Charlotte Dunford is the Managing Partner of Johns Creek Capital, an investment managing company that focuses on mobile home park investments, with a total investor subscription amount of over $4M.

Where did you grow up and what was your childhood like? Did you have any particular experiences/stories that shaped your adult life?

I grew up in the Northeast of China. My childhood, like many other Chinese kids in the 90s, was filled with endless studying and piano lessons. I came to the United States at 16 alone and dealt with many challenges. This experience during my formative years shaped my adult life. This interview I did with my high school principal says it all.

What is something you wish you would’ve realized earlier in your life?

Your situation may seem bleak and hopeless, but the future holds so much more for you if you are willing to unlock it.

What are bad recommendations you hear in your profession or area of expertise?

“Entrepreneurship is risky.” I think it is quite the opposite – All it takes to lose your livelihood is for someone to say “you are fired” sounds much riskier to me.

Tell me about one of the darker periods you’ve experienced in life. How you came out of it and what you learned from it?

3rd year in college I went through a terrible relationship and breakup which broke me as a person and because of that, I did not put any effort into my studies. I was placed on academic warning. Through a friend, I was able to apply for a study abroad/internship program in Hungary. Through traveling, I was able to understand what I want better. When I came back from Europe, I felt like a new person and made the dean’s list a couple of semesters later.

What is one thing that you do that you feel has been the biggest contributor to your success so far?

Building relationships with the right people.

What is your morning routine?

5 AM wake-up time. Take the time to make breakfast. Complete 3 small tasks to get into the momentum of the day.

What habit or behavior that you have pursued for a few years has most improved your life?

Reading. I used to commute 3 hours per day when I worked for a corporate firm. I read non-stop every day to learn about business, strategies, or anything I deemed useful.

What are your strategies for being productive and using your time most efficiently?

Don’t stop working! Keep going.

What book(s) have influenced your life the most? Why?

From Zero to One by Peter Thiel. Its concept of escaping competition essentially helped me achieve my business success.

Do you have any quotes you live by or think of often?

John Paul Jones, American sailor

“It seems to be a law of nature, inflexible and inexorable, that those who will not risk cannot win.”