Christopher H. Loo, MD-PhD
Golden Insights from a Self-Made Millionaire
Updated: Jul 7, 2022
Note: transcription provided by Otter.AI, which is a technology company that develops speech-to text transcription and translation applications using artificial intelligence and machine learning.
Christopher H. Loo, MD-PhD: Today, we have a special guest. His name is Edwin Carrion, he is based out of Miami, Florida. And he's a self-made entrepreneur. And he's very family oriented. He very much believes in God. He's an investor and a mentor. And throughout his run, he's founded several multimillion dollar companies that specialize in real estate development, transportation and logistics, investment, and business education, consulting. So he's got 20 years of extensive experience in various industries, and he shares his passion for entrepreneurship now by educating and mentoring others. So I think that's a really important mission because most people don't live a fulfilled life and have a lot of hiccups in terms of mindset. And so it's great that Edwin's guiding people on the path to living life to its fullest. So I'll let him explain all about what he does. And we'll get on to the show. So Edwin, welcome.
Edwin Carrion: Good afternoon, Dr. Loo. Thank you for having read the show. Appreciate it. And to everyone listening. Good afternoon. Good morning. Good evening. Whatever time you're listening. Thank you for joining the show. And thank you for being part of this amazing event today.
Christopher H. Loo, MD-PhD: Yes, yes. I love your enthusiasm. And I just love, wherever you are in the world, good morning, afternoon, evening. And so, welcome. I know we were backstage talking about Miami and its ambitions to be a hub for finance and fintech. So tell us all about your background. And we'll get started from there.
Edwin Carrion: Okay, perfect. So my name is Edwin carrion. 43 years old, as Dr. Loo said, I am a God made millionaire. Beautiful wife, two kids, family guy, love being a family guy. And living life to the fullest. Meaning, having control of my life, having achieved financial freedom, living in the place where I want to live, being the owner of my time. And those are all the things that you talk about, Dr. Loo, here. And came from Ecuador, at a young age of 12 years old. And I built my life in the United States. I served my country, the United States Marine. And now I live in sunny Florida, Miami.
Christopher H. Loo, MD-PhD: That's so wonderful. We were just talking just over there [in] Miami for the crypto conference. And it's just amazing what the city has done, and what it's going to become. And I love your story. It's just a story of grit, passion, and entrepreneurship. And really what you embody is time, location, financial and emotional freedom. So, that's so wonderful. So, tell us you started from Ecuador, how did you get your financial freedom, and then we can go from there.
Edwin Carrion: Okay, how do I get my financial freedom? I got my financial freedom when I realized and when I learned that financial freedom is more important than being financially successful, than achieving a lot of money or having a lot of money. Because there's a lot of people that have a lot of money in this world and in this country, as well, and they don't have financial freedom. So it's very important to understand that is not the same thing as having money than having financial freedom. And it happened to me because I went bankrupt in 2007. And I was achieving the success, which is chasing the money, and I had a lot of money, but I did not have the freedom or the financial freedom, and that's why I went bankrupt, because I was extremely overextended.
Christopher H. Loo, MD-PhD: Hmm. Yeah, people talk about journeys of just entrepreneurship is a journey of ups and downs, and so, I read through your bio, and you say you became an entrepreneur at 14 years old. What drove you to entrepreneurship, as opposed to working in the corporate world, being an investor, what was it that drew you to entrepreneurship?
Edwin Carrion: We become what we're surrounded by. And at a very young age, my mom, she owned an insurance agency, she used to work for herself, and seeing her work hard, seeing her be her own boss, per se, or just be her own employee. Now that I'm older and wiser, I understand that instead of being your own boss, she was her own employee. And that kind of gave me the drive of trying to figure out a way of working for myself. But the main reason that I got into business at a young age, and I got into the car washing business, was because I didn't want to be a burden. Being raised by a single mother, I did not want to be a burden to her. So I wanted to have my own money to buy my own things.
Back in the day, the beeper was the first thing and I was like one of the first guys out of all my friends that was able to buy a beeper because I worked for it. So that was like the first step to that. But shortly after that, I got a job in Winn Dixie. And I was working with Dixie. And I excelled at that, because within two weeks, I became the head bag boy, I started working as a bag boy, and within two weeks, I was the head bag boy. But then it made me realize that in life it's okay if you have a job. But as long as you become the best at what you do, you're of service to people, and you become dependable. So when you become dependable, you become a necessity, versus being disposable.
