Everyone needs to start a brand. It’s just a matter of achieving personal awareness so you can find your purpose because that purpose is the foundation of your brand.
Joining Alicia Dunams on Authoring Life to expound this is top-ranked real estate entrepreneur Ivan Estrada. Ivan is a successful business leader who has been named in the “Top 30 Under 30′′ in real estate by Newsweek. He is the author of the newly-released book for young entrepreneurs, creative thinkers, and ambitious dreamers, Brand With Purpose.
Brand With Purpose is filled with tools and expert advice on growing your career and business, with enlightening case studies and inspirational wisdom from successful entrepreneurs and trailblazers. David Meltzer called the book “a path for every brand builder to find more passion and purpose in every aspect of their business.”
As part of Ivan’s mission to inspire the next generation of diverse leaders, he is aiming to give away 7,000 books to students across the country. You can learn more about the campaign here.
Reflecting on his personal journey of growing up Latino, LGBTQ, and working middle class (+ key themes in the book), in an energizing interview, Ivan discusses:
- Why Everyone Needs to Build a Brand—How to Do It and Where to Start
- Unlocking Your Purpose: How This Discovery Can Help Accelerate Your Career
- How Personal Awareness Can Take Your Branding to the Next Level
- Overcoming Hardship: Not Letting Shame and Past Trauma Get in the Way of Creating an Authentic Brand
- Why Personal Development and Continuing Education is the Key to Planning for—and Surviving—Inevitable Change
The True Value of Teamwork, from Expanding Your Brand to Remaining Resilient
Listen to the podcast here
Brand With Purpose With Ivan Estrada
I am super excited to introduce Ivan Estrada. He has been named Top 30 Under 30 in real estate by Newsweek Magazine. He is a top-ranked real estate entrepreneur and is now the author of a newly released book for young entrepreneurs, creative thinkers, and ambitious dreamers called Brand With Purpose. I’m excited to have you on the show.
Thank you so much for having me.
I am so happy to have you here because not only do we both have ties. You are in Los Angeles, and I have ties to LA. We work with youth specifically, Youth Business Alliance, which is a nonprofit there in Los Angeles supporting under-resourced youth and supporting them in terms of having access to people like yourself that is able to teach students where they can go in terms of entrepreneurship and building their own individual empires to writing your book. That’s why we are here, so please tell me why you wrote your book.
I wrote Brand with Purpose because I wanted to give back to kids. Both my mom and dad are immigrants from Mexico. They did the best that they could with lots and lots of love but there was a lot of lack of mentors in my community at the time that looked like me. I want to say the divine has put a lot of great teachers in my path that has taught me some great lessons. I have learned lessons on my own but I have also learned lessons from these mentors who have taken me under their wing.
It’s okay to ask for help. No matter where you are in your career, there are people out there who would be more than happy to guide you.
I wanted to give back to kids, youth, and teenagers who are looking for mentors and advice. We are living in this new world. I’m hoping that the insight, exercises, and interviews that I have will inspire them to think outside of the box, to feel proud of who they are, and be able to have that fire that I have so that they can go after anything and everything that they want in this world.
In terms of your personal story of lacking mentors, you wrote this book to inspire kids and to give them a North Star to support them in their journey. With that, I would love to share some of the life and business lessons that you share in your book. What are some lessons you want to share with our audience at home?
It all had to do with culture. I was taught not to ask for help. Asking someone for help showed vulnerability, and you couldn’t conquer things on your own. One of the biggest life lessons that I have learned through my journey is that it’s okay to ask for help, no matter where you are in your career or school. There are people out there who would be more than happy to guide and help you, especially being part of the Mexican culture. It’s this whole like, “I’ve got this. I don’t need your help.” For me, it was a change in mindset to be able to have this student mindset to always wanting to grow and being honest about the things that I know and don’t know.
One of the biggest lessons, especially nowadays, is don’t be afraid to ask for help. There are more people out there in online community groups, at school, and at home. I was also afraid to ask my parents for help because I didn’t want them to think that I needed help. Asking for help was one of the biggest life lessons I have learned.
