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Why Creatives should try Voluntary Generosity - Alejo Porras (Graphic Recorder) - Self-Help E121

Why Creatives should try Voluntary Generosity - Alejo Porras (Graphic Recorder) - Self-Help E121

Alejo Porras (Graphic Recorder)

We explore the superpower of Voluntary Generosity with the amazing Alejo Porras. If you are looking to grow your business or just looking for some inspiration on how to be more successful, then be sure to listen to Alejo’s top tips.

We explore how the power of service to others has helped Alejo in his journey from Costa Rica to the United States. His creative work has been re-shared by famous influencers such as Chris Do and others.

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Alejo Porras

Growing up in Costa Rica, Alejo wanted to learn all the languages in the world... so he learned to draw.  

Now, he provides Graphic Recording and illustration services to help corporate brands and agencies share great ideas, inspire people, and solve big problems.

His superpower is making abstract ideas easy to understand and impossible to forget through powerful and fun drawings.

He has more than 12 years of experience in leadership, creativity, and business and shares his expertise with creative professionals through social media, speaking engagements, and his weekly newsletter (Fresh Ideas).

His content covers topics around productivity for creatives, the business of art, and creative mindset.





⚡️ In each episode, Paddy Dhanda deep dives into a new human Superpower and gives practical advice on how you can apply it immediately.

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[00:01:38] Paddy Dhanda: Dear friend, welcome to another episode of the Superpower School Podcast. I'm your host, Paddy Dhanda, and on today's episode, I have somebody who has a passion for something I wish I could do much better and he's an all round, really nice, humble guy that I've been following on social media for a while now.

In fact, I've probably been stalking him. He is a sketchnoter and visual storyteller, and he wanted to learn all the languages in the world, but decided To learn to draw instead. I have the amazing Alejo Porras on the show. Sorry Alejo, I've got your surname completely mispronounced. So, just correct me on that.

[00:02:19] Alejos Porras: 10 pushups. Come on. No, man. Thank you so much for having me here. It's a pleasure talking with you and I'm glad we were able to connect. I look forward to this conversation.

[00:02:26] Paddy Dhanda: Oh, thank you. And how do we pronounce your surname properly? Like, if I was doing it right.

[00:02:32] Alejos Porras: Yeah, you have to think like you're making the car sound like porras. So it's porras, but I'm from Costa Rica and the Rs in Costa Rica is like, er, instead of, so porras sounds, sounds fine. Honestly.

[00:02:44] Paddy Dhanda: Got it. Well, luckily I don't have to say your surname again on this episode. So it's gonna be Alejo all the way.

Alejo's Superpower: Volunteer Generosity

[00:02:50] Paddy Dhanda: And Alejo, what superpower would you like to bring to this particular episode?

[00:02:55] Alejos Porras: would love to bring my favorite superpower, which is volunteer generosity and to kind of explain that essentially it's a fancy word for being helpful and being willingful and being having a disposition to help other people and having that mindset that whatever you do. You want to, when you leave the room, to leave the room better than how you enter it.

And it's something that I unconsciously applied through my life. I got good role models. I know I had the privilege of being in a context in, in places in which that was fostered or that was like applauded. about like servant leadership and stuff like that were discussions that I heard very often. And funnily enough, it's just something that just became part of me.

And then I realized he was also good for business. So it's, it's become something that I think is very relevant for anybody who wants. to just live a more exciting life, a more happy life to be connected with other people. And in terms of business too, it's just something that will help you grow in a good way.

 Not in a forced way.

[00:04:04] Paddy Dhanda: Oh, I love that. So, in my Religion, Sikhism, we have this word called Seva, and Seva is very much about that approach, which is you're selfless and you're helping others as often as you can. And it plays a massive role, like in our culture. For example, when we go to the temple, we Have a community kitchen in every Sikh temple.

So anyone off the street can come in and have curry. Oh, no, what have I done? I've told the world you can have free curry from an Indian temple.

[00:04:35] Alejos Porras: My wife will get crazy about it. She's like, where is that place?

[00:04:39] Paddy Dhanda: And it's amazing to watch because People walk in and one minute, they're talking away, socializing, and next minute there washing the dishes and it's just amazing how people just jump in and volunteer and they help. And that is a subject really close to my heart.

So I'm really excited to hear, how you've been using this and, what impact it's had in terms of you and the people that you've been engaging with. But before that.

Alejo's Journey from Costa Rica to the States

[00:05:06] Paddy Dhanda: You mentioned you have your origins in Costa Rica. So, I would love to know your background, like, because now you live in the States, if I am correct.

So, how did you get to the States and what was that journey like?

[00:05:19] Alejos Porras: I think it's been, you know how sometimes certain things in generations just kind of repeat by accident or I don't know by chance or we kind of fall in that default. And what I mean by this is my mom is originally from Argentina. She lived most of her life in Bolivia. She went to study in Spain.

