NYEG is a real estate development and investment company. Founder Philip Michael is a Danish best-selling author, entrepreneur and TV/radio host. Pick up a copy of his book Real Estate Wealth Hacking: How To 10x Your Net Worth On $30,000 Salary here: https://amzn.to/2r7n3N9
BusinessInterviews.com: What inspired you to launch your business?
Philip Michael: My father always ran his own business, so did his brothers. They’re five total, four of them are successful entrepreneurs, the youngest is a respected banker. So it’s in my DNA, for one. But I’m an alpha male and risk taker by nature, so I knew it was inevitable at some point. (Laughs.)
Right now, my motivation is for us to outdo in the next two years what my father, who recently joined my business, did in 50. Not to outdo him, but because the man is brilliant, and I feel I’m crazy enough for his true ambitions to surface. And my nephew, another partner, who happens to be a big soccer star in Europe, is crazy like myself.
BusinessInterviews.com: Do you have any recent success stories that you’d like to share with our readers?
Philip Michael: Yeah! We’ve had a phenomenal first two quarters; our portfolio value is projected to grow to $15 million by Q4. We’ve surpassed a 100 units under ownership, doing two developments in super hot areas in Jersey City and Philadelphia. Our tech investments are growing robustly, particularly our investment software. On a personal note, I just published my first book, “Real Estate Wealth Hacking: How To 10x Your Net Worth On a $30k Salary,” which became a bestseller in 48 hours. https://amzn.to/2r7n3N9
BusinessInterviews.com: What issue does your core product help solve and how so?
Philip Michael: Our core business solves a very basic and necessary issue: we create housing, Smart Home apartments. On a strategic level, our units are different from competition in that we take the Scandinavian minimalist interior design and incorporate it into the superb US innovation, from a building standpoint. Then we make our units into Smart Homes. It’s important for us to stay at the forefront of trends.
BusinessInterviews.com: What has been your biggest challenge as a business owner and how have you met that challenge?
Philip Michael: The biggest challenge, especially as a foreigner, is really adjusting to rules and regulations in a new country. Basic things like taxes, contracts, banking system etc. All different where I come from. Other than that, I don’t really get discouraged, I just plow along and deal with things as they come. The biggest challenge is staying patient during the early days where nothing seems to happen. But there’s a tipping point where suddenly you get results and then it just snowballs.
BusinessInterviews.com: What’s the most exciting thing on the horizon for you/your Company?
Philip Michael: Our two new developments. One was a bit unexpected; we were targeting a small $2 million project. Due to redevelopment plans for the area, we’re looking at the possibility of a 12-story building, which 10x’s our original forecast. The other is an exciting student housing project where we’ve teamed up with local JV developers, who are legit rock stars. We’re not looking too far beyond those two for the next two quarters. However we’re slowly targeting acquisition of our first 100-plus apartment complex and launching our lending division in Q4. Also looking into raising a third fund to invest in institutional style capital
BusinessInterviews.com: Where do you envision your company in 5 years, 10 years, 20 years?
Philip Michael: Sky’s the limit. I initially started with my partner but we’ve gotten family involved, which is huge to me. Very important. As far as the business itself, I want to have a high-rise in the next five years, which I’ve gone on the record about before. (Laughs.) In five years, we should exceed $1 billion in portfolio value. By the time I hit 40, I’d like to be the biggest US-based Danish entrepreneur.
BusinessInterviews.com: Have you had any mentors or role models that have influenced you? Describe the impact.
Philip Michael: Oh yes. Jonathan Schultz, founder of Onyx Equities, is a supreme role model. Superb entrepreneur and has meant more to my career than anyone I can think of. Don Peebles, who’s the biggest African American real estate developer, is super helpful. He sent me his book, which inspired me to write mine.
BusinessInterviews.com: Do you consider yourself successful and by what means do you measure success?
Philip Michael: I don’t know if I am. We only have one life. I want to be remembered 500 years ago for making an impact, whether it’s forcing change, helping someone grow or just leaving a legacy. I don’t know if I’ll ever know if I’m successful but I know this much: I’ll die before I stop trying.
BusinessInterviews.com: How do your competitors view you?
Philip Michael: No idea, couldn’t care less. I don’t even know who my competition is. And I doubt they know who I am. Ask me in a few years and we’ll see. I figure they either think I’m the nicest guy ever or a dick.
BusinessInterviews.com: What advice do you have for other entrepreneurs and business owners? What do you wish someone told you?
Philip Michael: I wish someone had told me basics; find other likeminded people, think big, don’t be afraid of confrontation or failing. If I could tell my 18-year-old me something it’d be, “Go out and fuck up 10 business ideas in next 12 months. Once you’ve crashed, come see me and I’ll fund your 11th.” It would’ve wiped out any silly self-created fears, phobias, insecurities and anything else.
BusinessInterviews.com: What’s the biggest risk that you’ve ever taken and how did it turn out?
Philip Michael: I came to New York City in 2014 with no social security number, no working visa, no family or contacts, and $79 in a PayPal account. Which was money I was making from writing about boxing—pretty much the only way I could make money without papers. I basically had nothing.
My university had messed up my paperwork for a OPT visa, which cost me hundreds of thousands in lost income because I couldn’t work. At the time, my father ran restaurants and a night club. I also had an opportunity at McKinsey in Denmark and my family was trying to make me return.
But I wanted to blaze my own trail, which they didn’t get at first. And if I had left, I wouldn’t be able to return to the US for 10 years. To me that what worse than death; quitting, coming back and having to give people the satisfaction of seeing me lose. So I just had to find a way. Fortunately, it worked out. And it was the best decision I ever made.
BusinessInterviews.com: Anything else you’d like to comment on while we have you?
Philip Michael: Not really. Never compromise yourself. Listen to your gut. Follow your bliss. And don’t give two shits about what people say or think about you.