When it comes to business, it’s mentorship. It’s having a mentor or someone you can look to for questions or inspiration. When I was a kid, I didn’t have money to pay for a coach or a mentor but there are so many resources online. Tony Robbins was my mentor, even though he didn’t know me. I used to watch his videos all the time. Also, Oprah, Lisa Nichols, and Mel Robbins, to name a few.
Anytime I felt down or there was something I didn’t know, I would go on YouTube and search for them. They were my mentors, and it was free of charge. Other resources are tons of books and podcasts, including yours. There’s so much knowledge out there. We just have to have the willingness to go and find it. That’s another big lesson.
The last one is being proud of who you are and where you came from. Growing up in my community, I was told two things that hit home, and that led me to lead an inauthentic life. The first one was, “Don’t ever tell people you are Mexican. Tell people you are Italian because people will respect you. You need to fit in.” The second one was I’m a part of the LGBTQ+ community.
I was told, “Don’t ever come out of the closet because if you come out of the closet, you are going to lose anything and anyone who has ever been important to you. You will lack people’s respect, and you will never be able to have a fulfilling life.” For many years into my 20s, mid-20s, and late 20s, that was a tape that was playing in my head over and over again. It was a shame that that was holding me back from showing up at work and to my friends and family.
Once I did the work, I was like, “Was it work?” It was not weeks or months. It was years of putting in the work and figuring out why I am still allowing those stories or narratives to be such a huge part of my life. 2021, I couldn’t be prouder to be who I am and where I came from. I’m Latino and part of the LGBTQ+ community. Once I was able to own who I was, my whole life opened up.
I was able to show up authentically. We throw that word around so often. Being authentic is being proud. It’s showing up as the person that you were truly meant to be. It was a journey that had its time. This was something that I couldn’t do in my twenties. I had to keep falling over and over again to be able to realize, “Something is not right here. I need to put in the work and find help.” Back to my first tip was I found help.
The word authentic is used a lot. It’s because so many people have hidden themselves for hundreds of years or decades. It has been ingrained to hide your true self, so I appreciate you bringing that out because people want to connect with the real you, and what makes you different makes the difference. Thank you for sharing that. I want people to go over to Amazon.com to buy the book, Brand With Purpose. Since this is geared towards young entrepreneurs, creative thinkers, and ambitious dreamers, what specifically is it about branding that young people need to get ahold of or have a finger on the pulse of?
There’s so much knowledge out there. We just have to have the willingness to go and find it.
Branding is very important regardless of whether you want to start your own business or not. Number one, branding is what gives you your edge. What do you want to be known for? If you are applying for a job and there’s a whole stack of resumes, all have the same grades, and all went to the same school, what is it about you that gives you that edge and makes you unique? It could have been a summer program that you did regarding architecture, design or something that shows your philanthropic side. That’s a huge part. It gives you your edge.
Number two, your brand is transferrable to anything that you do. I was thinking of some of these amazing football, soccer, and basketball players. No matter what team they get transferred or sold to, people still follow them because they know who they are and what they are capable of. They know their reputation, and their reputation precedes them.
One of the last things that were very important was knowing that your brand helps you become aware of who you are, your strengths, and also your weaknesses. It’s knowing what you are great at and also knowing, “These are the things that need work. This is what I need to become stronger at.” For me, branding is all about that. It’s knowing and being aware of who you are emotionally, spiritually and physically. It’s seeing yourself in a 360 view.
I love that because your brand transcends whatever container you are in at that moment as you are talking about athletes. I always use Sheryl Sandberg as an example. She’s the COO of Facebook. She has created this whole brand that if she goes to another tech company, that’s going to go with her. Whether people are working for corporate, real estate, are intrapreneurs or entrepreneurs, or have their own business, your brand will go with you wherever you go. It’s bigger than the container that you are in at the present moment because we transcend. Do you have any tips for people at home on how to create a brand?
I have a ton but what I did for myself many years ago when I was trying to build my real estate brand was I needed to know what my brand pillars are. What do I stand for? I have five. One was real estate. The other one was community, which is very important to me. The third one was design. The fourth one is travel because I not only sell real estate in Los Angeles but all over the world. The fifth one was architecture. They all work together, and those five things are what I always make sure that in my blogs, videos, website or anything that I do, it showcases that side of who Ivan is.
