Episode 139 - Carlos Soto : Get Through The Mud

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Carlos Soto is the CEO & founder of Nosotros Tequila. What started as a college assignment his senior year at Loyola Marymount University turned into his full time career. Available in two blends, Blanco and Reposado, they’re using something as simple as an alcoholic beverage to help bring people together. With over 500 accounts of restaurants, bars and retail outlets in California, they’re looking to become the staple tequila in the golden state. They donate 1% of all sales towards Waves For Waters, an organization that is bringing clean drinking water to communities in need across the globe.

In this Episode Carlos discusses why it takes a village to build something great, realizing there is no perspective without distance, how important it is to surround ourselves with people that have the right mindset, how growth comes from the outskirts of our comfort zone and how celebrating the little victories will get us through the mud.

Podcast Outline (Time Markers For Audio Version Only)

  • Sampling both types of Nosotros Tequila: Blanco and Reposado (4:40)

    • La historia de Nosotros - the story of us 

    • Each bottle has a blank space on the back to write your name or the name of who you’re gifting it to 

    • What differentiates the tequila from competitors is the blend of agaves

      • Highlands: sweet & citriusy 

      • Lowlands: peppery & earthy 

  • It takes a village of people to bring ideas to life (11:00)

  • Born/raised in San Jose, Costa Rica, it exposed him to beautiful beaches, mountains, forests, volcanoes etc (12:45)

  • Cultural lesson he still carries with him today: There is no perspective without distance (16:45)

  • Raised from a family that thrived on love. Parents were divorced but kept a healthy relationship for Carlos & his sister (21:10)

  • Participated as a turtle protection volunteer for the Wildlife Sanctuary of Costa Rica protecting eggs from poachers (23:30)

  • Attended Loyola Marymount University and majored in Business Admin / Entrepreneurship with a Minor in Economics (28:10)

  • Got involved with student government at LMU, Interned with Paramount Pictures as a Marketing Financial Analyst, Mesoamerica as an Industry & Opportunity Analyst. Was trying different lanes to see what he was interested in (32:40)

  • Senior year Carlos gets an assignment to pitch a product/service. Goes out that weekend and lands on the idea of pitching tequila which then led to founding Nosotros Tequila (36:45)

  • Creating 7-8 samples with his Master Distiller, Carlos sampled the products with his friends which led to the Blanco blend (42:20)

  • Hurdles he had to cross before the product hit the shelves in January of 2017 (45:15)

    • Filing for OPT to stay in US after graduation to pursue Nosotros Tequila 

    • Taking loans from family, friends and a $18k from Bank of America

  • Process of making Nosotros Tequila: Blanco blend takes 2 weeks, Respsado takes 11 months (46:45) 

  • Getting the product on the shelves of restaurants, bars and liquor stores (48:10)

  • Nosotros Blanco being selected as the Best Tequila at the 2017 San Francisco World Spirits Competition gave them the credibility and got them into more stores & locations (52:10)

  • Being self-distributed allows Nosotros Tequila to grow on their own terms. Currently with 500+ locations spread throughout California (54:55)

  • 1% of all sales goes towards Waves For Waters, an organization that is bringing clean drinking water to communities in need across the globe (59:40)

  • Becoming the staple tequila in California is at the top of the goals list (65:00)

  • Team of 8 people working at Nosotros Tequila today helping make sh*t happen! (65:55)

  • As a leader, learning to delegate tasks and trust it will get done by his team has been extremely important  (69:05)

  • With knowing what he knows now, the advice he’d give to himself: Never burn any bridges, have patience and keep pushing (71:55)

  • Releasing endorphins from swimming/yoga and reminding himself that life is short are important in his day-to-day routines (74:30)

  • Most grateful for his family, friends and the people he works with (76:10)

  • The perfect day for Carlos Soto (78:20)

  • Carlos purpose is to bring joy to other people (81:00)

  • Ask Bobbbaaay any 1 question: If you could spend an entire day with anyone alive or dead, who would it be? What would you talk about? (82:05) 

  • Where to find Carlos + Nosotros Tequila

  • Best advice for finding a passion/purpose (85:20)

    • Anytime you feel comfortable, keep moving