I saw my friend, Joe Simone, last week – hadn’t seen him in years. We used to work together at Pacific Bell, but I never knew his story until we met over lunch.
Joe is one of 6 kids who came with his parents to the U.S. in 1970 from Italy. His dad didn’t speak English, moved to San Diego and raised the family by gardening. Joe put himself through college, got his MBA and started investing in real estate. He decided he needed a real job and went to work for Pacific Bell. He continued to invest in San Diego real estate while living in the Bay Area and as a very successful marketing VP at PacBell, then SBC (where I knew him), and retired at 45 to pursue his dream of developing real estate.
He moved his family to San Diego, built a home in Carmel Valley and with partners, developed a Homewood Suites residence inn just east of Torrey Pines, then built a Hilton Garden Inn next door a few years later.
I was amazed and inspired by Joe’s determination and tenacity at following his dream and making it happen. It wasn’t as easy as I just described – there were some very serious setbacks and economic hard times for him that caused him to question his dream several times.
However, Joe’s is a great story and inspiration for all who desire to move on up in life.