And I always tell some of my employees: you working here, it's a privilege. Everybody's disposable, but you need to become indispensable, you need to become dependable, so that you're able to keep your job for a very long time, and you're able to continue growing with the company. So we kind of have to look at those things in life. But then I realized my position in life, leaving the military. After the military, that's when I realized that I need to pursue my own lifestyle, and become an entrepreneur and kind of decide my future. Because the only thing is that, if you work for somebody, and if you're not in the sales part, then you're limited to the amount of money that you can make, because they tell you why you're worth this. But as an entrepreneur, pretty much you tell yourself where your worth is. And if you really want to work hard, if you really want to become successful that's how you create your worth. And if you really don't put yourself, then you limit the amount of money that you can make. And that's how everything works out.
Christopher H. Loo, MD-PhD: That's so amazing. I think there's so many influences that led you to where you are today, and we can talk about those. And one of the first questions was a lot of my friends and colleagues, also in the military, and they feel like it gave them a sense of discipline, and being very regimented. And did you find any contradictions with the discipline and being an entrepreneur, coming from the military?
Edwin Carrion: No, no, that discipline helps you up a lot. But I think it's more than the discipline that I gained in the Marines. To me, I was, I always repeat that it was those values that they instilled in me. Those higher values of honor, courage, commitment that when you ask the Marines what are the values for the Marines, they tell you honor, courage and commitment. So having those values really instilled in me at a young age, I have taken those values throughout my life, meaning that everything that I do, I commit to it, so I don't walk away, I just continue going forward until there's no more to go forward. I do everything with honor. Everything that I do, I do things with honor. And I take pride in the things that I do. And it takes courage, it takes courage to be an entrepreneur, and not everybody could do it. It takes courage to be an employee, not everybody could work for somebody else. So is having that courage to actually do the things that you want to do to live your life to take control of your life.
Christopher H. Loo, MD-PhD: That’s so well said. And I think a lot of it is also parallel. Because my parents also came to the United States, they were first generation, and they instilled like, when I was growing up, I never wanted to be a burden to them. So I figured out ways to earn my own income, so I didn't have to ask them. And so I think there's so many parallels and what you said about entrepreneurship is just. If you believe in yourself, and you have faith and you have an idea and your discipline, then then your income potential is unlimited as opposed to where your employer salary is capped to a certain amount. So, right. Yeah. And then, I think, from this interview, we talk a lot about like mindsets. And I think you have a lot of good mindsets to impart for the audiences. So we can so talk about, for example, some of the bigger mistakes you made when you were when you were just starting out,
Edwin Carrion: One of my biggest mistakes, again, was going bankrupt. And that was one of my biggest blessings at the same time, for the simple fact that that's when I realized, and that's what taught me to live my life to the fullest. And that's one of the things that I preach nowadays, is are you living life to the fullest? Meaning that, I worked so hard to achieve this, this success to achieve all this, this money, this fame, and once I finally got there, and I went bankrupt, I lost everything. And I had nothing to show for it.
When that happened, I was like, wow, I just lost everything, I have nothing to show for it. And I wasted five years of my life chasing this dream, chasing this success, chasing this money. And I wasted time, and that's the only thing I can ever get back, I cannot get back my time. And by chasing all of that, most of us end up putting our health away, putting our faith away, putting our relationship away. Because we don't make that a priority. The only priority that we make in our life is just trying to be successful, trying to become rich, trying to become a millionaire.
Christopher H. Loo, MD-PhD: Yeah, so well said. You've had so many experiences in so many different industries. Could you tell the listeners what investment strategies you've had the most success with?
Edwin Carrion: I had to think about this question a lot, and figure out what's the right answer for this. Until I finally got clarity after answering this question many times, and the best, best investment, and the one that I got the most return on investment, was investing in myself. And I think people look at where can I put my money so it can grow? Where can I do this? Where can I invest in that? But at the end of the day, we tend to forget about ourselves. And we need to invest in ourselves first, before we invest in anything else.
The moment you start investing in yourself, you start changing, you start progressing. And that's the thing that happens with people that with time, if you look at yourself, 10 years back you have changed from 10 years ago, right? You're not the same person. But the main question is, have you improved? And to me, it's like, when I invest in myself, when I hire mentors, and not only mentors for business, mentors for my relationship with God, mentors for with my relationship with my wife, mentors with who are great fathers. And someone that I look up to become a good father. Especially me, growing up without a father, I want to be a great father for my kids. So, investing in myself has been the biggest return on investment that I've made, because he has changed who I am. And he continues to help me improve every single day.