There she met my dad who was Costa Rican. They got married. And they ended up going to Costa Rica. So I had this kind of already background of my, my, well, my mom, at least she was an immigrant. So I kind of like grew up with understanding how immigrants navigate in a new country, you know? And then when I was growing up, well, I was, I was already growing up.

I was in my twenties and I wanted to leave the country to study to do a master's degree. And I always wanted to go out. And explore the world and, you know, study somewhere. And I felt like that was encouraged by my parents because they both did that. And the thing is that I didn't, you know, put into the equation is that I happened to met the love of my life while I was abroad.

So I ended up staying here. After coming to study. That's how I ended up here and kind of that upbringing of learning about how hard it is sometimes like, you know, speaking for my mom, she studied something in Spain and when she went to Costa Rica, she couldn't work on the thing that she had studied because she needed some papers to get in line.

It took years for that to get in line, but she had to do something. In the meantime, so I saw that struggle.

The Impact of Generosity in Alejo's Life

[00:06:47] Alejos Porras: I saw those hustles and I think that kind of got ingrained in me that When she encountered people that gave her grace That was a blessing for me too, even though they were like helping her, you know, and they were of course helping me and from the spirit of like doing things and doing things and also the generosity of other people, I think something in it just got stuck in me.

I also got involved in church life a lot, and I was leading youth groups. And part of that dynamic was essentially, like, I didn't like, and I come from like a Christian church sort of thing, but I didn't like the concept of professional Christians, like pastors that need to, that are paid, that's their profession.

Like, I never resonated with that. So, everything that I did In that space was always voluntary and I was a volunteer for 10 plus years

I'm an only child, but I'm more like a shy extrovert, if that makes any sense. Extrovert in the sense of I get energy from people. But I'm not necessarily the life of the party if I'm in a social situation, you know I just enjoy being around people and I'm an only child. So Going to new places was always weird to me because I wasn't I didn't take the initiative to talk to people and there was like more popular noisy people around and I always felt like You know, like, I wanted to connect, but I couldn't, and there was nobody who would come and just bridge that.

I want to help people avoid the feeling that I felt when I used to go to other groups in which I felt left out. So that was just kind of helping myself through others in a way and evolved eventually into, you know what, this is actually nice, like helping people, you know, some, some people who would be like.

Oh, thank you. You know, I was feeling so awkward and now I'm a place and then somebody who would eventually start to open up and say, you know, my background and my family, it's like wrecked, you know, and things in my school are not going well, but when I come here and I talk with you guys, you know, and, and the rest of the kids there, it's like, I'm free, you know, I can open and be myself.

And that is very rewarding, so I felt like I was doing something good, and if I was doing an impact, I wanted to do it better, and then I started volunteering more and more and more and more to learn how to do things, to the point that by the time I left that church and I left the country, like, at that moment, simultaneously, when I was trying to get the funds for my master's degree, Through some people, a work that I had had, I got an opportunity to be in a marketing campaign, advertising campaign for a phone company in Costa Rica.

So my face was on billboards and on bus stops and on TV, on ad commercials. And part of that was to help me, it was about like, help Alejo accomplish his dream and he will draw your dream so you can accomplish yours. So it was an interesting initiative. But. I got, like, four times more funding from the small group from church, who were people who knew me, just because I had poured out for so long into them.

You know, and it was not something that, of course, it was not planned. I wasn't expecting that from them, but they were, you know, you have been here all these years helping us out. How could we not? And that reciprocity is something that I wasn't expecting, but I was so overwhelmingly grateful for it. And it all translated to the fact that.

I took the initiative to give, to, to be somebody who was helping others and be generous with my time, volunteering with my time.

Alejo's Approach to Helping Others

[00:10:16] Alejos Porras: So after that, I realized, okay, I think the best way to get engaged in any situation is to volunteer and to give freely, to know that there's something that you can give. And when you give it freely, it doesn't matter what happens, it's gonna be good.

So, I don't know, that was a long kind of story that went through my childhood, through my adolescent years, through my twenties, all the way to this year.

When I figure out if I start just doing things, it not only feels great. But also, you know, people, people enjoy it and people give back in one way or another, which has helped me in the sketchnote part because I've been just doing sketchnotes for people that I admired and I've sent them the sketchnotes, like, through mail and, like, send them a message.

Hey, you know, like, I do this for a living, but I love your work. Please take this as a mark of how much I appreciate what you've done. They're like, man, thank you so much. Can I share it on my newsletter? Can I share it on LinkedIn? You know, and then they asked me, how's that going? So that has been an amazing thing my approach is to help and then things kind of work out.

[00:11:16] Paddy Dhanda: Oh, that's amazing. And I was connecting some dots for myself as you were talking that through. So I'm an only child as well, actually. So that kind of really resonated with me. Hey, whoa. And it's quite interesting when I got married, because my My wife is one of five siblings, and I remember in the early days, like, as we'd got married, I used to go over to her parents house, and the house was full of kids, it was full of people, and I used to come back with a headache, like, I used to tell her, I said, how do you talk to so many people in one go?

