The Happy Engineer Podcast

019: Get Into Big Tech with Mauricio Nunes

Want to join Amazon, Facebook, or the other big tech giants? Then you don’t want to miss this one.

Is your life being driven by fear or purpose? Has anyone ever accused you of being a control freak?

In this episode, you are in for a special treat as I speak to a friend and former client, Mauricio Nunes. I had the privilege of coaching Mauricio through a total transformation in his career and life, and he courageously shares his story with you in this conversation.

He is a leader in technology, currently managing a team of software developers in a dream job at Facebook. Mauricio has also held leadership roles at Spotify, and Amazon. He shares his major breakthroughs and how to achieve results with you. A master at technical interviewing, Mauricio has a passion for mentoring others seeking to land their dream jobs in big tech.

What is more inspiring than his career success is how Mauricio is truly happy, and living a life of purpose.

So press play and let’s chat… with a Lifestyle Engineering Blueprint graduate, a true leader, and my good friend.


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Mauricio has been an incredible client (and now friend), a role model for so many engineering leaders, and truly has demonstrated courage at a level that many people will never step up to. Such a huge honor to have him on the show and in this conversation, but let’s get back into action. How do we take all of the story and the experiences that Maricio just shared with us and put it into action?

I just want to share three big points. The first one is that it’s okay to ask questions about what direction to take. There is such a stigma, such a taboo in our culture and in our companies around needing to know the answer of exactly what your career plan is. And I understand this because a big part of what I do as a career coach and a life coach and, you know, support for all our clients here at OACO is answer those questions with you.

But I also want you to know that it is absolutely okay to feel confused and to not know. Mauricio was really vulnerable with us about a couple of key points in his career where he got back to really basic questions about what do I even want? Which direction do I want to go? Do I want to stay technical or do I want to move into higher level people management positions? What do I want to do? Where do I want to build my career?

It is absolutely normal. It’s not only ok, but it’s good to ask questions about where you want to go, what direction you want to go. And it’s also okay to feel stuck and frustrated. Yeah, I’m giving you permission to feel those negative emotions. It’s okay to be absolutely frustrated about the state of your career.

Right now, emotions are signals. And if you simply seek to avoid feeling that way, it’s not going to solve anything. And it’s actually going to get stored into your subconscious in your nervous system and create more problems. It’s okay to feel those negative emotions. It’s not okay to stay in that place. I want you to make a list of what questions you’ve maybe been hiding from.

You’ve been avoiding authentically asking them, they’re lingering there in the back of your mind, but you haven’t taken the time or had the courage to face them. Make that list of real questions. What is it that you’re actually thinking when your head hits the pillow at night? What is it that you need to ask yourself about your career and your life?

You know what they are. I want you to write them down and commit to take time, to sit and ponder, marinate in, reflect on, and answer those questions for yourself. Then, see what surfaces you may find clarity. You may also find confusion and uncertainty, and it doesn’t matter which one you discover.

The key is taking the next step based on what you find. If you’re uncertain, get help. If you’re totally certain, take action and make it happen… but don’t hide from the questions about what you want in your career and life. 

Number two, when you face these big decisions, when you ask these big questions, I want you to be totally honest with yourself. Are you answering from a place of fear and a survival instinct or are you answering from a place of courage and purpose? You see, your brain’s natural pattern is not for success. Hear me: You are not wired for success. You are wired for survival. You are wired for safety. Fear and survival are driving your subconscious mind to keep you comfortable and keep you safe.

And while that has a purpose and value in your life, it is not the place that you want to make the big decisions for your career and life. You should be in a state and a mindset of courage and purpose, which brings up Mauricio’s core question that he left. Do you know your purpose?

It is very difficult to live from a place of courage and purpose when you don’t know what it is. Don’t overthink this so many people want to take this idea of purpose and say, I need to go into the Himalayan mountains in Tibet and sit in a monastery for a year to discover the depth of my life’s purpose.

No, you have a clear focus and purpose inside you right now. You simply need to walk the process to discover it. And it is a lot easier than you think. If you need help with that, please reach out to me because it’s exactly what we do with all of our clients. And it is such a powerful process. But the second point is simply this: be honest with yourself. Are you making big decisions from a place of fear and survival, or from a place of courage and purpose? 

Number three, let go of your need for control. Ah, all right. I’m speaking to myself on this one. So bear with me. Needing to control your environment, the people around you, the things that are happening in your world, engineers are the worst.

And I’m talking about myself as well. This is something that I continue to work with my coach on – this need for control engineers. We are training to solve equations to understand Y equals F of X, what is the transfer function? What are the fundamental physics? How do these pieces fit together? What connects all the dots and how do I control and move and manipulate all of the levers to get to the answer I want.

