Episode 591 – Phil Alves

Phil is a CEO & Pilot

Phil Alves, CEO & Founder of DevSquad, talks about his passion for piloting, how he was introduced to it, how it has helped improve his problem-solving skills, and much more!

Episode Highlights

• Getting into piloting
• How his piloting skills apply to his career
• People like to do business with people not businesses
• If you care, that’s enough

Links

Help Make Work Better

I need your help for 2 minutes to complete this important survey on work culture. Your anonymous responses will provide key insights to develop a new program for more positive and engaged teams.

Podcast Transcript

Welcome to episode five ninety one of What’s Your And. This is John Garrett. And each Wednesday, I interview a professional who, just like me, is known for a hobby or a passion or an interest outside of work. And to put it another way, it’s encouraging people to find their and. Those things above and beyond your technical skills, the things that actually differentiate you when you’re at work. It’s the answer to the question, who else are you beyond the job title. And if you like what the show’s about, be sure to check out the award winning book on Amazon, Indigo, Barnes and Noble bookshop, a few other websites. All the links are at what’s your and.com.

John Garrett:

The book goes more in-depth with the research behind why these outside of work passions are so crucial to your corporate culture, and I can’t say how much it means that everyone’s reading it and writing such great reviews on Amazon and, more importantly, changing the cultures where they work because of it. And if you want me to read it to you, that’s right. This voice reading the book, look for What’s Your Hand on Audible or wherever you get your audiobooks. And please don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast so you don’t miss any of the future episodes. I love sharing such interesting stories each and every weekend. This week is no different with my guest, Phil Alvis. He’s the CEO of Dev Squad out of Salt Lake City, Utah, and now he’s with me here today. Phil, thanks so much for taking time to be with me on What’s Your Hand.

Phil Alves:

Oh, thanks for having me.

John Garrett:

Oh, man. This is gonna be a blast. I’m gonna love talking about this, but first, we have some rapid fire questions. Get to know Phil out of the gate here. Favorite color?

Phil Alves:

Yellow. Yellow. Okay. Nice. Don’t get that one a lot. Okay.

John Garrett:

How about least favorite color?

Phil Alves:

Brown.

John Garrett:

Brown. Yeah. By far the most popular, least favorite. I don’t even know how. I just contradicted myself, but whatever. How about a first concert?

Phil Alves:

The 1st concert here in United States. So it’s Blink 182. Nice. Yeah.

John Garrett:

Very cool. Huge fan. I’m a huge fan.

Phil Alves:

The real first one you guys wouldn’t know because it was in Brazil. Right. Well, that counts. That counts, man.

John Garrett:

It’s all good. Maybe it was like, who am I thinking of? Like, Enrique Iglesias or something like this? Like like

Phil Alves:

Their name is Jota Quest, about yeah.

John Garrett:

Oh, okay. Alright. Very cool. How about a favorite Disney character?

Phil Alves:

Aladdin or the Lion King. I don’t know.

John Garrett:

Yeah. No. They’re both good. Both really good. Yeah. Yeah. How about when it comes to puzzles? Sudoku, crossword, jigsaw puzzle, Wordle?

Phil Alves:

Jigsaw.

John Garrett:

Jigsaw. Okay. Yeah. Do you see the picture? And then there it is. A favorite actor or an actress?

Phil Alves:

Sandra Bullock.

John Garrett:

Oh, yeah. That’s a great answer. Very good. Yeah. She’s great in everything she does. Oh, that’s an important one. Toilet paper roll

Phil Alves:

over or under? Over. Over. Yeah. Okay. I wasn’t sure if

John Garrett:

in southern hemisphere they switched it up on you when you were growing up. Oh, this is a fun one. I like this one. Star Wars or Star Trek?

Phil Alves:

Neither. I never got into neither of them. Okay.

John Garrett:

No. Fair. Totally fair. Absolutely. You’re doing other things, for sure. I already know this one, but PC or Mac?

Phil Alves:

Mac for sure.

John Garrett:

I’m just grateful that you continue talking to me as a PC person myself. How about pens or pencils?

Phil Alves:

Pens.