Because literally you're having one conversation, and then you've got someone else over here. And then you're having to focus on so many people, so many things going around. I used to be exhausted when I came home and they used to always laugh about it, my family used to always laugh about it

so, I totally get that. And, you were there talking about How you've recently helped other people and they have come back to you and it's been really surprising, like the response and it's really landed well. I mean, I'm just trying to think of someone at home who's.

The Power of Generosity in Business

[00:12:24] Paddy Dhanda: Perhaps self employed or even at work and they're thinking, well, how could I apply some of this into my routine on a day to day basis?

I mean, you do sketchnotes and what a gift to give someone, right? To give them something you've handcrafted, something that you've spent time and effort on. What kind of generosity could other people offer that would give them a similar result?

[00:12:50] Alejos Porras: Yeah. Yeah. That's an interesting question. So if it's not tangible, like visible, something that you can give to others is a crafted thing. I think it's acts and words go a long way for sure. I think generosity is not necessarily a thing that you do once is a habit that you develop. Just like being, being generous comes from an understanding that you have something to give and something that can help others.

So. The question behind that becomes what are people struggling with that I can help them with, you know? What are the pain points that this person is experiencing that I have some knowledge that could serve them? Or, in general, is this person going through a tough time and is there something I can do to cheer them up, you know?

 The easiest way to kind of do that is Or for me, at least what I have experienced is it getting involved in volunteering opportunities. Churches in general are great, like any religious space. I think it's great for that because it's based on the notion that you're going there to serve. So those humble opportunities in which you're there just to be helpful, I think it's great to take advantage of in the sense of like. the practice that you give for that it's a good opportunity for you to practice that habit of volunteering and generosity.

Apart from that, you know, if, if what you do in general in your work has to do with a kind of service, then it's pretty easy in the sense of like that service should be helpful. Like that's the whole point, you know, and I, I tell my son this all the time. If you want to, you know, become a better person, or if you want to just even make money, then learn to be helpful.

That is the basic skills that you need to understand to be able to move up in life. Because when you're helpful, then of course people are going to buy your product or going to buy your service. Otherwise, why wouldn't, why would they, you know, they just buy things that are helpful for them. So, helpful could be the product that you do, the service that you do, or the attitude that you bring.

And I think that last one is probably most overlooked , but is the one that comes up. Strongly because it's a first impression, you know, if you're coming with like, okay, I want to be helpful. I'm just gonna do this thing, you know, that doesn't come like you're actually wanted to do this thing. But if you're happy about it, if you're excited about giving things.

Then people feel it, you know, so bring the attitude of like, okay, what I'm giving is a gift. It's like Christmas. I'm just being Santa Claus here, you know, and I'm just giving things away to people, whether they've been good or bad. It doesn't matter. Just, you know, take thing. This is a gift for you, and I hope it helps you.

I think that's a good attitude to just in general bring to any situation in life.

[00:15:33] Paddy Dhanda: Yeah. You reminded me of a guest I had a while back. He's an entrepreneur and we were just talking off air about how he was looking to grow his community and he was finding it really difficult. And I said, oh, I do talks on communities we talked for a while and I said, Hey, would you mind. Coming and talking to some of my people at work and, you know, sharing some of your insights. I was like, yeah, of course. And he said, so what are your fees? And I was like, I really hadn't even thought about charging for this.

This wasn't something I was going to charge for. This was just something I was happily able to do. And it was something I'm passionate about, but it's quite interesting how in the way we've been often programmed is. If I do ask someone to come in and, you know, provide their professional opinion on something, then we automatically assume we have to give them money.

That's the thing that they want. And in many ways, there are people out there and we all need to be paid for our time. But it's just interesting the way people have been programmed. And that's the first thing that came to his mind was how much do we pay you for this?

[00:16:37] Alejos Porras: That's funny. That's, I mean, that's actually nice that they have kind of that. You know, because I think it's considerate, you know, if you as somebody, hey, I know you're bringing something values there in a way that I can reward you. I think it's a good way to ask for things because what I've been thinking so far is volunteer generosity.

So when you are volunteered. That doesn't work that well, you know? It's like, hey, could you volunteer to help me out? It's like, no, you're not, I'm not volunteering. Like, you're asking me, necessarily, you know? So, my whole standpoint, and I'm glad that you brought this up, because my whole standpoint is when you, from your own will, decide that you are going to give something and expect nothing in return. That is volunteer generosity. And I make that distinction because at least for illustrators, designers, you know, creatives in general, there's a lot of like, oh, can you do this for me? And, oh, how can you charge that much and all that? And like, oh, but this is for a nice cause or whatever.

You know, like, Okay, but you're asking me for it, like, and then you're making me feel guilty because I don't want to do it or cannot do it for free. Like, I think that's kind of rude. You know, if you appreciate somebody else's work, then, you know, be prepared to some way compensate. And this goes back to also, like, if If they're giving you an opportunity, then be very clear about what it is.

So say, for example, that, you know, these people are giving you an opportunity. It's like, Hey Patty, I don't, we don't, we don't have a budget for this. And I understand if that's a deal breaker for you, but there's something else that we will like to show our appreciation to you in this way or maybe it was, this be helpful to you.

