Keepin’ it 100 with Carlos García Navares, Branch.io

Keepin’ It 100 offers bite-sized tips and encouragement for revenue practitioners.

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Trinity Nguyen
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Christian Kletzl
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On this episode, Nelson is joined by Carlos García Navares, Head of Sales Development at Branch.io, a mobile marketing company.

Having started his career in the nonprofit sector, Carlos has a unique journey than most coming into B2B. Carlos shares his learnings while providing a deep-dive into his mindset for how to align with other people in your first 100 days of a new opportunity in a new country.

“My advice, no matter what I'm doing, is to ask yourself what actually is the problem that we're solving? How am I solving it and to whom am I solving it for?”

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Carlos is an entrepreneur in the corporate world. He lives for connecting ideas, ventures and people with drive. Prior to Branch, he was with Unilever, AIESEC, and LinkedIn across Europe and Asia.

Read Transcript

Nelson:  Hi everyone. And welcome to another episode of Keepin it 100, helping revenue practitioners, better tackle a new role of project. I'm your host Nelson Gilliat, and today's guest is Carlos Garcia. Head of sales development at Branch.io, a mobile marketing company. Carlos has a unique journey than most in B2B.

Having started out a nonprofit where predictable revenue was obviously not the goal and money was not a key motivating factor. He's also moved continents from Spain to Singapore, to vastly different cultures, to save you the hassle of a lighter pocketbook and traveling across the world to obtain this knowledge, Carlos will share his learnings, including hiking, better, motivate your team without money, as well as why and how to work in a new country and a different culture.

We'll also dive deep into his mindset for how to align with other people in your first 100 days, which is to have a laser-like focus on the end goal, the problem that you were hired to solve, the what, the why, the how, and the for who, from a nonprofit to a big box company to a rocket ship to working in different continents. Here's Carlos’s advice. So you can be your best and key moments. 

Carlos: I think one of the main and most important pieces that I always think of is. We're all solving problems to a certain extent. And it doesn't, it's pretty modern. Like at what level you're in the organization, you are solving yeah. Levels for someone that's the piece, like the higher you go up there in the leather, you're solving larger problems.

And every step that you make has actually a more intricate or deep impact on certain areas. And so my advice is always thinking, whatever I'm doing, what is actually the problem that we're solving. How am I solving it and to who am I solving it? 

Nelson: Now, some of the things I wanted to pick your brain about is how do you motivate people besides money?

Obviously, I think in a sales position that can often be perceived as big motivator money or commissions or whatnot, but coming from a nonprofit background, how do you get people to perform at their best, given your experience at, at the nonprofits? 

Carlos: I think having a sense of purpose is important. What we do has to have some sort of purpose and purpose. It's kind of like that last little part I made. Right. Is that eventually, depending on where you are, purpose might mean many different things to you. Purpose might mean, I don't know, eventually buying a new home for your parents. Or purpose might mean building a hospital in your city.

It really depends on what purpose means to you, but eventually, there's need to be some sort of purpose, some sort of like the big vision that you are personally like not everyone needs to buy into it. It doesn't matter. It's your own purpose. And I think that's a big, important one. Now, one thing is having it.

Another thing is communicating it. So the second business for any people manager. Is to build trust with the team, to gain access, to understand that. And I think it's important that the team understands why it's good for them to share what's their purpose and what they are trying to achieve with their lives. And I think it's important to have their back on that. 

Nelson: Another thing I thought was interesting that the audience might want to learn is your personal journey from moving from Spain to Singapore. And what advice you would have for someone who is considering a new position in a totally different country with a different culture, maybe different language customs and different times and all that. What would you recommend doing, or maybe not doing? 

Carlos: I think the first and most important one is to remember that you are the one, who's a foreigner, you are the one going through their country. And I think it's important that you acknowledge what are the things that you bring that are great, that are positive, but it's also important to acknowledge that you need to be the one sometimes making the effort to adapt.

And so I think it's not an experience made for everyone. I think respecting the place where you're going. When I say respecting, I think it's much more than just politeness. When I talk about respecting it is being genuinely curious to understand the way they behave in business, the way they do things, why they do the way they do it, respect that, learn from it and be able to use it and combine it with your own skills.

And that was a unique piece that I can say that I did is that I tried my best during my first four years. Do not mingle with people that I could mingle with. Anywhere else in the world. And that was important. And that made me respect and appreciate the country first, so much more second, the business culture, like being able to understand how they do business or how it's done originally.

I would say your colleagues, even your managers or your clients. They can sense it. They can sense when they are speaking with someone that has been posted somewhere and is trying to do their thing or someone that has been posted somewhere and wants to belong and is willing to add value rather, than exchange or change what they're doing.

They want to add on top of what they have. I think it's that real willingness to learn and work hard towards it. I think unfortunately whether we like it or not, when you're moving out of your, area of comfort, You really need to work harder than the others, but eventually like down the line, this pays off.

Nelson: I'm curious, I understand is why did you move? What would you advise someone who might be considering broadening their horizons or taking their career overseas? What's in it for them. 

Carlos: I think everything came from two pieces. One is I have a mentor in Barcelona that I had this conversation with. I asked him whether I should stay in Spain.

One of the, and I asked him is like, I'm faced with that situation. I can either stay in Spain and keep working in the neighborhood, or I have this opportunity to move out and potentially learn something new. It sounded interesting. That's the first phase of discussing with someone with a mentor coach that can guide you and ask the right question.

The second piece of me was reading this book called the startup of you by Reed Hoffman. And one of the main businesses that talks about this have a plan Z. Is that if you have a plan C, you're good to go. And in my case, I had a plan Z. If everything went south, I can always fly back. I think adventure is one of those things that if it's inside of you, if you're already thinking of doing it, perhaps you've already decided. That's a way that I think will be, if it's a thought, probably you've already decided you just need to make it happen. 

Nelson: Do you have a note of encouragement or insights to share email me and we'll get you on the show at podcast@usergems.com.