Becoming a successful entrepreneur does not come easy. It takes hard work, dedication, and commitment to achieve one’s aim in a chosen field in entrepreneurship. Many are those who started their own business but failed along the way while others made it by successfully navigating all obstacles.
Ayesha Selden counts as one of those entrepreneurs who have weathered the storm to become millionaires. Like many entrepreneurs, Seldon had a difficult beginning but that did not deter her from achieving big at a very young age.
Right after college, she moved in with her mom, enabling her to save up as much as she can to start her journey in the property market. At the age of 24, Seldon acquired a house from her savings. It was a foreclosure in Philly that she paid $67,000 for.
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The Black entrepreneur did not rest on her oars; she leveraged her first property to acquire another estate, including investments in stocks. She bought another house two years after her first, which was strictly a rental.
The first house she bought became integral in her real estate portfolio she has today. She leveraged it to buy and rehabilitate more properties. “My last property I purchased was a testament to everything I’ve learned over the last 19 years,” she told Shoppe Black.
She recalls acquiring her last property from a wholesaler in a rapidly developing section of Philly and had to redevelop the structure because it was in poor shape. “We basically have built an entirely new house minus the front wall of the house. It has been an amazing journey to get to this point,” she said.
Today, Selden is a self-made millionaire with over 35 estates in her portfolio. Her investment formula includes simple and long-term investments. According to the real estate investor, she was motivated to get into the field the hard way.
When she was a kid, she lived in a rough part of South Philly that was close to Center City with her mom. They moved out of the property when she was 18. Against her warning to rent out the house instead of outright sale, her mom sold it for $35,000.
Ten years after the sale of the house, the property is now valued at $500k to $600k, according to Selden. “That lesson stuck with me and always will,” she said.
Selden has always described herself as ambitious and motivated by money (saving) and fear of failure. She attributes her success in a field dominated by men to discipline. “I have always been willing to forego nice things for long-term prosperity. I was a millionaire right around my 30th birthday and basically had holes in my sneakers because I refused to buy more,” she said.
Having worked so hard to build her wealth in her 20s through her 30s, Seldon plans to take a rest in her 40s to enjoy the fruit of her labor. “At 41, I am traveling more, I purchased a personal residence in Los Angeles earlier this year that I was to use as an oasis. I will still work but I want to slow down drastically. I say all this but may end up buying another 44 units and grinding for the next 5 years,” she said.
For aspiring entrepreneurs who want to be like her, Seldon said her advice to them is to have a disciplined mindset. “Discipline is what will prevent you from making mistakes like yanking out all the equity from your properties and balling instead of reinvesting,” she said.
She also wants investors to strike a balance between “deleveraging and scaling” to not take on too much debt.