John Garrett:

Pens. Yeah. No mistakes. I like this. That’s good. How about a favorite cereal of all time, Even as a kid or now?

Phil Alves:

I don’t eat cereal at all.

John Garrett:

Oh, never had it?

Phil Alves:

Never had it. Oh, wow. Okay. Alright. I mean, I had it before, but I don’t even know the brand, you know, because I never got into it.

John Garrett:

Way back. Yeah. I never got into it. I was gonna say they serve it at Star Wars and Star Trek movies, And that’s why you never got it. Ice cream. You for sure had ice cream in a cup or in a cone?

Phil Alves:

Cone.

John Garrett:

Cone. Okay. Nice. Okay.

Phil Alves:

Do

John Garrett:

you have a favorite day of the week? Wednesday. Wednesdays. Nice. Okay. Just that hump day?

Phil Alves:

Yeah. Mid of the week, you’re like, fuel energy. It’s not over yet. Yeah. It’s it’s it’s a great day for me.

John Garrett:

Okay. I like it. How about a favorite sports team?

Phil Alves:

I really like the Utah Jazz.

John Garrett:

Oh, okay. Alright. All the Brazil soccer fans are gonna be, have the word with you, but we’ll see.

Phil Alves:

Oh, yeah.

John Garrett:

Got Ronaldo on line 1. Hold on.

Phil Alves:

And I love soccer too. But Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Right.

Phil Alves:

Right. But alright.

John Garrett:

How about a favorite number?

Phil Alves:

13.

John Garrett:

Oh, yeah. Is there a reason?

Phil Alves:

That’s my lucky number.

John Garrett:

Okay. I like it. Nice. Yeah. You you like, this is a bold statement because it’s like everyone else is not. So you’re like, yeah. But that’s that’s what I do. Two more books, audio version, ebook, or the real book?

Phil Alves:

All of them.

John Garrett:

Oh, okay.

Phil Alves:

Yeah. Depends. For

John Garrett:

the same book? Do you, like, Listen and read it at the same time.

Phil Alves:

Yeah. Actually, there’s a this feature where will match where you are. So sometimes I’m driving and then I’m listening to a book. And then I get home and I go to my Kindle and puts me exactly where I was, and then I can’t keep going. So I love, the the feature. And then I’m back on my car and starts where I stop. So I I do that all the time.

John Garrett:

Very cool, man. I love it. I love it. And the last 1, the favorite thing you have or the favorite thing you own?

Phil Alves:

Well, I think there are 2 different things. The first thing the favorite thing I have, it’s probably my wife. I’m gonna say probably this is my wife. The favorite thing I own, at this point, I think it’s my airplane.

John Garrett:

What kinda what kinda airplane is it?

Phil Alves:

It’s a series SR 22. Very cool,

John Garrett:

man. That’s awesome, man. That’s so awesome. Yeah. That would be my favorite. That’s my favorite thing, and I don’t even own it. You do. Which goes right into your hand.

John Garrett:

Well, let’s let’s talk about flying. Like, how’d you get started with that?

Phil Alves:

So I was actually in California visiting a client, and then he was telling me how he loves to fly and then how he got into flying. And then I was like, oh, that sounds so fun. I think I will enjoy that. He stops the meeting right away, and he’s like, okay. Let’s go. I’m like, what? Let’s go to the airport. I will show you how it is. I’ll take you up on my plane.

Phil Alves:

And it’s like, near the meeting, his employees are in the room. He’s like, guys, we’re gonna continue this later. Okay? He puts me in his car, drive me to the airport, and then we take off in his little Cessna, and then we go around California, the mountains, close to the water, and I fell in love with. So

John Garrett:

That’s incredible, man. That’s very cool. Yeah. He failed to mention, like, it’s not exactly the cheapest, hobby to

Phil Alves:

have. Yeah. It took me 5 years until I was able to do it. Right?

John Garrett:

To get the license, to, like, buy a plane, like, to All those things, like yeah. When I when I turned 16, I did a, like, a one day Cessna course because my dad was air force. So on the base, they had, Like a a private pilot’s license kinda thing. So I did one of those classes and then we went up and flew and and with, you know, the instructor or whatever. And it was super cool, but But I was like, man, I can’t do this. Like, that’s a lot of time and funds and all the things.