We can introduce to some people or like there's some people from your niche or the niche of your work that. Are gonna be attending here and we can make you the connection Or like we can give you a gift basket or something like that Like something that shows that they are valuing your time. They're valuing your expertise.

I think that is very there is very prudent and I think it's just nice manners, you know in general terms. Like recently I had a I had never had this circumstance. I've heard it happens, you know, but somebody, you know, booked a call with me because wanted to do a project with me, and then we go through the whole thing, and then I tell, you know, my fees for that, and it's just like, oh That's, that's not, that's, that's a lot, you know, for me.

Okay, so what's, what's your budget? You know, see, I was thinking, you know, maybe you will do it for me. And I was just like, publish it and you'll get the exposure. I was like, it's like, would you be willing to do that? And I was like, no, and, you know, the interesting thing is like, I wasn't being confrontative.

It was actually funny to me, but when I said no, a good response would have been if he said, well, what's another way that I can compensate for that? But he was like, oh, okay. You know, and that was that. So that means that he just wanted to take advantage of the exposure that I have for something that he has and wanted to give nothing in return.

Like, he didn't even know what was important for me. So, I think if you're asking for somebody's volunteering, then you must do your homework on realizing what is important for this person, why can I offer them back. In that way, what you're approaching is your volunteer desire of helping them and then having an agreement of how can we both benefit from this interaction.

Alejo's Experience with Sketchnotes

[00:19:57] Paddy Dhanda: And I saw a couple of your posts recently because you do these amazing sketch notes of talks and, the way that you visualize those talks it's absolutely amazing. I love the way You create these little characters, they're really relatable and they're super fun and you did some sketch notes recently of chris doe who's a very famous influencer, but also very famous in the creative world as well and next day I remember spotting it on chris doe's linkedin and he had Reposted the image that you'd created and obviously, he hadn't commissioned you to create this visual But then he had picked it up and kind of promoted it and I just looked at all the comments That was phenomenal.

I mean how did that feel and i'm just thinking about other? creatives out there who are thinking like, how do I get more exposure? Any tips for those folks and to use some of your approaches would be really, really interesting to hear.

[00:20:55] Alejos Porras: Yeah. So that, that's interesting because when I, when I transitioned out of my full time job, I hired a coach to be like, okay, I'm, you know, freelancing right now. What would be a good way to kind of start it? I had a rough plan, but. And, you know, I needed some external perspective. And one of the things that she told me was, you know, a lot of people, when they're in your position, the kind of work that they do cannot be seen.

So it's harder for them because they have to find different kinds of proof to show that what they do works. But for you, you show it and it's evident right there and then that it works. So. I think what you should do is just to do more of those and to do it from like, you know, people that are the kind of people that you would like to do that sort of thing for.

So I remember at that point I have somebody had texted me on Instagram saying, Hey, do you know Ali Abdaal? I was like, no, who's that guy? And then he sent me the you know, the links and all that. I was like, Oh, you know, just good stuff. And he said, yeah, he's looking for sketchnoters. You know, he, he's looking to hire sketchnoters.

I was like, Oh. Cool, so I went and I like applied the whole thing. I never heard back He probably got like a million seven million thousand applications and all that It's like because he wanted to do sketches for his podcast and I was like, oh, that's interesting You know like doing sketches for podcasts It'd be something that I could do and maybe i'll just do one and kind of like show.

Hey, this is what I do You know if you like my style if it resonates with what you're looking for Then we can, we could work together. That would be a good, you know possibility.

Closing Thoughts on Generosity

[00:22:22] Alejos Porras: But then I thought, okay, I did one from a LinkedIn conversation, but I like doing live. conversations, you know, doing like webinars.

Most of what I do is like going to actual events and workshops and stuff like that. And then I found out this thing that LinkedIn does. They have conversations there on LinkedIn. And I saw that Chris Doe was doing one. I was like, Oh, perfect. I'll just do one of Chris Doe and I will join that. But actually before that, just to kind of give some context, because I did encounter some, you know, quote, luck.

The first one that I did, the first of those sketches that I did, Was there was a free webinar that was being promoted on, on Instagram by Jamie Brindle. And I, I was like, yeah, I'm going to join, you know, this, the things that he teaches, I love them. Like it's just helped my business a lot and helps me like understand the nuances of being a creative, doing business stuff.

So I joined and. I actually almost didn't like I almost missed it It was in my calendar and I was about to just go to lunch or something And I heard the ping it's like it starts in five minutes. Oh my gosh. Should I join? Okay, let's do it, you know, and he started talking and he had like a, like a PowerPoint there and it was, you know, very basic.

He's like, I haven't done PowerPoints since I was in college or something like that. So, but the content was really good. So I was like, you know what, I'm going to sketchnote this thing and gonna send it to him and see what happens. You know, it's like, Hey dude, I love your content. And I did it. I love your content.