If you are trying to build a brand, it’s all about putting a plan together. I have these brand pillars everywhere so that I remind myself if that’s on brand or not on brand. This is if you are building a business. If this is for personal, then they are personal brand pillars. What do you want to be known for? If you are like, “I want to be known for being kind,” then that’s great. What are things that you can do so that when they feel you, they are like, “Alicia is kind because of these things?”
If you want to be known for being part of your community, then great. What does that look like? Are you part of your local boys and girls club? Are you feeding the homeless in a certain part of town, and you are part of an organization? It’s honing in on the essence that you want to put out so that you can remind yourself because we are all busy. There are so many things happening in the world. It’s easy to get distracted, so having those brand pillars centers me. It’s like, “I want to do this but that’s not on brand. I could do that for myself but it’s not on brand.” It centers and reminds me why I’m here.
I’m sure you have other tips in your book, Brand With Purpose. I want to jump into our speed round. This is where I ask you some questions, and you share with me what’s the first thing that comes to mind. What is your legacy?
Make this year your year. If you can do anything now that the world is in such unease, then you can honestly do anything.
My legacy is I want to empower kids who felt like they didn’t belong or were not good enough to be able to transcend and live the optimal life they deserve and want.
Who is your favorite author?
I’ve got a couple. It’s Eckhart Tolle. I love business books but I’m very spiritual, and The Power of Now is such a good book. It’s a book that I constantly re-read because it’s so important to be in the present. He’s incredible.
He’s one of my favorites as well. What’s your favorite book?
It is Think Like A Monk by Jay Shetty. It’s a very spiritual book. For me, spirituality is the foundation of who Ivan is, and as long as my spirituality is sound or my foundation is strong, then I can build any house I want, I can do anything. I personally admire Jay Shetty, and I love his book, Think Like A Monk.
A spiritual foundation is so important to be able to go out and do anything that you want in this world to be grounded in spirit. What are you reading next? What’s on your bookshelf?
It is Grit by Angela Duckworth. I just started reading it. I saw her Ted Talk, and someone had mentioned her book, Grit. It’s an older book but I’m on Chapter 3. She’s very scientific. I love facts that come with scientific proof of how the brain works and why certain things are the way that they are. I’m loving it so far.
That’s great. I’m similar. I like books that have that Neuroscience or Psychology background to substantiate the claims they are making. It’s so important. The final question for you is, what are you writing next?
I’m putting this out there into the universe. I would want to make this a trilogy. The Brand With Purpose would be the first book. It’s about finding your purpose. The second book is Brand With Courage to help people make that extra step of letting themselves go, jumping off that cliff, and facing their fears, and the last book would be Brand With Love.
I’m holding that intention that you create all of that because it does require courage as you shared on this particular call to be able to be in full ownership of your nationality and of your LGBTQ. Being who you are is such an important way of being, and it does require courage in a world that can be seen as close-minded. You just get to find your people. That’s the only thing.
When you shine your bright light, it’s the people who are going to be attracted to you that come to you. That’s the beauty of living courageously. You attract people that truly get to be around you. That’s fantastic. What is one thing you want to share with our audience at home before we get wrapped up on this episode?
There’s a lot of fear out there. We are all dealing with this pandemic together but I would invite you to figure out that things are the way that they are. You can’t control that but you can control what you read, write, say or eat. How can you make this year your year, no matter the outside circumstances, the politics or anything else? If you can do anything in a pandemic and in a place where the world is in such unease, then you can honestly do anything.
What great words of advice. Go pick up Brand With Purpose on Amazon or your local e-tailer or bookstore. With that, I want to acknowledge you for the work that you are doing in this world, with children, college-aged kids, and young adults to be able to go out and create the life that they want because you have done it yourself. Thank you for being a mentor for young adults.
Thank you so much.
Until next time. Thank you so much for reading another episode of the show.
- Brand With Purpose
- The Power of Now
- Think Like a Monk
About Ivan Estrada
Ivan Estrada is a Real Estate Entrepreneur who is the CEO of Ivan Estrada Properties. He is also the creator of the Brand With Ecosystem, which contains Brand With Purpose, Brand With Video, and Brand With Podcast. Ivan’s amazing life journey has taught him a lot and now he is ready to share his knowledge with the world in hopes of being the inspiration he never had growing up.