Brandon Aversano, Founder of The Alloy Market
Brandon Aversano is the Founder of The Alloy Market and understands the role that self belief has played in their business journey so far. They took some time out to speak with The Industry Leaders about this powerful state of mind.
Firstly, can you give us a little bit of background about your business journey?
I was always curious how things were built, which I attribute to my great-grandfather, Louis Field. He was a first-generation Jewish American working as a welder in Philadelphia's Naval shipyards. Without formal education, he learned metallurgy on the job and in the 1940s opened up a small business of his own fabricating aluminum tank trucks on the outskirts of Philadelphia, PA. His business, Allied Tank, remained in the family into the early 2010s, when my dad and grandfather finally wound it down. I absolutely loved growing up in the metal plant, spending time with my great-grandfather, grandfather, and father. They were my earliest and to this day the most impactful examples of entrepreneurship. Separately, I feel very fortunate to have had the childhood I did. My mom was a dedicated and superb stay-at-home mom who, along with my father, diligently raised my brother and I in a small town in Pennsylvania. Without their consistent and steadfast influence, I most certainly would not be who I am today. I give my family all the credit. Also, I know it’s not my childhood, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention my unbelievably amazing husband, who serves as my rock day in and day out.
What role has self-belief played in your journey as a business leader? How has it influenced your decision-making and overall success?
Self-belief has been absolutely critical to my journey as I feel it is for most entrepreneurs or folks who take risks. I think it’s really important to note here, though, that self-belief isn’t analogous to self-aggrandizing or hubris; rather, self-belief means you create the infrastructure inside yourself to support yourself all along the way. It means questioning your decisions and reflecting on what you could have done better as much as it means pushing yourself forward to achieve what others might not see as possible.
Can you share a specific moment or challenge in your journey where your self-belief was tested? How did you overcome it and what did you learn from that experience?
In the Fall of 2022, I was diagnosed with testicular cancer, which taught him two important lessons. The first is that time is not unlimited and the second is that cancer care is very expensive, even with good healthcare. During his treatment journey, he sought to sell some of his jewelry to cover the cost of medical care but the experience was incredibly difficult. Realizing the precious metal exchange market was ripe for disruption, Brandon founded Alloy, the first and only application based platform enabling users to exchange precious metals (gold, silver, platinum, and palladium) seamlessly and for industry-leading payouts.
How do you cultivate and maintain a mindset of self-belief amidst the inevitable ups and downs of life?
The answer to this particular question will be a life-long pursuit. I currently practice yoga and mindfulness on a daily basis. These practices help keep me centered and in the moment, aware of how I’m feeling yet not overwhelmed by it. I think practicing some sort of meditation or mindfulness is a tried-and-true method to staying grounded.
Are there any specific strategies or practices you follow to boost your self-confidence when facing uncertainties or setbacks in your business?
The truth is that my business is so much less about me than it is about other people. For me, seeing my team succeed and excel is what gives me confidence that we’re on the right track. Without their pursuit of excellence, we here at Alloy would not be where we are today.
How do you handle self-doubt or negative self-talk that may arise as a business leader? Do you have any specific techniques for reframing negative thoughts?
I think doubts are healthy and sometimes they help you identify areas you might need to think more deeply about. Excessive self-doubt, however, isn’t healthy and doesn’t accomplish anything. When I’m feeling doubt about something or myself, I approach that feeling with curiosity to understand if there’s something material I should be addressing or if it’s just negative self-talk. I proceed accordingly.
What advice would you give to aspiring entrepreneurs who struggle with self-belief? How can they start building a stronger sense of confidence and belief in themselves?
Build up a support system from the very beginning! Entrepreneurship is often a very lonely path, so ensuring you have a close network of family and friends behind you is a key part of the journey.
Have you ever encountered external skepticism or negativity regarding your business ideas or decisions? How do you stay grounded in your self-belief despite external influences?
Absolutely! If you’re not experiencing any skepticism or negativity from external sources, you’re not talking to enough people. Skepticism will both help you find potential flaws or areas of improvement in your model while also serving as a reminder that you see something others don’t, which is why you’re doing what you’re doing in the first place.
Are there any books, podcasts, or people you'd recommend checking out for anyone who wants to change to a more self-confident and belief-rich mindset?
Daniel Ek’s interview on the Logan Bartlett Show podcast and Tory Burch’s interview on How I Built This with Guy Raz. They both have really interesting stories and are a reminder that you can chart your own course, believe in yourself, follow your dreams, and succeed doing what you love.
Finally, what are some practical tips or exercises you can recommend for entrepreneurs to strengthen their self-belief and mindset on a regular basis?
Definitely start engaging in mindfulness, whether that’s dedicating time to meditating each day, participating in yoga, starting a gratitude journal, or any other way you can stop, take a pause, center yourself, and stay grounded. It’s really easy to forget about yourself when you’re building a business. I learned the hard way that the most important relationship you’ll ever have is with yourself, not your business, so make sure you’re putting as much effort into you as you are your business.