That is an incredible skill. And that is why you get paid. You get paid to solve problems at work, but the need for control is holding you back from becoming the leader who will be successful and happy at the next level. You must learn to surrender to the process. You must learn to release limiting beliefs.

When you do this, did you catch what Maricio said? It wasn’t just about the mental health benefits, relieving stress relieving the anxiety relieving, the frustration relieving all these negative emotions. It was also the real, tangible benefits in his life. Getting his time back, being able to delegate with more confidence, becoming a better leader, surrendering to the process. Letting go of the need for control is a fundamental shift that engineering leaders like yourself need to make to accelerate personal growth and development to accelerate your career.

To get the results you want in your life, and to be happy, we must surrender. I know you may not like that. And I’ll tell you, to this day I still struggle with holding on to my vision and dreams with an open hand, rather than a clenched fist, but it’s so important. And this requires a shift and a transformation of the subconscious mind.

This is a pattern in your nervous system. It’s not just thinking, it is also physiology, the distinction between the mind and the brain and to make these kinds of shifts happens at both levels. So if you need help understanding how to do this again, don’t sit in this alone. Take action. Reach out to us. Find a mentor, find a friend who’s had a transformational experience like Maricio and ask for help. Just ask.

Alright, engineers, take action. Three things on the list:

  1. Where are you pretending that you have it all figured out, but you really have questions?
  2. Are you being driven by fear and a survival instinct or courage and purpose? Make sure you’re clear and get to the side of purpose.
  3. Let go of control. 

You do those things, you’re going to create momentum and accelerate your career and life. You’re going to experience the happiness that Mauricio talks about.

Let’s do this.

Previous Episode 18: Stereotypes and CTO’s with Sam Tam




Mauricio Nunes is a leader in technology, currently managing a team of software developers at Facebook supporting the Mobile Products Runtimes (MPR) team. He has also held leadership roles at Spotify in their Back End Ad Studio, and Amazon in Content Experience for Prime Video. 

Beyond the technology, Mauricio has built a reputation with his teams and ability to lead people. He also has a strong talent for technical interviewing, and a passion for mentoring and coaching his mentees to success in getting past the notoriously difficult interview process for big tech.

Originally from Brazil, Mauricio had to make the same decision all talented engineers face. Technology leadership or people leadership? He shares the challenges with that decision, and how it has shaped his career and life. In April of 2020, that career path collided with career coach, Zach White, and the Oasis of Courage.

Since that time, he has found a new level of purpose in his life.  And, Mauricio has taken the most courageous decision of all. His family added a new puppy to the mix just weeks after he and his wife brought TWINS (the cutest #LifestyleEngineers you’ll ever see) into the world!  Haha, now that’s a man with confidence in his whole life balance. 





Please note the full transcript is 90-95% accuracy. Reference the podcast audio to confirm exact quotations.

[00:00:00] Zach White: Mauricio, it is absolutely a pleasure to have this time with you. I have been privileged to coach this man for a while and your story is just incredible. So thank you so much for making time for me and for the listeners. 

[00:00:27] Mauricio Nunes: Thanks so much for the invite. It’s not only a pleasure, but it’s an honor being, for everything that we went through together in the last year.

Expand to Read Full Transcript

[00:00:34] It’s, uh, it’s amazing to have that conversation, 

[00:00:37] Zach White: but for those who are listening just on audio, you’re missing this beautiful picture of Bernice, you and I wearing our same. T-shirts the crush comfort, create courage, lifestyle engineer t-shirt and he was one of the. Uh, people to ever get one of these. So you’ll have to go check it out on YouTube and see, see the shot.

[00:00:55] And I’ll put some stuff on social media of us. We look pretty good, man. I think couldn’t be better in our crush comfort shirts, 

[00:01:02] Mauricio Nunes: nothing more perfect than this four hour, like a special 

[00:01:06] Zach White: occasion today. Absolutely. So we first talked, I went back and checked myself on April 20th, 20. For 20, 20 20 was our first conversation.

[00:01:19] And I think a lot of what we’ll talk about today is going to be, you know, what happened in that moment and after, but first, just to set the stage for the engineer listening, you’ve had an incredible career, a lot transpired before that conversation. So just give us a quick, you know, story. What, what was your journey?

[00:01:39] Pre Zack pre 4 20, 20 20. Uh, just kind of get us started in your engineering. 

[00:01:46] Mauricio Nunes: Sure. Uh, I started as a software engineer still back in Brazil. Uh, I’m originally from there. And most of my career there was, uh, as a software engineer, most of my time in Java and as the career goes, I had to make that decision that the most.

[00:02:02] Uh, all engineers have to make at some time, is, would I stay as an individual contributor and be developing or should I go and become a manager? And I had that opportunity to make the decision. And I felt like, yes, I like working for people. Let me try that. And I became a manager in 2008. Uh, working for ADP the payroll company.

