Gene Guarino is the owner, president, and investor at the RALAcademy, the premier source for education in owning, operating, and investing in Residential Assisted Living and senior housing. He has trained over 300,000 people over the past 30 years on topics ranging from real estate investing, starting your own business, entrepreneurship and he has focused exclusively on Residential Assisted Living for the past 7 years. Gene also has spoken in 5 countries and over 50 cities in the last year alone, has hosted 3 radio shows and has written 4 books including BLUEPRINT – How To Start Your Own Residential Assisted Living Business and The Insider’s Guide To Investing In Senior Housing.

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 upstate NY with 7 brothers and sisters in an Italian household, it was chaotic and entertaining to say the least. My parents were incredible and my siblings and I still are closer than ever, having parents that put family first really makes a difference in a kid’s life. My mother was always pushing entrepreneurship from when we were young. She would make us decorate sugar cubes and sell them door to door, or collect sticks and bundle them together and sell them. There wasn’t a day in my life I wasn’t being trained to make something out of nothing and sell it.

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

I have been very lucky with my knowledge and foresight and I currently don’t have any regrets. But I guess I would say listen to others’ advice when it comes to trusting and partnering with others in business and life. Seek advice from those around you who know best.

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

DIY! I am all about paying for speed, if someone has been through the trenches and is willing to teach me how to do it with as little pain as possible, that’s what I will be happy to pay for.. coaches, mentors, masterminds, I’m all about it!

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?

I honestly feel that when my mom died, it was probably the hardest moment for me. She is the reason I started my company and she is the reason I do what I do every day, so to have lost her was a big hit. I learned so much from her and that time in my life, but most importantly I learned that maybe it wasn’t all about her, maybe it was for the bigger cause of me now helping 1000s of seniors across the country find suitable options for their end of life care – as well as helping 1000s of families finally feel comfortable with their senior being cared for and loved on.

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

I got an assistant! She keeps me highly organized, I just show up and go! I don’t have to think about the small stuff anymore.

What is your morning routine?

I wake up at 7, drink coffee outside by the pool, listening to the birds’ chirp. I head into the home office around 8 am and start meetings, throughout the day I will have a couple of meetings, record some podcasts or promotional materials, webinars, and the like. I usually wrap up around 3-4 pm and I head back out to the pool to jump in and smoke a cigar and enjoy the sunset and dinner with my beautiful wife!

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

Who not How! I stopped saying HOW can I do this and started saying WHO can help me do this, we hired over 50 people at RALAcademy this past 3 years and we’ve increased our sales 40% year over year. It’s all because of my WHOS!

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

Relying on my assistant to build in breaks and push me when she knows I can be pushed. I also just have a long battery life, I can sit down for hours and pump things out without stopping, I enjoy being massively productive.

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

How to Win Friends & Influence People – it’s a great lesson on being in the public eye and how to prepare for that life by always being yourself, but more importantly, being kind to everyone you come in contact with.

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

Do Good & Do Well! It’s my companies motto and my favorite quote!