- Philip, thank you for agreeing to this short interview. For the benefit of our readers, please tell us a bit about yourself.
Thank you, It’s my pleasure. To begin, I spent a little less than half my life growing up in the Washington D.C. area as a kid, and later moved across the country to a smaller city about an hour outside of Seattle all the way up until I left for college. I was always an ambitious person in anything I set my mind to. I played sports growing up, and they were a huge part of my life — football and rugby were my two favorites. I ended up playing football in college at the Division-1 level, and majored in Business. I have lived in Los Angeles for about 3 years now, and I really enjoy it. I would describe myself as an extremely motivated individual who loves a challenge. I’ve been that way my entire life.
2. Self motivation seems to be a key factor in your success. Do you have a role model in your family that spurred on your ambitions?
My parents have always been my role models. They were always supportive of my endeavors, whether it was college football or one of the many side hustles I was constantly coming up with; they always believed in me and instilled in me the idea that I can do anything I set my mind to. My father has a great business mind and has been active in community affairs and in helping veterans who need assistance. He is one of the smartest people I have ever met, and he is constantly trying to make the world a better place. My mother was a successful businesswoman and later in life made a name for herself as an amazing artist. Her creativity inspires me to look at things differently than most people. She taught me to never give up on my dreams. They are definitely who I look up to most.
3. From fixing broken Xbox’s for resale at a young age to making a small fortune buying, selling, and trading cars on the internet- what motivated you to get involved?
My entire life I have always had an interest in finding ways to make money out of nothing. In highschool, I noticed a high demand for repairs of Xbox 360’s . I taught myself how to permanently fix them, and then began buying broken consoles for almost nothing, repairing them myself, and reselling them on the internet for a solid profit. I lost count of how many times I did this. In college, I took it to the next level by trading, selling, and purchasing vehicles. I started with a car worth $900 and turned it into what many would consider a small fortune. The best part is, I did most of this from my couch. The beginning phase of this was difficult, as are most business endeavors, but that is to be expected. Because of school and football, I had to take my flights to California to pick up cars on the weekends. This would often require a one way flight to Southern California, and a 20 hour car ride back to my college.
After countless times of doing this, I perfected a streamlined system of buying and selling my vehicles. I remember waking up every day excited to find the next deal, and I think that’s what it’s all about- finding something that excites you.
4. What skill sets do you possess that make you a “successful entrepreneur”?’
First off, I think my ability to negotiate and persuade is very strong. These are basic skills that anyone involved in sales should have. Second, I do an extreme amount of research about the markets I buy and sell in, I know them inside and out. You must consistently do research, as things are constantly changing such as pricing, demand, ratings, laws, etc. What I think my best attribute is is being able to think from many different perspectives. To find the sweet spot in your selling market, you must learn to do this. What I mean by that is that there are some things hours of research can’t teach you, and sometimes the data just doesn’t exist to begin with. You must be creative and put the puzzle pieces together to discover what buyers in your market desire. With all of this in mind, I think everyone is given a particular set of skills that are meant for them, and it’s up to them to fine-tune those abilities. Most importantly, it’s important to have confidence in yourself.
5. What made you move to Los Angeles; was it simply the sunshine or a business opportunity?
Initially, I actually decided to move to California to pursue my dreams of professional football after I graduated college. There is a training facility down here in SoCal that NFL legend John Carney owns. John helped me a great deal. I made it to a point where I had to decide if I was going to keep pursuing my football dream, or try something new. I was happy with what I had accomplished, and felt it was time to explore new opportunities. I decided to stay in LA, as I had met some amazing people and love the sunshine. I also knew as someone with a history of successful entrepreneurial ventures that this was a place where I could really take it to the next level.
6. You are a very fit man, when did you start going to the gym, and does working out help your mind and drive you further in your business endeavours?
I started going to the gym when I was 13 years old. Playing sports introduced me to weightlifting at a young age, and from there I developed a passion for it. Working out definitely helps my mind, and I would recommend that everyone gives it a try. There’s an old saying “when you look good, you feel good, when you feel good, you play good, when you play good, they pay good” — I would agree with that. Working out keeps my mind clear, and I consider it a form of meditation. It helps me be more creative in my business endeavors, and I find myself coming up with some of my best ideas when in the gym.
7. You are planning on sharing your knowledge of health and fitness by getting involved in the industry and releasing eBooks on the subject among other things. Tell us more about this?
Over the years, countless people have asked me for fitness advice. I decided to create a series of E-books to help beginners learn how to properly train and build muscle. I have a lot more planned than just E-books, but it’s my first step into this exciting space. I have a lot of exciting projects at the moment, some of which I can’t speak about just yet.
8. We also understand you are planning on co-writing a book with your father aimed at helping people; is the plan to create a self help book?
I am writing a book with my father to help young people optimize their lives. I hope that my contemporaries can benefit from advice about the most important financial decisions that are made in young adulthood. Making your own financial roadmap is essential to building the life that you want. Also, I want to thank my Dad for helping me to create this book and giving me the knowledge of what he has learned over his lifetime. He has a knack for getting to the heart of things and seeing the bigger picture. I hope that this book gets young people thinking about managing their money and growing in strength financially.
9. Before we conclude, do you have any words of wisdom you can share?
If I could share one piece of advice with a young or inexperienced individual looking to start a business or side-hustle, it would be to find something that you are either naturally skilled at, or to find something that really excites you. I would definitely start with a side-hustle first, as you can always turn it into a full business down the road. For me, Xbox’s did not excite me, but I was good at fixing them; however, trading, buying, and selling cars all from the comfort of my couch greatly excited me, and I loved the experience of trying out some really cool cars along the way. If you’re looking to do something long term, I would emphasize finding something that you can wake up and be excited to do. I am always happy to share my thoughts to those who reach out to me seeking advice or input.
10. Where can we find you online?
My Instagram account is @italian.