Phil Alves:

It is. It is a lot of effort, and it’s a lot of money. I told that client many times after, you ruined me. Now I want to do this, and now I can afford this. Up. That’s so cool, man. But, I

John Garrett:

mean, that’s that just shows how much you love it because you were so dedicated to it that you, like, saw it through. Like, you not only got the license, but you got a plane. So you could just, like wait. In the middle of this podcast, had I been in Salt Lake, I could have been like, dude, I’d the flying, you’d be like, let’s go. We’ll record the episode up on

Phil Alves:

the plane. Like, let’s do up there. Right? And then

John Garrett:

the whole everyone listening is like, and, like, the whole rest of the episode is. And and completely can’t hear each other. But that’s awesome, man. So do you like, have you flown, like, distances or is it mostly around Utah.

Phil Alves:

I stay here in the west. So Colorado, where you are, Nevada, Washington, Idaho, those are the places I have been.

John Garrett:

That’s but, I mean, that’s Rocky Mountains. Like, you gotta be paying attention. Like, this isn’t Iowa, you know, where it’s like you you’re gonna miss. You know, like, it’s like, no. No. You can that’s incredible, man. I love it. That’s very cool.

John Garrett:

Do you have a favorite some of your favorite flights that you remember?

Phil Alves:

Yeah. So my favorite flight, it was before I got the plane, and I was trying to get my wife into, like, be okay with me spending that much money. So we flew commercial to Washington, the state, and then we rent a plane in Seattle, and then we flew to a island that was, like, a very tiny runaway. And so, I think the island is called Sunrun Island, one of the islands there. And and then we landed there. There was, like, a tiny airport, and she was like, are you sure you can land it here? I’m like, pretty sure. Pretty sure. So

John Garrett:

The flight simulator I nailed it every time.

Phil Alves:

Up. It’s gonna be okay. Right? And so and then we we had lunch and was great, and then we flew from there to another island to have Dessert. And then we had dessert in the in the second one, then we flew back and and and returned the rental plane, and then she loved it. She was like, oh my gosh. That’s so fun. Up. So that was one still one of my favorite flights.

Phil Alves:

It was her 1st time on the plane, and I was trying to, like, see, this is gonna be fun, and so that was cool.

John Garrett:

That’s very cool, man. Like, that’s awesome that you can just, like, yeah. Why don’t we just hop around to some islands and then just do that? And it’s like, yeah. Alright. Very cool, man. I I love it. It’s just such a cool hobby to have, you know. Like, it’s not something that you come across often, you know, other than the people in the airport that are flying the big planes.

John Garrett:

You know, like, you don’t come across. Do you do you come across other pilots on occasion? Like, private pilot types?

Phil Alves:

Yes. Yes. I actually I know quite a few. I know few entrepreneurs that that like flying, and and then as you start liking, I have some friends that are going to get their license, and they’re starting to message me, and they’re and they’re enjoying. So we we start, like, getting to the community. It’s definitely it’s not as expensive as people may think though. It’s it’s Sure. You know, a lot of people can do it.

John Garrett:

Yeah. Yeah. No. I I love it, man. It’s it’s such a cool thing, and And I I guess, do you feel like any of the skills translate from flying a plane or getting the license to work?

Phil Alves:

Oh, yeah. For sure. Like, for example, just this year has been a a very interesting year with the market down and everything. And then one thing that I remember about flying airplanes is that, like, you shouldn’t overreact. Right? Like, you should be calm. Like, I remember practicing stalls and and practicing the maneuvers, and the instructor always like, the need to overreact. Let’s look at what’s going on, and let’s, like, act slowly. And so that’s something that can apply.

Phil Alves:

Checklist is another thing that you can like, okay, guys. We need a checklist here. We need a checklist here. So things always happen the same places. Or I’m a big believer that our mind can solve problems without us even trying. Like, I think our mind’s always doing things in the background and processing. So so sometimes, like, I have a problem and I don’t know the solution. And I get on my car, go to the airport, go on a fly, and then when I’m flying, I’m not a very good pilot, so I have to pay attention.