[00:02:27] And in 2013, I got, uh, another decision in my life, which is they offered me a relocation to the United States as soon as the same company, the same project, which was that one moment where I felt like, oh, everything that I did in my career is coming back. It’s a great opportunity. I was a bit afraid.

[00:02:49] Should I live my countries? Should I bring my wife together with me and certainly a new life without much of a family without the support from the family. And, but we got together and said, now let’s do it. I think it’s a dream. It’s a new place. We are not going for for something crazy. So let’s do 

[00:03:07] Zach White: it.

[00:03:09] Let me back you up really quick, because both of these key moments, a lot of people listening could relate. If the engineer, hearing you introduce your story is in that same place of the decision about staying on a technical IC track versus that manager track. Can you go back to your thinking around, how do I make that decision?

[00:03:30] What was the really key elements of you saying I want to become a manager? Sure. I 

[00:03:36] Mauricio Nunes: think there were two. Factors that made me take that decision first, even though I always considered myself a good engineer, I wasn’t tacky. And as my peers, I feel like my fellow engineers, they were always in another level of going deep into the technical discussions or the technical side of the job while I was much more a.

[00:04:01] Uh, contributor to that deliver things, but not created things and felt like, okay, will I have a bright future on the technical side or not? That was the first factor. The second one is much more. And was much more in terms of, uh, I, again, I liked working with people. I was already a technical lead. Uh, people enjoyed working with me and I felt like that there was no reason for me to not try because I would be B I would become the manager for the team that was managing.

[00:04:31] And I had the support. I had the support of my managers, but everything was in place for me to try and. Um, nothing that could go wrong in a, for me too. The worst that could happen to me in that moment was just saying, this is not for me. Let me go back and do my best on the technical side. But those were the two things that made me take the decision.

[00:04:49] Zach White: I love that perspective. And a lot of engineers, we forget that the decision in front of me today is not my last decision, you know, to recognize. If managing doesn’t work for me, I can go back to being an IC. And I hope that encourages the engineers, listening, whatever you have in front of you right now, this decision is not your last decision.

[00:05:12] You can always learn from that and make a new decision. So I love that. And then, okay, fast forward, 2013, you get presented with the opportunity to uproot from Brazil and move to the U S what was the hardest part about that decision? 

[00:05:29] Mauricio Nunes: a lot of my friends were in the same position. They, they talk about leaving the fan for me, that part wasn’t that, uh, that a big decision, because I had support from my family.

[00:05:40] They, they knew it was a good thing for me, especially for me was, uh, the fear of the. It’s uh, will I be successful in the United States? So it will be, is these a paycheck? They are offering me and the F for me to have a . Good life. I mean, Disney country, all those things, all those unknowns uh, were the worst for me, because again, Even today, I still have that urge of controlling things.

[00:06:06] That’s one of the things that we together worked a lot during our conversations. And, that was one of the moments where I did not have the control of everything and that anxiety, that bark caused me to just keep thinking, am I doing the right thing? Am I taking my wife from Brazil where she has her own career to become.

[00:06:26] Uh, somebody that goes into United States and stops the work and needs to learn a new language, all those things, the right thing to do. So those were like the questions and that fear of the unknown that drove me crazy on that time to make the decision. 

[00:06:40] Zach White: And I can only imagine, I mean, I haven’t had to make that type of decision in my career, but it’s big.

[00:06:46] And that, that fear, that anxiety. You know, w what does that look like? I mean, sleepless nights, just struggling with, I mean, tell it, like, take us into that, that pressure of the moment. What was that like? I think 

[00:06:57] Mauricio Nunes: you feel your heart beating way faster, and then every time you thinking about it, you always ask yourself, am I doing the right decision?

[00:07:05] Is this the right thing for me to do? What if I stayed? The represents, w you find the site to state will be that considered a fader on my side, all those things cross my mind. But the physically that, that goes into like really anxiety, like sweating and handshaking, all those things. 

[00:07:22] Zach White: So after you made the decision, what did it feel like to be on the other side of that?

[00:07:29] Mauricio Nunes: After I made the decision that gets worse, I think the change happened when I moved. 

[00:07:34] Zach White: Gotcha from decision, but still in Brazil. Yeah. That period of time was even worse because it 

[00:07:40] was 

[00:07:41] Mauricio Nunes: around four to five months considering everything that had to be done before doing that. So all those things that had to, but myself, uh, thinking into it and that took a while, but then when starts things moving on, like, uh, going for taking the visa and Coming over to the United States to find a place to leave and meet with my peers, all those things that start sinking down and feeling better. But I only felt like that. Okay. I’m fine. At the time I was here for a month or so, where things are, you started to feel like a life again, because it, it interesting, uh, how many things you need to do once you go inside leaving, and then you kind of.

