What led you to start your own company?
I wouldn’t be content with slaving away to make others rich and successful; I wanted to slave away to be successful myself.
Where did you get the startup money?
I started raising money from high-net-worth individuals, which consisted and still
consists of family, friends,
doctors and businessmen.
What was the biggest challenge of getting the business started?
The biggest challenge was
trying to convince people to take me seriously. I was a 22-year-old sitting in my college apartment, making offers and competing with huge funds on multimillion-dollar deals.
What were the most important lessons you learned?
Organization and follow-up is the key to success, and to always negotiate.
How many hours a day do you put in?
I don’t have a set schedule. I’m always on the run making phone calls, sending out emails or trying to find the next investment. In business, especially when you’re the boss, there is always something to do.
Does your youth lead to awkward situations, such as when you supervise older workers?
All the time. At first when I was dealing with brokers and sellers, I would always pose as an intern who was part of a massive company. But as time went on, I felt comfortable enough to give myself a promotion to vice president of acquisitions, which is the title I still use today.
Will you start another company?
Definitely. I’m always looking for new opportunities.
Could you ever work for someone else?
I would be lying if I said yes.
What do you do to relax?
Cooking is definitely my form of art and, in return, my form of relaxation. There is something about the entire process, from chopping, cooking and eventually eating that soothes my body and soul.
DAVID SHOPHET, 25
Sharp Capital, a real estate investment and development company, Beverly Hills
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