Alejandro Rioja: “I think what really characterizes me is how much work I put in”
To be successful you really need to put in the time.
Alejandro Rioja is the CEO of Flux Ventures, a holdings group that owns Flux Chargers, the best selling portable charger in over 80 countries. The Flux Portable Charger comes with built-in cables for both iPhone and Android, and has received great press, including a #1 worldwide rank by Yahoo Tech, Digital Trends, Engadget, Mashable and others. Moreover, Flux Ventures also created Flux.LA (an SEO agency), Flux Capital (a VC) and Young Slacker Media (a series of popular sites like Future Sharks where they interview other successful young entrepreneurs).
On a more personal note, Alejandro was born and raised in Bolivia and now he is in his last quarter at UCLA studying Computer Science. Alejandro enjoys learning and reading about finance and marketing, and can’t wait to graduate and continue building out his dream with Flux :)
1. Humble Beginnings
Q: How did you get started and what or who inspired and empowered you to?
The first company that started it all was Flux Chargers, the portable chargers brand.
Legend has it that circa Spring 2015, my co-founder Miles and I went to a party on a Thursday night after a long day at UCLA. Since I had been out of my apartment for the whole day, my phone battery died quickly at the party. When someone handed me a charger to charge my phone I noticed how bulky and awkward the charger was and wondered if we could come up with a better solution for a portable charger. This is what started Flux Chargers. Miles, being a great designer and having connections in China, was the missing link to our company. The rest, they say, is history.
Q: What unique and creative strategies if any did you use when you were first getting started?
The best thing that I did to kick-start my company was to grab a box full of chargers and go to Santa Monica’s 3rd Street Promenade to sell my product. When I first started doing it, I was nervous since I never had experienced doing any sort of savage-selling before. This exercise turned out to be really good not only because it put the Flux name out there but also because it helped me grow as a salesman, which is one of the key skills of a great CEO.
Q: What mindset distinguished you from others who were doing the same thing? How did you develop it?
I think what really characterizes me is how much work I put in. I love working, so I don’t find trouble spending 12, 14, or even 16 hours a day working. A lot of people don’t realize that to be successful
you really need to put in the time. Those who are successful are the ones that kept at it the longest, especially when times were tough.
Also, I am always looking for ways to do my work more efficiently and thus I like to develop scripts and workflows to optimize my work, this allows me to increase my output while reducing the amount of time I spend on a particular task. Also a big productivity booster is the fact that I delegate, reduce or eliminate tasks that I don’t need to do.
3. What is your definition of success?
Be able to do what you like, be surrounded by people that love you and that you love, and make a positive impact in other people’s lives.
Q: What do you think is the main reason why some people face failure when going after their vision?
People are impatient. They have this big vision, and they want it now. Unfortunately, in reality, this is not how it works.
Big dreams take time to materialize, and thus we need to be patient with the vision and trust that the work we’re putting in will work out in the end. In the words of Steve Jobs: “You can’t connect the dots looking forward you can only connect them looking backwards”.
While people need to be patient on the vision in the long term, they must work diligently and fast every day. Speed is important when it comes to building a startup.
5. What is the best piece of advice you have received or came across and would like to share with everyone?
A great entrepreneur needs to be healthy physically and psychologically. As much as I like to work, I also need to keep an eye in my health and my circle of friends. What you eat and the people that you hang out with have a great impact in your life, so make sure that you’re very critical of the choices you’re making in those areas.
To view Alejandro’s amazing work, visit www.alejandrorioja.com
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