[00:08:16] Uh, things as simple as paying a bill and the tilty bill becomes something. How do I do that? It’s not the same way as I did for the last 20 years of my life. So how do I spoke to those things? 

[00:08:30] Zach White: Yeah, that’s, it’s so good to just kind of get back and perspective what you’ve went through and this, you know, I’m setting the stage in a way with you have these different apps.

[00:08:40] Fear of the unknown, this desire for control. And we’ll talk about how those things came back later in the story here, but catch us up then. So 2013, you came to the U S then what? 

[00:08:51] Mauricio Nunes: Then I stayed in. Three more years where I, uh, worked in the same company, the same project, the same team, uh, things were doing great.

[00:09:00] I, uh, but a couple of things that happen in my career that moment first, uh, I felt like at that transition between being a first time manager for one one team to become a director for multiple teams in multiple locations, bigger responsibility. I think that transition was too fast. So I was getting out of, uh, I was very hands-on at that moment and they’re getting out of that technology.

[00:09:25] Uh, what’s causing me more and more fears because I was starting to think, am I really ready for this? Am I prepared to take such a responsibility? That was one thing. The second thing. Uh, I decided to go out and see the markets here in the States. My whole life was ADP in that moment. And I had to know, am I being fully rewarded by the things that, uh, I’m delivering So I decided to go out and I came to, to have this opportunity to, to change jobs and join, which, From many aspects. People can say it was a regression in my career, but I didn’t feel like that. They felt like, okay, I’m back to, to relearn things and get solid defying my position as a manager of engineers before.

[00:10:16] Keep growing towards the next steps. And then I spent an year on and during that same time, uh, there were like, uh, situations happening at the work. And one of the luckiest moments in my life was that I was taking this a couple of weeks vacation and I flew back to Brazil to do this. Uh, paradise island.

[00:10:35] We have they’re called Fernando Jenna, Ryan, and the wastage luxurious because on that island, there is . Just one cell phone tower for the whole way. So great parts of the entire island cannot be served by that, uh, our hand, uh, even the hotel that I was didn’t get certified, but then I was walking close to that tower on that specific thing.

[00:10:58] Specific time. That’s when I got the call from the recruiter, there’s from Amazon and I look it up. That’s weird. Don’t let me take a call, take the sky. What’s what’s happening here. And then luckily I had the chance to talk with them. And then that led into the interviews I did with Amazon, which for me was one of the biggest companies on tech.

[00:11:21] I will never go there. I prepared myself, uh, the, the interviews with them and getting in, it was like the second biggest moment of my career, I would say is that the moment where I just joined the first big tech, 

[00:11:37] Zach White: how many times have you had that thought in your mind? What if I didn’t take that walk if I was at the hotel or at the beach or radio, that’s so amazing.

[00:11:50] Mauricio Nunes: I mean, it’s, it’s nothing that could have been predicted that would happen. Of course, maybe they would call me a week later and not, I dunno, but right now it’s yeah, maybe my host starting would be different without that. 

[00:12:06] Zach White: Was there a part of you before that call at the beach? That already desired a big opportunity like Amazon, but there was something about, you know, you know, your career path and what you wanted to do next.

[00:12:20] That was, you know, maybe he had a longing for this or this was a dream of yours or was it really just a total surprise? You’d never even thought about it. 

[00:12:28] Mauricio Nunes: I, I think as any softer, softer manner, Uh, everyone dreams with those big companies, the fakes, because they represent, uh, the dream jobs for, for our, uh, in our area.

[00:12:41] And not that I never dreamed about it, I just felt like I’m not ready for it. I, I’m not the right person. For several reasons. I was coming from Brazil, which is not like I didn’t have big, uh, college in my profile to, to back me up. Uh, I, uh, I don’t have, I didn’t have enough time in here in the culture I didn’t have much off of networking to back me up or refer me to those, companies. And I think also it felt like, again, my boss. The syndrome told me, no, you’re not that good. Only geniuses go in the war. Then you’re just an average guy. But, but I dunno, I decided, let me, let me do that. I dunno.

[00:13:19] The worst that can happen is I’ve got a note, but I’m going to learn about this process and who knows, maybe it’s someone that they, and when they got the results and they’d record and say, yeah, no, we like to, we want to extend you an off. Uh, that’s what it’s like. Uh 

[00:13:35] Zach White: that’s that’s incredible. Merissa what do you think was the key to your success in landing that Amazon position?

[00:13:44] You know, you described such a common, common challenge for engineers to have imposter syndrome, that immediate feeling of who am I to be here in the room with the Amazon interviewer. You know, I’m just this person. I’m not that person. What do you think it really was that they saw in you that maybe you didn’t even see in yourself at the time 

[00:14:07] Mauricio Nunes: on that time?

