We had the good fortune of connecting with Aideen Makky and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Aideen, what’s one piece of conventional advice that you disagree with?
“You need college to be successful”
Growing up in an immigrant household with traditional values, this was an idea which was often reasserted in my family. My parents moved to America so that myself and my sibling could have access to a better education, ultimately to open more opportunities for us; so we could have a life that they did not have.
Well, after dropping out of college over a year ago… I can assure this is nothing but far from the truth.
Some may argue and say “but education is necessary” which I agree with. However, in today’s society many people fail to understand that education can be in many forms. Per the Google search definition, to educate is to facilitate learning. In my personal and subjective opinion, I have learned more valuable information in the last year from books, mentors, and even Youtube, than I did from college.
This is because I define “valuable” as what matters to the individual, and what mattered to me was success. I had zero interest in learning about precalculus and philosophy, as it was not crucial to my success. I just wanted to learn how to make a ton of money, and philosophy 101 was not teaching me this.
Due to this reason, I decided to drop out of college, and go learn from people who were making a ton of money. I found a mentor whose results were attainable and duplicatable with consistency and hard work, and I learned as much as I could from him.
College is great, if you want to be a doctor, lawyer, or engineer. However, from my one year of networking with other entrepreneurs and highly successful people, I have found that many of them do not attribute their college education to their success.
If you are a young, ambitious individual, and you are debating whether college is the right path for you, it probably is not. I am not where I want to be yet, but I can assure that dropping out was one of the best decisions I have made in my life. Alternative forms of education which I mentioned previously have been very influential in my success thus far. I encourage anybody who rightfully thinks they can be successful without a college education, to pursue their true passion and see where it takes them. When you are young, it is the best time to take risks and start businesses, it gets harder to do so as you get older and your responsibilities increase.
What should our readers know about your business?
In markets like NYC, Miami, LA, where everybody and their mom has a real estate license, you really have to set yourself apart and stand out from the competition. I would say I am a lot different from my competition in the sense that I am relentless, and I am very good at building strong relationships with my clients.
A lot of agents may say they will do anything to help their clients buy/sell. I would say only about 5% of agents actually do so. This is why I say I am relentless, if I am working with a buyer who wants a home in a particular area where there is nothing on the market, I have no problem with knocking every single door and seeing if anybody would consider an offer. If my client needs help selling their home, I will call all the neighbors and see if anybody has family/friends looking to move into the neighborhood. I do the things most agents are afraid to do.
It definitely was not easy to get where I am today, I had many challenges coming into the business. I have only been in Orange County for about 3 years, and two of those years were spent in high school & college. Therefore when I got into the business I did not have this huge network of friends/family looking to buy and sell real estate. Most of my network was under the age of 21 and still in school. I had to grind through the long hours of cold calling, hearing rejection after rejection, to get clients.
I also used to be very shy, which is a no go in this business. I had to step outside of my comfort zone and become really comfortable with people. Now I am happy to say that I am very outgoing and extroverted and can build relationships with people quite easily.
Obviously I am not super successful yet, but for less than one year in the business, I am doing decent. I want my brand to represent the idea (as corny as it sounds) that anything is possible. If a guy like me, with no network, 19 years old, no college degree, can have a relatively successful real estate business, then anybody can.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Oh man, where do I even start. Orange County is home to some of THE BEST beaches, restaurants, shopping centers, etc.
Day 1: I would take my friend to Laguna Beach and start the day at Urth caffe, then go to South Laguna and spend the day on the sand. I would then take them to the boutiques in downtown Laguna and show my friend some of the local businesses over there. I would finish off the day with a nice dinner at Las Brisas.
Day 2: I would spend day 2 in Newport. There is so much to do. I would start the day by going to Fashion Island and do some shopping. Then I would go rent some paddle boards at the Peninsula and ride those around for a bit. I would finish the day at one of my favorite restaurants, Nobu, over at Lido isle.
Honorable mention: Fuoco Pizzeria in Fullerton is my all time favorite restaurant. It is literally a taste of Italy.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Easily my parents. Their unconditional love and support keeps me going everyday. It was a little difficult to get them on board at first with the whole idea of dropping out of college and starting a business, but they still believed in me the whole entire time, even after going my first three months without closing a deal. Every single day they shower me with moral support and they help me stay motivated.