And I saw that you didn't have like PowerPoints or anything like that. So, you know, maybe that's something that you could use later, you know, feel free. And I remember I, I posted before, cause in every webinar, there's like a Q and a at the end and I finish it while the Q and a was happening. And I posted before his webinar was over and he saw it and he was like, this is, this is incredible.

Engaging with Influencers through Sketchnotes

[00:24:06] Alejos Porras: Like, dude, let's talk, you know? So from that, I was like, okay, maybe I can join conversations and just send them as they're happening. And then. That will create a reaction, you know, hopefully, but also allow me to kind of Connect with people that I've been like eager to meet, you know, because because I've learned so much from them And we'll see what happens and I did that with Crystal because when I saw that they were like LinkedIn live Then I joined the LinkedIn live and I did the same thing like they were talking and then they had like a Q& A Well, they were doing the Q& A I finished it and I posted before that this was over and some people who were there saw it before him It's like wait, but But we haven't finished, like, you already posted it, what, what is that, like, did you do, like, what happened?

And then Chris saw it, because I, of course, tagged him, and he loves sketchnotes, so that helps, because I know that he has some friends that do sketchnotes, we have a mutual friend, it's a long story, somebody that I also admire, that I eventually reach out and was like, hey, and now he's a good pal of mine, and shout out to Anthony Banks, and, and then he is like, he loves sketchnotes, so he appreciates that.

So he, it was easy for him to share in general. From my perspective, like he just loves sketchnotes and he just wanted to share them.

The Unexpected Success of Sketchnotes

[00:25:21] Alejos Porras: But the thing is like the sketchnote took off and I wasn't expecting that. You know, I was just like, I just wanted to show it to kids, to Chris and see what he thinks about hopefully getting to like a conversation DM and still like, Hey, I would love to do this, you know, more for you.

I still would love to, you know. Eventually get hired by him and do the things but for now what i'm doing is i'm i'm just showing him That i'm committed that I love his content and that I want to show and i've done a few for him like three so far Just because I love what he does and I feel like he has added so much value to my life.

 If I were to count all the things that i've learned from him with money I think I owe him a lot of money. So my way of giving him the sketch notes is part of like trying to catch up with that and kind of making you know, helping out.

Not that he necessarily needs my help because he doesn't, but I know that when I do those sketch notes, it does help his audience.

Giving Back through Sketchnotes

[00:26:14] Alejos Porras: So I do it as a way of like. Giving him back and I like it I I'm gonna keep doing it until I get like so busy that I cannot do like any you know Work of that kind like free giving In general, I would love to have time, you know for the rest of my life to carve Those moments in which I can just do something for somebody for free.

And right now it's Chris though.

Sharing Sketchnotes with Other Influencers

[00:26:35] Alejos Porras: I've done it with Jamie Rindle and with Rich Webster, and he kindly shared on his newsletter too. So there's a few people who have noticed it and that has been great for now on. It's just, you know. Keep sharing it and hopefully keep hearing from new voices that I can also resonate.

But for now, I'd be just doing it from the people that have added, that I've been following for the most longest time and I've added a lot of value to my career. So yeah, that's kind of the approach. It's been, it's been really cool.

The Impact of Chris Do on My Journey

[00:27:03] Alejos Porras: Like the moment when I got the message from Chris Do LinkedIn, I was like, wait, what?

So yeah, he's, he's a nice guy also, like, I think. If there's a good example of somebody who gives, you know, voluntarily gives, it's him. Like, he gives so much value. It's just incredible. And, you know, he keeps doing it and his business keeps growing because of that mentality. Like, I give, and I give, and I give.

The Concept of Giving and Receiving

[00:27:27] Paddy Dhanda: Yeah, there's almost a certain Amount of karma as well like I guess it depends if you're into your faith But you know not that you have to be heavily religious or anything But it's just general human kind of values isn't it that if I do some good Hopefully I'll get some good luck in return if I do bad things to people then I'm probably gonna get some bad luck So it's that Notion of be good and treat people like the way you would like to be treated and then hopefully things will work out.

[00:27:56] Alejos Porras: I know some people that if they treated others as they would like to be treated, it would be awful, probably, because, you know, we can't, we can be very hard on ourselves. So if we're that hard with other people, that wouldn't be great. So I think it's actually kind of treating people how they would like to be treated is one. And another one, treating people in a way that can help them, just in general.

[00:28:19] Alejos Porras: And that also comes back to love languages and stuff like that. Like if I am a giver of like gifts and somebody just needs words of affirmation, I cannot successfully love this person.

If I love them as I love myself, you know, I need to learn to love them in the way they will receive it in the best way.

The Power of Doing Good

[00:28:37] Alejos Porras: But in general terms, what you talk about, you know, karma and kind of like energy that you give, like when you give something good to other people, it will come back.

It doesn't necessarily need to come back from those specific people, but it will come back. And sometimes the comeback is just. The reassuring feeling that you have been doing something good. And that's it. And that's enough. I feel like for me, that is enough. And other things will appear. Whether in the background, things will be moving or not.

But it's not given with that expectation. It's just like, I'm giving because it feels good. Because it's the right thing to do.