[00:14:07] Uh, when I did it, I didn’t have that visibility, but nowadays after not only the Amazon interview process, but also later on Spotify of Facebook . And few others, uh, it, for me today, I, I take that towards being good at doing interviews. I’m feeling good at, uh, sitting down in front of people that are interviewing me and don’t feel that pressure and feel confident and feel calm and really be myself on those conversations and create that report.

[00:14:39] I think. Uh, nowadays see it is at least 50% of you getting to those big tech companies. You been good at interviewing it doesn’t end. The other 50 is you need to be good as an engineer. And I think combining those two things, being able to prove my background and my experience together, being able to create that rapport with everyone that interviewed me, that, uh, was the success that I had at that point.

[00:15:07] Zach White: Where do you think that natural ability to interview and build report, you know, w where did that come from for you? Uh, 

[00:15:16] Mauricio Nunes: did natural part came from just to not feel afraid of talking with people or being a little bit extrovert. Not feeling bad. They’ll talk with you. People are, uh, creating that to report that the, but to be honest, not, uh, I don’t believe that was the major.

[00:15:31] Cause I think the, uh, the major coupe ring for me to be successful, that was the preparation that I did before. Getting ready with myself. Uh, getting, like preparing myself to all the steps that they told me I would get go through. That helped me a lot. I would say 70% of the entire thing, but then the other 30% is exactly that part of being confident and just feeling okay, this is not the end of the world.

[00:15:59] I’m not a less of a person or less of engineer if I don’t pay. 

[00:16:04] Zach White: preparation as 70%. And I think this is really encouraging for the engineer. Listening. If you aspire to work in a dream organization, whether it’s Amazon or one of the other Fang organizations, or maybe it’s not one of the Fang companies, but it’s your dream company and you’re struggling with that feeling of how could I possibly get in any engineer?

[00:16:29] Can do the work to prepare any engineer can, can do the work that Merissa did in terms of the 70%, you know, the 30% might require some, some supports of coaching, a little help if you’re struggling with confidence and presence in those areas, but to just show up and be willing to do the work, to prepare that.

[00:16:47] I mean, that’s, that’s really encouraging. from that point, you landed the Amazon role. Congratulations. And then there’s more to the story still before April 20, 2020s, keep it going. 

[00:16:59] Mauricio Nunes: Let’s keep going. So, uh, I spent almost three years in Amazon and, uh, at some time I went over three or four of the projects and things were not evolving as I was expecting.

[00:17:10] I learn. lots of things from Amazon. It gave me basically a totally new career working from that. Uh, just from the things I’ve learned from the perspectives I got on working for such a big company is such a big project. But then at that time, uh, I don’t know. I felt like, uh, uh, there was few things on the company that made me believe now I don’t want to grow my career.

[00:17:34] Here and I don’t want to evolve. I like to go back to be managers of. Uh, certain manager, often other managers, and that didn’t feel like I wanted to do that here. And then I looked, started looking around and that’s when Spotify came into play. So in 2019, I joined Spotify, uh, and it was amazing that people there are really great, the environment, the office, a few things, uh, completely different than Amazon, but also I think the Miami.

[00:18:03] Compelling factor to join. The company was, oh, here. I believe I can bring it. Oh, that knowledge I’ve learned at Amazon. And then, uh, apply, uh, into this Spotify because Spotify is a big company, but compared to Amazon, the, like, there are still the difference there. And I could help them to grow as big as, uh, as AMS so that, uh, I was there.

[00:18:24] Uh, and that brings us to April, 2020. 

[00:18:28] Zach White: Yeah. So what was it that prompted you to want to reach out and have a conversation with this crazy guy named Zach white? 

[00:18:36] Mauricio Nunes: Uh, Uh, a postal Lincoln. If I could simply find things now, uh, the, I think the overall I was in the situation that moment that I felt, uh, I wasn’t here.

[00:18:49] In that project fill things that happened into the, uh, into the project and to the team that, uh, felt me. I was really upset with the situation and I just wanted to escape, uh, escape So, uh, I will, uh, I was ready starting into the interviewing process to other companies, including Facebook, where I am right now, including Google, including, uh, other companies.

[00:19:11] When I start, ER, And you told me it is true. The it strikes right to me say, Hey, you’re an engineer. You want to think about your next step. You don’t know where to go. I was already feeling that, uh, going back to our beginning of our conversation, where I had to make a decision between engineering of management.

[00:19:29] I was exactly thinking, should I go back to being a technical engineer and not necessarily an manager anymore? Am I successful in the format is white, cannot grow more than that. Uh, then I saw your post there. I reach out and you replied and that drove the conversation. Then I remember our first time. Uh, the things that you’ve told me that are the uh, uh, kind of questions that you asked me that drive my, my thought only on the, only by those questions.

