10K80 by Hanna Carney June 21, 2021
Cesar Piña is reminding us to appreciate second chances in life. He started out living a circumstantial life common in his neighborhood. At 16 years old, the now-real estate mogul started selling drugs, and eventually began participating in credit card fraud.
Snitched on by one of his family members, Piña went to prison, where he picked up the skills for his real estate business to become a self-made multi-millionaire. He truly flipped his life around.
In a capitalist society, racist, sexist, and classist institutions can work against your efforts to succeed. However, some individuals can find success beyond their circumstances. Cesar Piña’s success story is truly one to be admired. You can read more about his journey in his new book Flipping Keys: Self-Made Real Estate King.
Cesar Piña grew up in Washington Heights and later moved to a tough neighborhood in Paterson, New Jersey. After graduating high school in ’97, he sought financial independence by selling drugs, which was a common means of making money in his area.
Eventually, Piña was sentenced to 16 months in prison for marijuana possession and credit card fraud. He tells The Breakfast Club in an interview that this was the wake-up call for Piña and led him to the decision to change his life completely.
This entrepreneur made the most of his time while in prison. He was able to focus on building a career in real estate by talking with Rene Abreu, who he met in prison. Abreu had experience in real estate, so he mentored Piña to help him piece together the makings of success before he was released.
In his interview with The Breakfast Club, Piña elaborates on the start of his career just out of prison. His mentor had another seven years, so now Piña had to learn the rest on the job.
To afford to flip his first rental property, he sold his car and his wife’s engagement ring and borrowed money from his parents. Then, he expanded slightly to flip small 2, 3, or 4 family homes. He took risks, and it definitely paid off.
Although Piña turned his life around to leave the streets behind, those experiences are useful to him today. Piña tells The Breakfast Club, “If you can survive [the streets], you can pretty much survive anything.”
He describes that the drug game was a numbers game, so he has been able to apply those skills to his current multi-million dollar business.
“Instead of selling drugs on the block, now we actually own the block.”Cesar Piña
Cesar Piña’s business has grown substantially. He owns over 1,600 rental units and properties. Currently, he is flipping as many as 80 properties a year. Some of his clients include popular artists such as 50 Cent, Snoop Dogg, and Nicky Jam.
He also does more more than just flip properties. Piña partners with DJ Envy, radio personality and record producer, to give seminars around the country to reach people about the real estate business.
And, he has a production deal with hip-hop artist 50 Cent to create a television series on the work behind flipping houses. With all of these projects, it is hard to imagine how he managed to write a memoir at the same time.
You can read all about the real estate mogul’s life and successes in his new book on bestseller lists everywhere. Flipping Keys reveals all the details about his unbelievable journey from the streets to multifaceted success. He writes:
I’ve been on a mission. I’ve tried to tell my story to thousands so that when it’s told you can envision yourself in my story, and see how everyone can achieve greatness. Of the many things that I’ve learned on my way is to never allow anyone or anything to derail you off your track. Stay focused.Cesar Piña
If you’re looking for motivation, advice, or just entertainment, you should read Flipping Keys.
The real estate mogul we have covered is truly inspiring.
If there is anything to take from Piña’s story, it is that you shouldn’t underestimate yourself. Life may seem against you, but you never truly know where you’ll end up.