Sharing Favorite Resources and Influences

[00:29:13] Paddy Dhanda: Thank you so much Alejo and in the spirit of giving Could you share some of your favorite resources that either have inspired you or that you would like to share .

[00:29:24] Alejos Porras: Yeah, actually funny, because what I mentioned just now, like the sketches that I've been doing are from people that I've been following for a while. So if you see the last sketch notes that I've done, that I've posted, it's like Chris Doe and Ali Abdaal, well, Ali Abdaal was kind of recent, but Rich Webster and Jamie Brindle Donald Miller And Chris from Mother Wisdom Podcast forgot his last name Chris, Ri Weeks, I think.

Well, the Modern Wisdom Podcast that guy, I'm enjoying that podcast a lot. It's, it's very insightful. I love those conversations that they have. So those are the main ones. Oh Alex Ramosi, of course there's a lot of value that he brings, a lot of good stuff that I've been learning from him. Who else?

This guy Paddy from the Superpowers Podcast.

[00:30:10] Paddy Dhanda: Watch out for him. Yeah, don't trust him

[00:30:12] Alejos Porras: Watch out. Watch out. He's going places. Yeah, I think in that aspect of like, I, I love personal development. I love learning how to be better. I feel like life's too short to just be the same all the time. So those are the main, I think, resources and people that I follow and learn from.

The Need for More Diverse Voices

[00:30:30] Alejos Porras: I need to make a better job at finding more diverse voices,

[00:30:36] Paddy Dhanda: They're all men no? You mentioned a whole lot of guys there. Yeah,

[00:30:40] Alejos Porras: yeah, yeah. I will tell you to, you know, like my wife, but she's not on social media and please don't follow her because that would be creepy. So, and she prefers to be, you know, anonymous in, you know, in the whole worldwide web.

[00:30:54] Paddy Dhanda: she's like the Banksy of the Alejo

[00:30:57] Alejos Porras: Yeah, yeah, yeah,


Yes, yes. She is definitely an inspiration for me and my mom too, because I have learned a lot from her. She is on social, but she is not active there. So yeah, same thing.

[00:31:08] Paddy Dhanda: Follow Alejo's mom on social media. Get her some more followers. Come on, we can do it.

[00:31:12] Alejos Porras: Yeah. So, yeah, I need to make a better job.

It's just. Probably it's the algorithm that throws me those things, you know, but I have to take my share of like, maybe I haven't been that intentionally active on that regard. There's a, there's a woman from Australia Lauren Higgins, I think that's her name, that I've been following her too, and, and I like her podcast to forgot to mention because it's kind of like, it's not the one that I listened to the most, but yeah, there's one woman there.

I need to find more women and more people from like more diverse backgrounds for sure.

[00:31:44] Paddy Dhanda: Oh nice. Thank you.

[00:31:46] Alejos Porras: So if you have any, then please let me know because I do like , to expand that.

Exploring Different Interests and Learning

[00:31:50] Paddy Dhanda: I Mean The stuff I listen to at the moment is probably quite creepy. I only told, I think a couple of people in my close circle Grant Wright is one of those who runs the visual jam with me, who, you know, well, Alejo.

[00:32:02] Alejos Porras: Huh.

[00:32:02] Paddy Dhanda: Okay. I'll reveal on air. So I like to really push the boundary on things sometimes and I like to hear about the extremes in life because I think sometimes you get some really interesting insights.

So I've been watching a lot of documentaries about cults and

yeah, just the the sort of journey that these people go on like especially those cult leaders and yeah, just fascinating. Fascinates me so much. I've been like Watching all about the Jim Jones cult and, you know, there's a, there's a few others out there as well, but just the way in which these people start off and they are often seen as really good people, you know, they start with good intention and then some way along the line, they Kind of lose their way.

And then it usually ends up tragically, but yeah, I'm fascinated by that whole kind of human behavior and the mindset of some of those people. So that's one thing I've been looking at. And then I've been watching a lot of stuff on, drug Lords and just, that whole industry as well. Just the drug business, how, the entrepreneurial mindsets of some of these people have given them huge wealth, but then obviously there's a dark side of that as well Not obviously drugs are bad.

Do not ever do any drugs, but Just the thinking behind it is just incredible. I find that fascinating so probably not the answer that most people want to hear as in a resource, but I do agree with you though Like if we surround ourselves with the same resources all the time like the similar Way of thinking then we get kind of programmed into that and I sometimes just like to go completely off script and go You know what?

I want to hear about serial killers I want to know like what the hell they think about and how that all happens and then you know just fascinating

[00:33:48] Alejos Porras: to recognize one when I,

[00:33:49] Paddy Dhanda: Yeah, that's it. Yeah.

[00:33:51] Alejos Porras: That would be important to know. Yeah, I, I followed what you just said. It's not so related, but it's kind of related. I did follow one person. I'm not going to say her name just in case, because I don't know how this is going to come off. But It was somebody that I honestly didn't like that much You know on Instagram, but She had a mix of Topics some of them sometimes were like politics some of them had to do with marketing some of them had to do with like coaching and some of them had to do with like Witchcraft like he was a mix of a lot of things But I follow her because the way that she wrote things was so compelling, like she's amazing at writing and telling stories.