[00:19:58] I, right. It felt like, okay, I know that sec can help me. I should give a try. I really think that they should ask an expert or a professional to help me sing things that I’m not being able to see for myself. 

[00:20:12] Zach White:  So, yeah, I want, I’m going to just preface this. I didn’t ask Maricio to say anything specifically nice or otherwise about me and feel free to tell everybody anything you want about our experiences together.

[00:20:21] But I actually do want to highlight something that’s really interesting about where you were in that moment. And if I got the timeline, right, your first manager role was in 2000. And this conversation was in 20, 20, 12 years later. And you’re in a moment of your career asking yourself is my next step to go back to being technical and individual contributor potentially, or do I want to stay in management?

[00:20:49] And I think. Really important to highlight because sometimes we almost feel ashamed of like, why would I even ask that I’m on this track? Like I should just be moving to director and senior director and VP. Right. That’s my path. And so if the engineer listening, just to connect to that, It’s okay to have these questions.

[00:21:08] It’s normal to have these kinds of questions and there’s not a right or wrong answer. There really isn’t, you know, can be at any point in your career and go in a new direction and, you know, Mauricio for you when you were in that thought process. Was there anything about that that, maybe the way others received it, or you felt like you couldn’t talk about it or was just really confused?

[00:21:29] Like tell us a little bit about. Sort of tension between, do I move up or do I move back to IC? What was that like? 

[00:21:38] Mauricio Nunes: I think the feelings that I had in that moment were frustration. I think that’s the best description for that. I was frustrated with not, not having others, delivering things in the way or in the level of quality that.

[00:21:55] I, I liked that. I always demanded for myself. I was with that feeling saying, shouldn’t I be back and just control my own work. And again, I think control is the key word here, uh, because it’s something that I can guarantee I can deliver versus, uh, Being a manager and, uh, and not being able to, again, control what others are, the liver, even after 12 years being in a manager, that to still felt like, uh, maybe I’m not a good manager because I cannot prevent others to make a mistake.

[00:22:30] I cannot, uh, make others deliver things in the level of quality that. I’d like them to do. And, uh, but, but then I feel like at that frustration that that was having, and later on, we discussed about, is this all together with the, exactly my frustration, to not being able to control those things, to not be able to, to help.

[00:22:50] Uh, and, uh, that, that was terrible for me on that month. I was feeling again, the worst manager possible, uh, and even having several of previous examples of success. That one moment was just as striking me as like a big fader. And I should just give up,

[00:23:07] Zach White: tell us then what chain. You know, You know, here you are, and incredibly frustrated, you know, it’s impacting you and your, your, your thoughts, your mental health, your life, like, ah, what’s going on here. What changed? I 

[00:23:21] Mauricio Nunes: think there are two things that happen. And again, as I didn’t ask me to say this, but it is, they were part of the lead wake-up program.

[00:23:32] Uh, it is exactly. the exercise of me looking at my best success and things that I might failures and to define my purpose in life, that was the clique vomited, something that made sales of everything before that that was the first thing. It, the second. That was really, really important was the second, the moment where I realized I don’t need necessarily to get in control everything.

[00:24:05]  I just, what I can do is control the things that I it’s under my scope of control things that, uh, it’s my personal job, my, my life, my family, things that I can have that control, but things, everything else, I just have my help to influence. And it’s not going to be my fault if I try to help somebody.

[00:24:26] And, uh, if that person made their own choices, their own decisions and the results were not exactly the same. So that caused me two things first to make sure that the things that our work started doing or not doing were much more aligned with my purpose. I look at it and say, is this something connected to what I really want for me or something that makes me in the drives unhappy.

[00:24:48] Then I started doing it more and things that I realized, okay, this is totally fired for my purpose. And I started giving it less. Uh, less attention to those things and that idea of not controlling everything, change my, my own, how I prioritize things. So things that, for example, when I wasn’t Spotify that were actually making me feel frustrated, Eventually I realize, oh, they’re just so small.

[00:25:15] I don’t even need to be thinking about that. I just keep doing things that I’m doing right. constantly improving. But those problems that for me was that they were unbearable before became such a small thing in front of me that, uh, maybe I keep telling people maybe if we have. Uh, this started that conversation.

[00:25:36] If I had saw your posts the two, three months earlier, I will never be doing the interview process for Facebook. 

[00:25:43] Zach White: Wow. Finding, discovering, living your purpose and letting go of control. These are both huge transformational shifts in your life. And I want to. Yes. You mentioned the purpose piece was like a, just a flash.

[00:26:02] There was this moment, a lot of people, when you talk about life purpose, they kind of glaze over there. That’s like, big kind of theoretical it’s philosophy. I don’t want to go into that. It’s woo, woo. Or I don’t get it right? Like that’s something, you go sit on a, at a, a monastery and Tibet for some of my.

