all the people we communicate with, all the phone calls, emails, duties, responsibilities, we can sometimes wither away going through the motions. Before you know it’s time to call it a day and hit the repeat button. Avoid that trap, you need to be able to give yourself at least, at the very least 30 minutes a day to sit, collect your thoughts, and gain clarity on how you are going to relentlessly achieve your goals. What is the objective? Why is this the objective? Be able to answer with truth to understand why you’re doing the things you’re doing
- Repetition & Consistency — Knowing how to perform at your absolute best there really is no secret formula. If you’ve been putting in the reps, if you’ve been consistent approaching your competition, promotion, deadlines, with absolute confidence and certainty you will execute flawlessly. These 3 things have helped contribute to success in both my Professional Fighting career as well as being an entrepreneur.
Can you tell us the story of your transition from a professional athlete to a successful business person?
The transition like anything in my life was presented to me through trial and error. A golden opportunity opened up, a small 10k investment in a martial arts gym that included the assets, location, I mean it was an absolute dream acquisition. I went in on the business at the time knowing nothing about being an entrepreneur. Just a few short months later we shut the doors and closed down. Wow this was a reality check. It turns out you can be an amazing professional athlete but it doesn’t mean you’ll become a successful business owner.
After investing every penny I had into the gym and losing everything, I felt embarrassed, disappointed, and disgusted with myself. I felt I had no one or nowhere to go. I decided to take a greyhound bus to the state of New Mexico where I would live in a tent for the next few months trying to figure out how to get my life together.
I let this sink me into one of the biggest lows of my life, but just like previously I had to lose myself to find myself. It was in that tent that I developed the drive to turn my greatest weakness into my greatest strength. I read every book possible, watched every free webinar consuming myself with knowledge. After feeling I had enough knowledge to make my comeback and escape this environment in the desert heat of new mexico I knew it was time.
However, I couldn’t go from nothing to something overnight. I knew it would take time, patience, and yes trial and error. I applied for a job as a hotel manager and boom just like that I was hired. I would take showers and do laundry at the hotel itself. Not one person knew of my living situation and I intended to keep it that way.
Fast forward a few short months later, I saved up enough to buy a vehicle, that vehicle allowed me to take off back to the east coast where the come back adventure began. This time hungrier, more knowledgeable, and ready to eliminate failure as an option, I took control back of my reality by making a decision.
I got back to the east coast and started working 3 jobs in the midst of building my business. Was it easy absolutely not, but I knew that this is what was needed to be done if my vision was to take reality back on my terms and not consider poverty as an option.
Slowly I would bring on 1 client, then 2 clients, until I could gradually quit each job one by one, just until the revenue sustained itself.
I was driving Lyft, Teaching Kids Martial Arts, Adult Boxing, and working on my business all at the same time. I knew this hard work would pay off as anything in life has taught me, consistency is the key.
The pivotal moment for me was driving a 12 hour day. At the end of that day generating $200. Now while ecstatic over the fact I was able to generate 200 in a single day I asked myself is this even worth it?
What if I took all this time i’m spending on making other companies money and instead go all in on my business?
That was the very last day I ever drove or ever worked for anyone ever again. Shortly after my business began to take off. Don’t get me wrong along the way being in business myself there has been a lot of trial and error however going all in on my visions, my dream, was the best investment I ever made.
And this is how it began…..
What are some of the most interesting or exciting new projects you are working on now?
There are a couple of amazing projects I am working on right now that excite and challenge me
One of those would have to be my mentorship program the G.C.M. Method. What we do is help Online Coaches generate high ticket clients into their process through having a sustainable and scalable system to grow with. These are people who are mindset coaches, health coaches, business coaches, essentially people who want to monetize their knowledge into a lucrative online business. This becomes extraordinarily fulfilling as this is the same exact method and system that helped me come out being homeless to generating a Multi 6 Figure Business. I get to give back to those looking to monetize their knowledge online to create the lifestyle they’ve always dreamed of.
Another project that I am particularly excited about coming from a martial arts background is the inaugural Women’s Self Defense Summit hosted by Kinko Hamilton. When approached with the opportunity to participate for this summit I jumped all over it. Coming from a background filled with domestic violence seeing first hand how women can be victimized, there was a greater purpose and passion for participating. With several self defense and mindset experts contributing to the panel of expert speakers it has truly been a joy to throw myself into something bigger and greater than me.
Do you think your experience as a professional athlete gave you skills that make you a better entrepreneur? Can you give a story or example about what you mean?
100%, The fight game and entrepreneurship are very similar. You have to push through the ebbs and flows, you have to be consistent each and everyday. You have to channel your best and highest self at all times, and you have to be resilient.
In every single competition you are testing yourself beyond the brinks of mental and physical strength. Giving up is not an option. In competition to give up is to put yourself in danger, the entire time you must be engaged and focused on the end result which is getting your hand raised.