So, I haven't been, you know, keeping up with anything that she does right now because I'm, like, transitioning to other things. But, it was a way for me to learn how to tell stories in a way that, like, she's passionate about this. And she really believes in this. And there's some sort of logic in certain things that she does that I'd be like, Yeah, that makes a lot of sense.

Or, yeah, I could subscribe to that, you know, specific thing. I do know that, you know, for algorithms and all that stuff, like we tend to just gravitate to the things that resonate the most with us. It's kind of who we are. So I like to think of maybe there's like seasonalities in our lives in which like right now, in my case.

The Importance of Continuous Learning and Growth

[00:35:07] Alejos Porras: I'm in a season in which my focus is to make my business thrive. I'm focusing on working, you know, less hours because I want to spend time with my family and quality time with the family and making the most money I can do with those few hours. So I'm learning all about how to structure that, that kind of small business thing and like scale it.

And that's the thing that I need to do right now. And that's what I listened to the most in like almost compulsively because. You know, you hear a podcast or you read a book and then in a day you kind of forgot a lot of it, it's in the subconscious I strongly believe that learning of any sort is an act of repetition.

So the more you repeat those lessons to you, the more they stick. And that's why I keep learning and reading and reading and reading the same kind of things over and over again. So I've been in, in that journey of like personal development. Like for in my twenties of how to be a good leader, how to be a good communicator, then got into a period of like, how do I become a great artist?

Not just a good one, but a great artist and learn a craft and like being very you know, again, kind of compulsively practicing, just like doing it every day and doing it all the time, trying to find new ways to do things like Excel at that. And now I feel like I'm in a good place with my craft in which it's not that I'm not learning anymore.

I keep learning, but becoming really good at my craft is not my main focus right now because I'm already in a good level. And I know also that from a business perspective, you don't need to be the best. You need to be good. You need to provide the service that you provide and be helpful with that service.

And that is enough because I know that there's people who might not have the same drawing capacity that I have, but they're great with something else and they're probably making more money than I am. So it's not just about the craft. It's also about all these other things that I'm still learning about so that I can grow my business.

So I see that as seasons. I don't know what the next season will be. Maybe, maybe I'll just go and, you know. Become a real estate person and just have a bunch of hotels, I don't know, you know, or just like open a restaurant, , whatever, but whatever that season brings, I feel like it's gonna be something that if I've realized or if you realize something about myself, is that when I'm up to something, I'm up to something.

You know, and it's not that I'm hyper focused, it's just that I'm obsessive, you know, because I do have distractions, but I am obsessed about keep reading and keep learning and keep improving on that area. So. Yeah, seasons are good. I think it's fine that, to know that we are in an eternal state of change, in which we are becoming better versions of ourselves.

[00:37:42] Paddy Dhanda: I love the way you said, you Just need to be good enough. You don't need to be the best because actually the effort to become the best is going to be huge and actually the amount that you're going to improve is probably going to be small and

is it really worth putting all that effort into that? So that's really interesting. I have a dream one day when the robots have taken over and, you know, we're no longer really needed, I've been talking into Grant, Grant, here's all my crazy ideas and I was saying, I think we need to start a cult and it will be the doodle cult.

And we just need to find a place in the jungle somewhere where our whole kind of ethos will be, we be creative all day. We draw all day. So if you're in, let me know, Alejo, I'll send you the invite when that day comes. We're still looking for a leader for the cult. Cause we need like a, a guru type figure or like a rockstar type figure.

Do you know, James Durno? The guy in South Africa, I don't know if you've come across him. You know James, right?

[00:38:40] Alejos Porras: Yeah, I mean, I don't know him. I've seen his work,

[00:38:42] Paddy Dhanda: James is like the perfect image for me. He's got the long hair. He's got the mysterious look. I've always said,

[00:38:49] Alejos Porras: He looks like a master Jedi,

[00:38:51] Paddy Dhanda: I always say James should be our cult leader for the Doodle Cult. But hey that's sometime in the future. give you the invite once we're up and running.

[00:39:00] Alejos Porras: You're doing the research still to learn how to do it properly. That's, that's, that's what you're up to. I see that.

[00:39:05] Paddy Dhanda: That's my master plan. There we go. But actually. Before we finish up, I'm going to ask you my favorite question, which is, if I could give you the superpower to ban one thing in the world of work, what would that be?

The Role of Work in Life

[00:39:20] Alejos Porras: The world of work, I think, has gotten A bad rep for many people, like so many people see work as pain. So many people see work as, you know, like slavery. So many people see work as a bunch of greedy white guys that are trying to conquer the world because in truth, there's some of that, but work is a good thing.

Like my perspective on work is life is hard and work is what we do to keep living. So work is good. You know, work is something that gets the best of us. And honestly, without work, it kind of, your, your call scares me a little bit, not for what you think, but because of the fact of like the machines have done everything for us.

