Unlike many people who finish college intending to look for a job, Eugenio Pace graduated and immediately founded his first company with his friend. Unfortunately, the business failed, but that did not kill his entrepreneurial spirit. After working in Microsoft for 12 years, he felt it was time to try again. He partnered with a good friend again, and in January 2013, Auth0 was born. In the first year, they had two customers, and they spent a lot of time pitching to investors trying to get some seed capital. Now the company has grown to operate in 36 countries, and here is what you may not know about the company's CEO.
1. His family will always come first
Entrepreneurs are said to have the one disadvantage of not having enough time to be social as they concentrate on their business. While that may be true, Pace ensures that no matter how tight his schedule maybe, he will still find time to be with his family that comprises his wife, two sons, and a dog. He also has a good reason for loving his dog since, it is during his walks with his furry daughter, Kate, that he gets the best ideas.
2. He prefers face-to-face meetings
By the end of 2018, Pace had over 56,000 unread emails, which is proof that if you want his attention, then you should schedule an appointment and talk to him in person. On average, he holds around ten meetings ranging from interviews, staff meetings, and client meetings, among many more. Pace prefers walking with someone instead of sitting while talking since it allows him to appreciate the environment. The CEO does not discriminate who gets to see him in person; he prefers that even the subordinates have face-to-face meetings with him since it ensures that Pace stays connected with everyone within his company.
3. How he relieves stress
Running a company is no mean feat; hence Pace always needs to unwind, and his favorite activity is reading a book; he describes himself as a voracious reader. While that is crucial for his mental health, the CEO also maintains his lean physical appearance by going to the gym thrice a week for some high-intensity exercises. Finally, of course, for someone who built a company from scratch, it is no wonder that he likes using his hands also to keep himself preoccupied so you will find him remodeling or constructing things in the house.
4. He was kicked out of Founder Institute
In 2009, Adeo Rossi founded the Founder Institute to help entrepreneurs with training, and in 2012, Pace realized he needed the skills to establish his own company. Therefore he used to attend the training after work and learn the marketing strategies, business planning, among many other topics from experts. The catch was that everyone needed to attain specific points to remain within the institute, and since Pace did not achieve them, he had to leave.
5. Why he left Microsoft
Although his first company had failed, Pace knew deep within him that he would regret not having tried his hand in business. At the age of 42, you would think that he would be comfortable with a guaranteed salary, but he was not. Therefore as he told Alejandro Cremades, he talked to his wife and told her his plans. Luckily, his wife was very supportive of his decision; matter of fact, she is the one who helped the CEO with the necessary financial framework since she is a financial analyst. However, this time, he was cautious with his ambition and promised himself that if things did not work out after one year, he would give up and look for another job.
6. He got his first customer a month after launching
Launching your business is one thing, but waiting to turn your hard work into profits is quite another, and companies have been known to take years to break even. Consequently, for Pace, getting his first client was a big deal because that would assure him that someone saw value in the services they were offering. It, however, took a whole month for the company to get its first client, but that became the start to a much bigger paycheck because the next customer they got was a large company.
7. He does not mind failure
Henry Ford once said failure is only but an opportunity to start anew but with more intelligence, and Pace seems to read from that school of thought. In Auth0, Pace has experienced many failures, but he embraces each one of them because he believes if you are not failing, then you are not pushing yourself out of your comfort zone. He, therefore, encourages his employees to stretch their limits as long as they do not kill themselves or the company in the process.
8. His secret to staying ahead of the competition
When Pace talked to Ladders, he revealed that his secret recipe in gaining a competitive edge is to focus on your strengths. He acknowledges that trying to copy your competitors and concentrating on what they are doing will fail. Pace reasons that focusing your energy on what your competitors are doing will result in you losing your authenticity. Additionally, since each business has its unique set of challenges, it is up to you to realize when you should look for a different solution instead of insisting on one that has already failed.
9. He has no regrets
Sometimes we wish that we could go back in time and do something differently, but Pace does not believe he would want to change a thing. Even in his mistakes, he still learned a few lessons that have been useful in his adulthood. As a result, he advises that we should look at problems we had earlier in life as learning opportunities and use them to our advantage.
10. Why he does not like the word "exit."
When Pace started Auth0, he was not looking at it as a means to an end but rather a life-long project. Therefore he does not intend to sell it and has never entertained any thoughts of an eventuality in which he will be forced to sell his company to someone else. His goal is to continue building the company so that it lasts even longer than its founders.
Written by Allen Lee
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