[00:26:22] What are you talking about? Life purpose? Can you just relate it? Yeah. Okay, perfect. You were that guy and now you’re here telling us that the process of discovering your purpose created an immediate transformation. Like take us into that light switch. You know, what, what was it about the moment? Can you put us there?

[00:26:43] Like where, where are you sitting with a journal or what was happening? Like just tell us more about. 

[00:26:48] Mauricio Nunes: was sitting them there, uh, doing that exercise where you look back at your life in to try to get back to moments where you felt like a most successful. Again, I described.

[00:26:59] Moving to the United States that it, at the time I, uh, my daughter was born my first daughter. Now that’s a different story. The, uh, getting to Amazon, all those things. And then, uh, I realized to see, okay, what are my values and what are the things that really compels me into that? And compared to the moments where I felt like failure, like the one that I.

[00:27:21] Feeling right in that moment. And I came to that conclusion, that things that wholly compelled me since childhood was that every time I helped somebody, I felt so good about, uh, being helpful to others. And. I came to the realization that I can still feel that purpose can still feel that valid being fully, uh, achieved without having others telling me that feedback that, oh, you really are.

[00:27:51] When I broke up out of that needs to have others validating what I was doing that, uh, uh, also liberated me to, to just do more of those things. Because before that it was all always asking for by somebody else. Okay. what I did was, was it. Did they like it, it was a good thing nowadays, if I do it, I feel good of myself and I’m happy that I helped.

[00:28:16] And if the person replies back or not, that’s, uh, that’s it. I don’t feel bad about it anymore. I don’t feel like I need that confirmation. This 

[00:28:25] Zach White: is huge too, to get to the point where you don’t require external validation of you live. Your own purpose in this life? Did I do it right or not? Am I, am I on purpose or off purpose?

[00:28:41] That that’s a game changer Murray. So I just love that you brought that point up the freedom from that opens up a whole new door for how you can show up and be. In the world and really quick, cause I know the engineer listening is going to be confused by that comment about your first daughter Maricio is the proud father of twins now.

[00:28:59] And so he’s, he’s got a whole new world in front of him for the, for the future. But at the time of doing this . Exercise, he didn’t have the twins. So that just in case somebody is like, what’s he talking about, you know, do story with, um, I there’s so much we could unpack here and I want to be respectful of time and, you know, not go too long with this conversation.

[00:29:17] And if people want to know more, we can always get round to on this podcast later. But these two shifts, you know, connecting deeply with your purpose and freeing yourself from external validation, freeing yourself from the need to be in control of things that were outside of your influence and control.

[00:29:35] What did all of this make possible for your life today and in the future? How do you see, you know, the, the new side of your life and what you can create from here? 

[00:29:46] Mauricio Nunes: The most incredible aspect of that is I not only got free of those limiting thoughts, but I got, I got my time more free because now it helps me delegate interests much more what others are doing.

[00:30:01] I don’t need to be, uh, I’m not anymore going so deep in what’s on or how other people are doing engineers that work with me because, uh, I trust them and I don’t need to be controlling every single aspect of their work. So that freed up my time. Now I’m dedicated much more on making other things that could help me grow.

[00:30:23] One of the things that, uh, for example, it’s helping me knowing that purpose is, uh, I recently started mentoring others on how to do interviews in those big texts. I want to share that experience. I want to share this, the, this mindset of becoming a good a good person, a good interview. Uh, or a good interviewee in this case, that, and, uh, and how that can help him mentoring, helping others.

[00:30:47] So all that time I got back, it’s a cycle doing more things that before I was spending too much, just getting concerned about things that I don’t need to 

[00:30:57] Zach White: it’s so practical for. Need to be able to do every day as a great manager director, VP, you name it. And for the engineer listening, I hope you hear this from ratio that doing this inner work.

[00:31:12] A lot of times people think, well, that’s just for me, but that ripple effect into your career and all these other areas. Is is measurable and significant and I, I love it. That’s so cool. What, where else do you feel the biggest benefit in terms of day to day on the job? You know, you having done all this inner work that had manifests with the work you do at Facebook now, 

[00:31:36] Mauricio Nunes: I think myself much more capable of mentoring others or helping others, because I feel like.

[00:31:42] since I went through this process, I can help others going through that as well. That’s that’s another thing, but these, the other part is confidence. Self-confidence. Uh, other thing that changed in this time is I was. Uh, before too much afraid of, uh, receiving compliments. It was something that I never liked much in my career, but, or even in my personal life.

[00:32:05] But now I changed that and I’m much more upfronting to showing my results to have. But before I was just expecting that my manager will notice my achievements and reward me right now. I’m much more upfront to that and say, Hey, these are the great things I did. And these are the things I need to learn is still to be great.

