Monday, June 29, 2009
Diony Elias > www.newcityinvestment.com
What do you need to be an entrepreneur?
In order to be an entrepreneur, a person needs an idea and a tenacious devotion to execute that idea. One also needs relentless faith in their vision and the ability to be resilient.
What did inspire you to start your business?
I was inspired by: a) Justin Moore, my real estate business partner, b) Robert Kiyosaki, author of Rich Dad, Poor Dad and c) Hip Hop entrepreneurship, Jay-Z in particular.
How did you finance it?
I financed both my businesses by living under my means. I sacrificed autonomy by living at home for four years. As a result, I was able to build enough capital to buy NCI's first property and finance The Epix Group's first event. Albeit personally financed, I'm always looking for investors to help my businesses grow.
Being Hispanic…Does it have any influence on your business?
Yes - being Hispanic does have an influence on both my businesses. I'm always socially conscious of how to make a philanthropic impact in the Hispanic community. For example, EPIX has partnered with non-profit organizations that focus on Hispanic, educational initiatives. NCI invests in low-income, Hispanic communities in hopes of aesthetically improving their neighborhoods' condition. We also work with first-time homebuyers.
In the face of adversity, how do you decide to keep going?
This is a good question - adversity is definitely prevalent. I think about how much I dislike sitting at a corporate desk, with no control of my own time. I value my time above all.
What is the biggest challenge your business has faced?
NCI is not generating properties as fast as I would like due to the overall real estate market. Banks are not as benevolent and investors are "playing it safe" now-a-days, even if NCI does have an impeccable track record on return. EPIX is at the brink of becoming a major player in New York City, but needs to raise marketing dollars in order for our products to receive more exposure.
If you could change one thing about your business, what would it be?
I wish we would've hired more summer interns [smile].
What was your childhood ambition?
To become an attorney
Tell us about three entrepreneurs that you admire?
Robert Kiyosaki, a real estate investors that believes in cash flow properties (buy, hold, rent, profit). Jay-Z, a multi-millionaire who became something from nothing. My mother, who taught me the fundamentals and importance of saving money as a child.
For business meetings: breakfast, lunch, or dinner?
What sacrifices on your personal life did you have to make in order to become a business success?
I had to live at home under my mother's rules until the age of 27, before I could buy my personal home and quit my job.
What is your favorite quote?
"9 - 5 is how you survive. I'm not trying to survive, I'm trying to live it to the limit and love it a lot." - Jay-Z
Is it difficult to be unconventional?
Not at all, I love being unconventional. No one's at the gym when I work out [smile].
Biggest mistake made?
I once lost 3k trying to sell Madonna tickets. I failed to market a good product properly. I made a good date out of it.
Do you consider yourself an innovator? Why?
Absolutely, everyday as an entrepreneur a problem arises and I have to think of creative solutions.
About the Companies.
New City Investment Solutions, LLC (NCI) is a real estate investment company that focuses on residential development. NCI specializes in providing investment opportunities and educational resources to both investors and homeowners. NCI develops, owns and manages residential real estate in the greater Philadelphia area.
The Epix Group, LLC - Founder and Director of Operations
The Epix Group, LLC is a promotional marketing company focused on redefining lifestyle and brand experiences for our clients. Our services include brand marketing, venue consultation, corporate and special events, nightlife promotions and high-end concierge services. EPIX has been successfully operating and accommodating clients in New York, Miami and Las Vegas since 2005.
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