Phil Alves:

So I can’t think about anything else.

John Garrett:

You have to focus on it.

Phil Alves:

It helps a lot. Like, I have ADHD, but not when I’m flying. It’s it’s gone when flying, so that’s good.

John Garrett:

Oh, that’s good. Because all of a sudden, I took back my idea of doing

Phil Alves:

the rest of this podcast in the air.

John Garrett:

But I hear you. Like, you’re not as experienced you’re not as experienced flying, so you focus on it.

Phil Alves:

So focused on. But what happens is, like, your mind actually solved that problem for you, and then that idea just come when you’re not trying to do. Like, I think our our body is really capable of doing that, of putting things in the background and and processing. And so that’s where it’s good to go do something else. And it that that work if I go cycle too. That work if I go on a walk. But I just love to to do that on the plane. You know?

John Garrett:

Yeah. No. That I that’s so true. Like, I mean, The human mind subconsciously is so powerful. I think it’s so powerful that, like, if we consciously understood, like, we would explode. Like, I mean, it’s like it’s so so big and so deep. So I love that that I that you’re able to to know that of, like, hey. I’ve got this deep thing.

John Garrett:

I’m I’m trying to, you know, noodle on it. I’m trying to figure out how to solve this, you know, what to do, whatever, and it’s like, let’s go fly. And it just takes your mind off of it and then you come back and, You know, oftentimes there’s a solution or at least steps in the right direction like that. That’s so great because, I mean, there’s a lot of people out there that think, oh, no. No. Just work more. Like, work longer hours in Yeah. Sleep less.

John Garrett:

Also don’t eat, don’t drink water, like, you know, it’s like what what is wrong with you? Just look at babies and do what babies do, and then problems get solved. I love that so much, man. And and so, obviously, the the flying is something that you talk about at work. How does that come up? Because sometimes people I hear, Well, I don’t know how to bring it up, or it has nothing to do with my job, so no one’s gonna care.

Phil Alves:

I don’t know. I I bring it up all the time. I’m I’m I’ve been doing a training, and I’m like, because of flying, fine. This is in his end point. They’re probably tired of all my airplanes and knowledge. Just No. No. No.

Phil Alves:

But they remember them.

John Garrett:

Like, they remember them. Like, if you just told them facts, be like, whatever. I don’t even remember the next day. And also too, you’re you’re memorable. Like, you know, they’re gonna remember you. It’s like, oh, is that the flying guy? Yeah. That’s him.

Phil Alves:

Yeah. And then and then when people come to my office, I have a model of my plane, and then they’re like, what is that? Right? That’s such

John Garrett:

an easy thing too because it you look at it, and it brings you joy. Like, you look at that, you’re like, oh, yeah. I can go flying. Like, this isn’t so bad. Like and that that’s such an easy way for people. Well, even if you have a cubicle, just a picture or something simple. I mean, did did it ever once cross your mind of, like, hey, maybe I shouldn’t talk about this because it has nothing to do with work?

Phil Alves:

No. I Me neither. I was too

John Garrett:

I didn’t know you weren’t supposed to.

Phil Alves:

Well, I really believe that people like to do business with people, not business.

John Garrett:

Yeah.

Phil Alves:

That’s my deep belief. You know? So the more you actually know the other person and the person actually knows you, the better. And so maybe for being in my position and be a business owner. I’m not too worried about what people are gonna think. You know? So

John Garrett:

If a client decides not to work with you because you fly planes. Like, that’s the most ridiculous reason on the planet. Like, what?

Phil Alves:

I do have some clients. They’re like, please don’t die. They’re afraid. Like, Are you still flying that thing? You’re not gonna die. Right? I’m like, never died before.

John Garrett:

Also, maybe don’t say those things. Like, what the hell’s wrong

Phil Alves:

with you.