Taking this mentality over to the entrepreneurial space has allowed me to be able to roll with the adversity when it comes, to push through the challenges when they happen. Its muscle memory at its finest.
To know how failure feels and to shake it off, to stay committed to the end goal, this is what being a professional athlete has taught me about business. You have to be willing to grind through it, it’s like working a muscle over, and over, and over again. No pain no gain!
Ok. Here is the main question of our interview. Entrepreneurs and professional athletes share a common “hustle culture”. Can you share your “5 Work Ethic Lessons That Entrepreneurs Can Learn From Athletes”? Please share a story or an example for each.
- Stay Hungry — Everyday you wake up, how bad do you want it? And if the answer is not bad enough then you don’t want it. Ask yourself where did I lose the hunger? Trace this back taking a walk in your subconscious mind to revamp why is it you started doing what you’re doing in the first place. The difference between hunger and no hunger is what you’re willing to do to see your vision through.
- Patience & Commitment Will Always WIn — It is all about staying committed to your vision, what is it that you want? How do you expect to get there without the commitment and patience to do so. It won’t happen overnight. In my particular case I knew I wanted to be a professional fighter, the only way to get there was to keep showing up and be patient with the process.
- Gain Crystal Clear Clarity & Focus — Laser sharp focus. I can’t tell you how many times I have missed an opportunity due to lack of clarity and focus. When your mind is cluttered with the everyday monotony of life, that is when it comes time to re evaluate and regain clarity. This can be the difference between you showing up to perform or being off in La La land passing by your greatness.
- Be Strategic With Your Goal Setting — Be strategic with the end result, what is the objective here? I know if my goal is to compete at the highest level I need to ensure I’m meeting my weekly, monthly, and daily goals. All of this contributes to “success”. What are your goals and what will you do to ensure that you reach them? Be sure to set strategic checkpoints in your process whether that’s competing in a Professional Sport or making sure you hit your monthly revenue goals. The process despite the variable is still the same.
- Always Be Ready For Opportunity — In the sport of Professional Mixed Martial Arts opportunities come on the drop of a dime. If you’re not ready physically, and mentally you pass the chance to take advantage of the opportunity. This applies with anything in life. If I miss the call to the big show because I’m out of shape that is no one’s problem but mine. Always be ready because if your not opportunity will pass you by.
What would you advise to a young person who aspires to follow your footsteps and emulate your career? What advice would you give?
I love this question,
I would advise anyone wanting to follow in my footsteps to understand that in pursuit of chasing your dreams there are going to be those that tell you that you can’t, or won’t, and at times you may believe them.
At times you may become impatient waiting for results that feel so far away. The key is to understand that no matter what people say to you, you must stay true to your vision and eliminate all the naysayers out of your reality. Treat anything that hinders you on your path of chasing your dreams as a poison that you must get rid of.
People can have opinions but at the end the day no one is going to live your life and die your death, so do what you feel is true in your heart and spirit.
You are by all accounts a very successful person. How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?
Coming from a place of having nothing to being able to create my own environment, my own cash flow, my own lifestyle rather than falling into a reality that has been decided for me, I know how to recognize others going through something similar.
I have been able to help people all over the world understand their potential, understand that they can monetize their passions, but more importantly do what they love without having to go through what I went through.
So what is it that I’m spreading to the world?
Knowledge, insight, wisdom, and experience, so those struggling with the inner conflict of lacking fulfillment or spending time doing something they don’t enjoy doing, they have the steps to be able to proactively move into that place of abundance to create their reality.
You are a person of enormous influence. If you could inspire 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. 🙂
I can see it so clearly lol.
My movement would be this simple, in every front and back yard, every balcony and porch, every vacant piece of land, we plant gardens with fruits and vegetables, No one goes hungry, no one is forgotten. Imagine a world where hunger and greed did not exist.
Living in California I see Millionaires in supercars drive by those living in the streets hungry and lost.
Imagine if we were to donate just a little bit of time to make this happen. Simply plant a seed and water. Telephone poles with Tomatoes growing up the side. Apple trees and orange trees galore, spinach and cabbage growing in community gardens.
It’s a world that I see and a world that is possible if everyone is aligned with the same mission.
Can you share your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Why does that resonate with you so much?
Always Say Less Than Necessary.
I love this quote. It reminds me to be a better listener and to communicate more effectively without doing most of the talking. How can you understand if your not willing to listen.
We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we both tag them 🙂
It would have to be Elon Musk,
I love the way Elon is always innovating, his mission focused and centered around impact. I love his story about living in his office and coding overnight to see his vision through. It is again the struggle most people don’t see in pursuit of what those deem as successful. Elon was a grinder, failing many times prior to coming back bigger than ever.
It would be incredible to sit down with Elon, talk about technology, the future, and how we can further help mankind through intelligence.