Faith Hope Consolo, Chairman, Retail Leasing and Sales Division, Prudential Douglas Elliman Real Estate
What do you need to be an entrepreneur?
Determination and a great idea, not necessarily in that order. Entrepreneurs really are a breed apart.
My first endeavor as an entrepreneur was staring my own modeling agency in college. I saw a need, and being a bit of a performer myself at that time, figured out a way to fill it. Alas, I wasn't tall enough to be a model myself. But I sold the agency after graduation for a nice sum to start my life!
Given that I was acting as an agent, not manufacturing something, I could self-finance.
I'm not Hispanic -- I'm of Italian and English ancestry. But I work with a number of Latino and
What other decision is there? As have we all, I've faced obstacles both personal and professional -- losing both my parents before I was a teenager, being a woman with no business connections in a very male-dominated industry. I simply got up each day, worked harder than everyone else and didn't take no for an answer.
What is the biggest challenge your business has faced?
Certainly the last economic downturn could have been a tremendous problem -- particularly in motivating staff. We went back to basics, pounded the pavement, and instead had some of our most successful years.
Even more business for me??
I wanted to be an actress -- and in
Larry Silverstein, Mary Kay, Salma Hayek
Dinner! I avoid morning meetings if at all possible.
I work 24/7, and some friendships did sort of fade away. But I'm not sure 'sacrifice" is the right word -- it's more like prioritizing. My friend Elaine Wynn once said "You can have it all -- you just can't have it all, all at the same time." I've been a successful businesswoman, a wife, a stepmother, a mentor, student, friend .. just not all at the same time. I haven't sacrificed anything.
No. I don't think I'm that unconventional, but being a pioneer is just what I've done.
I'm not a person who regrets -- every decision, even one that doesn't work out, is a learning experience.
I do. There were few women in my industry when I started, and I work with a number of organizations to help increase our numbers. I started my own website years before many others in my business did. I opened a European office for my former company in the 1980s, when international brokerages were unheard of.