John Garrett:

Because if it does happen, that person’s gonna feel terrible because you’re the one that said it last, you weirdo. But I love that that it’s, you know, that’s a part of you. It’s it’s as if, You know, someone asking you to just not write with your right hand. That’s like, what do you mean? That’s what I do. Like, what are you talking about, you know, or whatever. And that’s so great. Do you do you feel like it’s benefited your career at all whether it’s with relationship building or getting new clients even?

Phil Alves:

Probably I I think more about being recharging and and being something that I can apply the knowledge even in a business. You know? Right? I don’t know if you help me get customers. I do have customers that that have their own planes too, and so we can kinda connect on that level. Up.

John Garrett:

It doesn’t hurt anyway.

Phil Alves:

Yeah. I think I think it definitely helps your career if you have hobbies and have things that you do. And then you remember, I mean, why do you work? We work to have a great life. Right? So that’s how I feel.

John Garrett:

Yeah. No. I totally I mean, why are we here? I’m not giving you the I I guess I’m a lot, you know, because I have time. And, yeah. I mean, it’s it’s one of those things where it’s like work is is a conduit to something else. You know, like like flying planes is what you love to do, and you also love your work, but the work gives you the resources to be able to do the flying. If flying was free, then maybe we work, maybe not. I don’t know.

John Garrett:

Exactly. I’m gonna be flying, though. That’s for sure. Like, there’s no maybe, maybe not on that one. Like it’s, you know. And so that’s the thing is I think I think it’s easy for us to invert those where work is the priority and the hobby is well if I have time. And it’s no. No.

John Garrett:

It’s it’s the other way around because that hobby’s been with you through a lot of journeys and through a lot of stages, And the work is and the job title is just now. You know?

Phil Alves:

Yeah. And it allows you to, like, show up to work recharge and show up to work happy. You know, I feel like you have to have other things that you do. So so I think it’s very powerful that way.

John Garrett:

Yeah. So before flying, did you have something else That was an and?

Phil Alves:

Yeah. I I grew up cycling.

John Garrett:

Oh, okay.

Phil Alves:

So I love cycling. I would I would cycle all the time. And then I got into Brazilian jiu jitsu, so that’s super fun. Yeah. I still do that. Yeah. So I I, like, I I I broke my arm cycling. That’s how much I cycle.

Phil Alves:

Well, you’ll

John Garrett:

You can’t cycle from island to island. So, like, you that’s why you upgraded to flying. You’re like, wow. This gets me

Phil Alves:

there faster. That’s cool. Alright.

John Garrett:

I I like it, man. That’s that’s very cool. And so I guess, do you have any words of encouragement to anyone listening that has a hobby or a passion that they feel like No one around me cares because it has nothing to do with work.

Phil Alves:

I think if you care, that’s enough. That’s my word of encouragement. You know you’re you’re the only one that have to care. I don’t know why so many times we are worried about what other people think. And, you know, you’ve just lived your life and and and don’t care so much. You know? I I feel like it’s kinda cool because I see the older generations, and I feel like people that grew up without social media and stuff, they didn’t care so much for what other people think. And and then I see the younger generation. There’s on the millennium and then people before me, it looks like people care way too much nowadays for what other people think, and you shouldn’t.

John Garrett:

That’s true. I saw a cartoon kind of a meme of everyone’s walking around worried about what everyone else is thinking, and no one is thinking about each other. Like, I like, I’m not thinking about it. Like, No one’s judging you, but you feel like everyone is. And it’s like, no, you’re the one judging yourself. And, you know, everyone listening, you’re all awesome. You’re awesome people. Like, you know, and let it out.

John Garrett:

Like, we we hide the freaking really cool stuff, and it’s like, you know, like like it’s show and tell day in in kindergarten now, you know, like, And while we’re adults, we bring that bring that airplane in. Like, not the model, the whole thing. Bring the plane. Like, you know? It’s like, alright. You know, it’s we’re not kids anymore. Let’s we we do cool things and we’re really lit up by deeper, cooler things. So I love that, man. That’s so great.

John Garrett:

So great. Well, I feel like it’s only fair that I turn the table since I so rudely peppered you with questions at the beginning. So we’ll turn it around and make it the Phil Alvis podcast. What do you got for me, man? I’m in the hot seat.

