- Israeli immigrant Antonio Sustiel is the proud owner of Flooring King, a multi-million business in the US
- The back story behind the success is that he dropped out of school at age 10 and only had $400 (GH¢3,000+) when he relocated to America
- He managed to invest the money in a business that has over the years grown in leaps and bounds and turned him into a self-made millionaire
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If you look at Antonio Sustiel now, you would struggle to believe the kind of childhood and upbringing behind the scenes.
That is because the Israeli school dropout now runs a business empire in the US whose value runs into millions of dollars.
What most are unaware of is that Antonio dropped out of school while aged 10 and joined his father’s construction company.
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When he turned 18, he served in the Israeli army before relocating to the US in 1987 at the age of 23.
CNBC records that the youngster only had $400 (KSh 46,000) in his pocket when he found himself in Florida, but he was hellbent on changing his fortunes.
He started by dealing in cheap perfume around Miami and managed to build a reputation while growing into a brand.
Flooring King was born by fluke
Antonio then invested the proceeds from his perfume business in a 5,000-square-foot warehouse, a decision that would propel him to greatness.
As luck would have it, a friend informed him that he was looking to get rid of 20 industrial-sized containers of laminate flooring and wanted buyers.
“I had no idea what laminate flooring is, but I had a warehouse to store the material. And I could sell it,” he said, which is how Flooring King came to be in 1999.
For the last 15 years, Flooring King has sold flooring units worth $40 million (KSh 4.6 billion), with the company averaging 10 to 15 housing projects every day.
Works round the clock to build business
Antonio's business model is to buy laminate flooring that other manufacturers don’t want at a wholesale price and then resell it at a mark-up.
What makes his business tick is the fact that he is always willing to get his hands dirty even if it means loading the trucks himself and going to sites together with his employees.
He also discloses that the other trick behind his business success is always being available on phone, whether he is at an event or about to go to bed.
“If you don’t put in 15 to 20 hours of work each day, you’re never going to make it big. Put the business first,” he advised.
From a school dropout, Antonie now lives in a magnificent mansion in Ft Lauderdale and drives luxurious cars among them Rolls-Royce, Ferrari, Tesla, and Bentley.
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