Christopher H. Loo, MD-PhD: That's really insightful. So there's not necessarily one. So if you invest in yourself. I think that a lot of listeners would take a lot from that. The other question is that a lot of people think that you've spent all your time working for one thing, but it looks like you're in so many different businesses. So I think the listeners would benefit from how you're able to manage so many businesses all at once at the same time?
Edwin Carrion: Again, by having the balance in life, we could do everything that we want. And I'm sure you heard a lot of people when they do the breakdown of the 24 hours a day, right? We have 24 hours a day. We have eight hours to sleep. And then after those eight hours are gone, we have another 16 hours left for ourselves, and what do we do with that time? Right? So we have to make sure that we prioritize our life the way that we want it to be. And the way that we prioritize our life is, Okay, what's important to you?
So to me, my family is very important. My wife is important, myself, I'm important, I need to have time for myself. So the way that I'm able to manage four different companies at this moment, and only work on them, maybe like less than 20 hours per week, is by having that priority and having those boundaries in my life. Meaning that I always tell everybody, and I tell my friends and people that know me, I'm like, my free time is nine to five, nine to five, I get to do the things that I love the most, which is work, run my businesses, go out, go on the boat, go with my friends, go get a haircut, be on podcasts, talk to people, motivate people, get on social media that's my free time. That's the time where I do everything. Because after 5pm, after we're done today, 4:30-5pm, I'm out of here, and I'm spending time with my family. And I'm being present.
And Fridays we have a dedicated date night with my wife that is religious. Every Friday, we go out on a date night, no matter what happens, we're going out every single Friday. So it's setting those priorities in your life. And, another thing that I tell people is like, people say, they tell me it's like, you have four businesses? How do you manage so many? How are you able to work so little? And I always tell them it is like, you have to be productive while you do. Because sitting down for eight hours in an office, that doesn't mean that you have been productive for the whole eight hours. And then there's times that I come to my office. And it happens to me that I sit here for the whole day. And I don't do one thing. Maybe I just check my emails here. And there are pretty much, I don't get done the things that I really need to get done. But there's times when I come to my office. And within two hours, I take care of everything that I need to take care of. So I have the rest of the day for free. And that's when I need to figure out well do I go out for a drive? Do I go get a carwash and do a good call to my hair? Do I do something that I want to do?
Christopher H. Loo, MD-PhD: Yeah, I’ve enjoyed this podcast and I love the mindset. I think for all the listeners, you're a motivational speaker. I know you have events, and I know a lot of people would love to get in contact with you, learn more about you and maybe work with you. So that they can tell people how they can do that. And then we'll end with some parting words of advice.
Edwin Carrion: Okay, thank you. Thank you. So if you want to follow me, the best thing is to go to my website, my name is EdwinCarrion.com. From there you have a link to all my social media channels. And if you ever have a question, just go ahead and reach out. I'm very accessible. And I think everybody on my level loves to give back. We love to educate. We love to share our experiences. So you have a question. If you have an issue, if you have a problem, if you're going through something, just reach out, all you have to do is ask.
Christopher H. Loo, MD-PhD: Yeah, awesome. So for all the listeners, Edwin's show notes and all of these resources and links will be included. And so Edwin, any final parting words of advice?
Edwin Carrion: Yes. Yes, of course. Always. If you don't know where you're going, any road is going to get you there anyways, right? So make sure you know what you want in your life. Put a plan together and execute that plan. Because if you don't know where you're going, any road will get you there.
Christopher H. Loo, MD-PhD: Yeah. Such a wonderful thing. So Edwin, thanks so much for a fantastic interview and for a great conversation. And we look forward to hearing about your future successes.
Edwin Carrion: Dr. Loo, thank you for having me. And thank you everybody for listening. Have a wonderful day.
Christopher H. Loo, MD-PhD: Many thanks again for being here. If you’re new, you can find me online at Christopher H. Loo, MD-PhD, where I have links to other episodes or links to online resources that will support you on your financial literacy journey. I’ll see you there in on next week’s show. While I bring you thoroughly vetted information on this show regarding a variety of financial topics, I cannot promise you a one size fits all solution. This is why I caution you to continue to learn. Educate yourself and seek professional advice unique to your situation. If you want to talk to me, I welcome it. Please reach out via my website or email at Chris@drchrisloomdphd.com. I read and personally respond to all of my emails. Talk soon!
Editor's note: This transcript has been edited for brevity and clarity.