Pop Quiz, Monday with Craig Cecilio

Craig Cecilio

The Pop Quiz, Monday is a fun little exam that we love to give to savvy business owners. The examination is not a surprise after all since the interviewee already knew about the questions in advance. However, we can always pretend and have fun with the scenario of a young entrepreneur sitting in class nervously biting on their pencil. They are ready to take a pop quiz on a chapter that they were supposed to read the night before. Instead, they played Metroid all night on their SNES (Oops, this was me in high school). The real purpose of the pop quiz is that this is a fun way to introduce business tips from real-world experiences that you can not learn in a classroom. We want to thank our entrepreneur for being a good sport and volunteering their time to answer a few questions to help our community grow from their knowledge.

I want to introduce you to our guest today who will be taking our Pop Quiz Monday.

Can you please tell everyone your name?
Craig Cecilio

What is your job role?

Tell us about your company?
Our mission at DiversyFund is simple– we help everyday investors build wealth like the 1%.

Through our online platform, we are democratizing alternative asset investing by breaking down traditional barriers to entry, such as eliminating broker fees and high minimum investments. We open up access to multi-million dollar commercial real estate investments to everyone and provide them with the opportunity to diversify their portfolio beyond stocks and bonds.

Unlike other platforms that function as a broker, matching investors with third-party projects, DiversyFund offers real estate investments where we are the developer and sponsor, professionally managing every investment on our platform. So with DiversyFund, you get an investment partner with skin in the game so that you can say goodbye to brokers and middleman fees.

What do you love most about your job?
Knowing that I am creating something that hasn’t been done before. We are taking a step in a space that is brand new. We are trailblazers, which is exciting on all levels.

What motivates you to get up every day and go to work?
Am I allowed to say the same answer as the previous question? Ha.
Every day brings something new. As a CEO I am involved in all aspects of the company and seeing how each department plays a role in our success motivates me even more.

How do your co-workers inspire you?
One of the most inspirational things about a startup company is going to work each day with a team you enjoy spending time with. That is one of the things we’ve been focusing on – building the right team and one that inspires one another. You always get fresh ideas, and as a startup, we promote the culture of failure, fast learning, open lines of communication and transparency upstream and downstream. So overall we’ve been able to create that culture here, which really inspires me to give it my 110 percent.

How do you have fun at work (team building, pranks, etc..)?
We host celebrations for our team members, and we have things around the office that are fun. Our sales team has built huge lego walls around their area. The football is always being thrown around, and sometimes the clown mask and blow horn make an appearance.

What are some of the challenges of your job?
Deciphering what things to try for the first time and where to spend money are probably the two most common challenges. Resources are limited in the beginning until you’re really able to get some traction on things.

What are some lessons learned from a past project that you can share with us?
I’ve learned that one of the first things you should do is create a culture and an internal system for transparency, upstream and downstream. This is crucial to a successful business.

This also helps set expectations for all departments and team members and allows them to understand their role at the company better.

This is not something that you should wait on. It should happen early on and right away as it sets the tone for the future.

What advice would you give to someone who is starting out in your industry?
I would have to say, never give up learning and show your team that learning can happen from failures. I learn every day from my team and people I network with or have relationships with. It’s refreshing to be in a room with people who are smarter than you even though some old-school business folks wouldn’t agree. If you put forth that culture, then your team will grow and thrive with the company.

Thank you for taking our pop quiz today. You get an A+ for effort. You can learn more about our interviewee and their business by visiting them on the web:

@diversyfund – IG/TW
@Craig_Cecilio – IG
@CraigCecilio – TW

Author: Ricky Singh, MBA

Editor of The Startup Growth.

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