[00:32:26] That then help me here. But look, I’m also delivering important things here. So that, that also helped me to get free of that because I don’t need somebody else’s confirmation. I just doing it for me. 

[00:32:39] Zach White: Maricio, this is the Oasis of courage and Waco. And I have to ask for you, I put you through some, some pretty uncomfortable things that are at our program.

[00:32:48] Well, what is a moment for you that stood out as like the role that courage plays in your journey and how do you think about courage now from what you’ve gone through and you’re your whole life story and any moments that stand out or, you know, how has courage taken a, a role in your leadership? Maricio and courage. 

[00:33:08] Mauricio Nunes: I think kind of a personal life. The last, the latest example of courage it’s for me, like 20 days after the babies were born. I brought in a puppy that there was a lot of people telling me it’s just a situation of no, you’re out of your mind, but for me, it wasn’t a measure. Know I’m courageous enough that I can take care of three babies at the same time, But in my professional life, I think the courage now that I have is, bear with me, you know, I’m still working with that, but for me to get out and talk with people, I still fighting that feeling of, oh, if I go and talk with the director or a VP, they don’t have time for me. I’m going to be bothering.

[00:33:57] I’m getting out of that and reaching out and asking for mentorship, asking for help. I think that courage of a breaking the barrier for me to not feeling that I’m wasting their time, that’s being essential for my success. And I hope, uh, the, the results for that will come eventually as a promotion or something.

[00:34:19] Absolutely. My current position. 

[00:34:21] Zach White: I guarantee you, the engineer listening. Already knows about you, that we’re looking at courageous man and Maricio Nunez. man, I there’s so much, I’d love to still dig in to, but we’re going to . Have to save it for, for a part two, but resale. I always end with the same question and you know, great engineering and great coaching have this in common that the questions we ask to lead in our lives and the answers follow.

[00:34:46] And so knowing that. The engineer listening, you know, wants to be happy, wants to find that fulfillment wants to experience the kind of transformation that you’ve experienced. You know, if they want to be happy, what question would you lead that engineer with today? 

[00:35:04] Mauricio Nunes: Even considering everything that we just discussed.

[00:35:04] I think it’s very clear. Do you know your purpose? It’s seems to be various simple questions, but if you’re not, uh, uh, really confident that, uh, you know, you should, because it was the, again, the transformation moment in my career, and these could be the transformation moments to lots of other engineers.

[00:35:28] Zach White: Do you know your. Yes, it’s beautiful ratio. If the engineer listening would love to have an opportunity to get more from you or just connect with you, I can only imagine, you know, they’re gonna want that opportunity. Uh, where can people find you and get kind of. 

[00:35:46] Mauricio Nunes: Sure. I would love not only to help that’s my purpose, but to meet new people, to, to learn from the people.

[00:35:53] So if you want to know more about myself or if you want to even talk about that idea for getting ready for, uh, uh, uh, a, uh, interview process, if those big texts written, uh, find me on LinkedIn, my profile, it’s in the name of Mauricio limp. Uh, and I think Zach maybe add the links at somewhere, but, uh, it’s just sent me a note, uh, connect with me and let’s say.

[00:36:18] Zach White: Absolutely. Uh, I hope the engineer listening takes advantage of that offer. You’ll not regret it, this guy as a total rock star professionally, but also an incredible mentor and will, will be able to help you with all kinds of things. So I will put that in the show notes, you can find [email protected], you know, in our resource hub, find this episode and you can connect with Maricio there on LinkedIn, man.

[00:36:40] I can’t thank you enough for making time for this and really being courageous in sharing your story and your own transformation. You know, the engineer listening and with me, and it’s, I get been an incredible privilege to work with you and coach you and, uh, appreciate all of who you are and what you do and resale.

[00:36:55] So, thanks again. 

[00:36:57] Mauricio Nunes: I have to take care of it. This is amazing. Being able to, to be part of that evolution and work together, if you, and there’s opportunity to talk with others. And, and I hope if I could be able to touch one other person to, to move on and, and turn around their life for them. Uh, I hope that that works for me, that worked the entire time.

[00:37:15] And the worst is this a whole effort for being here for other camera, for microphone, having those conversations that open up a little bit of my life, uh, to 

[00:37:23] Zach White: others. That’s amazing. And if you want to be that person Maricio is talking about it begins with taking action. Have the current. Take action from this conversation, you know, go back and listen again.

[00:37:35] If you need to reach out to Maricio on LinkedIn, if you need to, but don’t let this moment pass you by without doing something with what you just heard. Ready. So, thanks again. We’ll do a part two, one of . These days, brother. 

[00:37:48] Mauricio Nunes: Thanks so much for the time and thanks so much for everyone listening here.