Phil Alves:

Okay. So what’s the and that you try and didn’t like?

John Garrett:

Oh, an and that I tried and didn’t like. Well, probably back in the day, like, some running probably, and I say some because, like, I didn’t really try it that hard. And actually, there was someone that was on the podcast, I don’t know, a couple 100 episodes ago that was a runner. And I figured out it’s because when I I grew up playing soccer, and if you got in trouble, You had to run. That was a punishment, was running laps. And so me to just go jog is like that’s me punishing myself. Like, why would I Do this. Like, this is terrible.

John Garrett:

Like, I and also too the whole time I’m running, it’s the opposite of your flying. My brain is, like, going crazy, and it’s, like, You should be doing 17 other things instead

Phil Alves:

of this right now. Like, why

John Garrett:

are you wasting your time? Like, what is going on? So yeah. So I would probably say Running would be a hobby that people have that I don’t man, God bless them. Like, I just can’t.

Phil Alves:

Yeah. I don’t understand that one either.

John Garrett:

Up. I mean, it’s cars and bikes even. I

Phil Alves:

mean, like,

John Garrett:

you get there so much faster. Skateboards, like, something else, scooters, like, whatever. But yeah. So probably that one.

Phil Alves:

What do you take? Go back in time 10 years or $10,000,000?

John Garrett:

Oh, that’s a good question. 10,000,000. That’s a good amount. I don’t know. I think I’d take the 10,000,000. Like, you know, because life happens for a reason, And I was supposed to get 10,000,000 today,

Phil Alves:

so there you go. But, yeah,

John Garrett:

I think I’ll do that. You know, life happens for a reason, and it’s all good. Like, no regrets.

Phil Alves:

Oh, yeah. That’s a really good question, though, man.

John Garrett:

If it’s, like, 1,000,000, then I’d be like, I’ll probably go back. Because, I mean, you can accidentally invest money and make a million. But 10,000,000. Yeah. That’s enough. I like that. That’s a good question, man. That’s good.

Phil Alves:

My brain hurts right now.

John Garrett:

That’s why I don’t fly planes.

Phil Alves:

Okay. One last1. Besides your book, what book do you recommend for other people?

John Garrett:

Besides my book. I guess, just recently I recommended The War of Art, which is a great great book for creative people. But there’s another one that I really like called The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks, And that’s a really, really good book. Gets a little woo woo in the end, but in the the middle part, it talks about how we have, like Like, different zones and, like, our zone of genius, we’re scared to jump to because we’re pretty good. We’re pretty good where we are. We’re good at our jobs, we’re comfortable, like, that jump is scary. Like, I might miss and then crash down to nothing. You’re not gonna crash down to nothing, first of all.

John Garrett:

2nd of all, you’re probably

Phil Alves:

not gonna

John Garrett:

miss. But I think it’s a good book to just open your mind of What you’re doing now is 70% of capacity, maybe, at best. Like, you can you can really up level in a big way and make a big difference if you want to. You know? Yeah. But yeah. The big leap. So there we go. Cool, man.

Phil Alves:

That was a selfish question because I I wanted to know, like, a good book that I could read next. So from that I’ll definitely get that one.

John Garrett:

Well, I love how you say it besides yours. Okay. I’m not gonna get that on. So if I if I get a different one no. No. No. I’m

Phil Alves:

just teasing.

John Garrett:

I know you already got it. But it’s all good, man. Well, thank you so much, Phil, for being a part of What’s Your Ann. This was super, super fun.

Phil Alves:

No problem. Thanks for having me. That was fun.

John Garrett:

Absolutely, everybody listening. If you wanna see some pictures of Phil in the air or with his plane or maybe connect with them on social media, be sure to go to what’s your and.com. Everything’s there.


Related Posts

Episode 210 – Rumbi Bwerinofa-Petrozzello

Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedInRumbi is a Forensic CPA & Edutainment Advocate Rumbi Bweinofa-Petrozzello,...

Episode 1 – John Garrett

Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn John Garrett introduces you to The Green Apple Podcast...