And now we have to do nothing. That scares me more than anything, because without the ability of, or the possibility of doing something that is challenging humans lose their sense of purpose and they lose self esteem and, you know, we lose. every sense of like, what's, what's this for? Like, what is it?

When, when we accomplish something that is challenging. It gives us a sense of worth, like we realize that we can do stuff, but that's deviating a little bit, like selfishness in the word of work is just essentially somebody feeling like the purpose of work is to get everybody to serve me and to make me reach and to make my popularity grow and like me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, and there's some personalities that are like that for sure, but that's not how it should be from my perspective.

The Importance of Service in Work

[00:40:47] Alejos Porras: I think work should be something that should be approached as a service. We work because we have something to offer to other people that they cannot do for themselves or they have other things that they can do for others so they don't have time to do this sort of thing so I'm going to do it for them.

It's a service. For me it should always be a mentality of how can I help. people, not how can they help me. And if I had a superpower and I could eradicate selfishness, I think that we're, you know, this probably sounds very idealistic, but I think the world could be a better place. Maybe the resources would be better scattered, you know, and not like a few people holding a lot of money and other people maybe not so much or not having opportunities, you know, to, to do work that is well rewarded or well compensated.

So, yeah. I think that would be my answer, no doubt.

[00:41:37] Paddy Dhanda: I love it. So President Biden, if you're listening, my friend, just for one day, let's eradicate selfishness and see how it goes. Give us 24 hours and then we'll finish. See the results and if it's positive then let's stick to it. Otherwise, we'll go back to the crazy world we live in today Alejo, it's been such a pleasure.

But before we wrap up, how can people get in touch with you and Give us ways in which we can contact you and find out more about the great work you're doing.

Connecting with Alejo

[00:42:03] Alejos Porras: Sure thing. If you're still awake after listening to this podcast, then feel free to contact me on Instagram. I'm on Instagram as Alejo Porras Art, A R T and on LinkedIn as well. Caveat though, if you send me a request on LinkedIn and you don't send me a message, I won't approve it. Because there's a lot of people, like I have like 200 already requests there and I'm not saying this to those.

It's just like, It kind of annoys me a lot of people that I don't know suddenly want to connect with me And I don't know why You know, it's it's weird. So if you want to connect in linkedin, please tell me why And please approach it with that same understanding of like, you know, what are you bringing to the table?

Otherwise, you can follow me there and engage on the comments and all that and i'll be happy to engage in a conversation, too You can also visit my website and I have a I have a newsletter, which is called Fresh Ideas. It goes out every Monday, every week, most of them, like.

I only have failed twice, one because I was sick and the other one because I was on vacation. But for the most part, every week I send tips for creative people creative professionals in things about mindset, things about how to manage your business as a creative, because we know that doesn't come So natural to us and yeah, things about productivity as well.

So I love to share all those topics.

Instagram is my neighborhood where I live and LinkedIn is downtown where I go to work. So if you see it from that perspective, like the approach that I have on LinkedIn is like, yeah, I like to, to meet people, but always it's like, how can we benefit each other by doing business together? That's kind of like the approach that I have on LinkedIn right now.

Like I love to meet people and see what they're doing and see how I can help them in business. I'm very like focused on that for LinkedIn, if you just want to hang out and like. chat and all that, then just come to Instagram and that's the place for that. So long answer, but yeah, those three places or four, I say that's where you can find me or you can find me in Atlanta, Georgia.

If you ever come here, then just let me know. And then we can . Oh,

[00:43:58] Paddy Dhanda: love the way you put that actually. Yeah, so Instagram's kind of your neighborhood and LinkedIn's downtown where you go to work and that's a great way of looking at it. I think often we aren't always clear about the purpose of each of these social media platforms. And I think once you get that straight for yourself, then it's always good to then focus on that way.

And please do subscribe to Alejo's newsletter. I'm subscribed and I always look forward to seeing your email. Yeah. On a Monday,

[00:44:24] Alejos Porras: Oh, cool. Thanks,


[00:44:26] Paddy Dhanda: So folks, we're at the end of the episode and I just want to thank Alejo for his amazing advice.

Wrapping Up the Conversation

[00:44:31] Paddy Dhanda: I, you know, have to say this has been one of the most human conversations I've had on the podcast.

Cause normally I have guests who are, putting forward their insights and advice on specialisms and it's very kind of businessy, very focused on some of that academic. Insight, whereas this has been very human. And I think I definitely have got to know the other side of you, Alejo, which is beyond the visuals and you as a person.

So, yeah, I really appreciate you spending the time today.

[00:45:01] Alejos Porras: Oh, thank you. Thank you. I'm glad. I'm glad he was It was enjoyable too. I'm glad my story didn't bore you.

[00:45:07] Paddy Dhanda: No, definitely not. And yeah, be sure to watch out for the doodle cult one day. And we will, we will rock the world with that. So, yeah.

[00:45:15] Alejos Porras: Cool stuff.

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