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These days, the question “how did you spend COVID?” is a popular topic of conversation. The answers that people give provide a great deal of insight into their time management abilities and trajectory in life. Exceptionally successful people tend to manage their time exceptionally well, an observation that American businessman Christian Carbone knows all too well. In an August 2020 interview with Wealth Magazine, Carbone says he self-exiled himself to a tropical island where he could stay healthy and focus on building his multi-hundred million dollar real estate business. For someone with the means and net worth to do so, this decision seems very well-played. Carbone is a 26-year old American businessman and property investor who normally calls five-star hotels in New York, Tokyo, and London—his favorite trio of cities—home. His lifestyle and habits are determined by his innate propensity for efficiency, years of rigorous competitive swimming, with two runs at the US Olympic Swimming Trials, and a Harvard BA in history that has broadened his horizons and honed his taste.
“I hate wasting time, so the course I charted at a very young age…was to study successful people who did the things I wanted to do and already made the mistakes. I read at least a hundred business biographies as a kid, and that knowledge gave me the confidence to act,” tells Carbone of his early interest in high achievers, in a June 2020 Elite Luxury News interview. By coming to know other people’s mistakes on the way to success, he tried to avoid, or minimize, his own, while never wasting time. Since Carbone always knew what he wanted, and was a fast learner, he became an expert at prioritizing and not getting “hung up on something that is not important,” for fear of wasting a lot of resources and having little to show for it.
Carbone, who was born in Erie, PA and grew up in rural Tennessee, made his bones in real estate at an early age, although he does not come from a real estate family, and naturally had to educate himself in the field. Notions like leases, management contracts, levered and unlevered yields got a foothold in the young aspiring mind of the future real estate mogul early on. By the end of high school, Carbone found a mentor. “The first guy to finally agree to teach me about buildings was a landscaper who owned some rental properties on the side. Eventually, I found a guy who owned thousands of apartment units and millions of square feet of industrial space. By sophomore year in college, I was doing deals on my own,” reminisces Carbone of the early days of his career. A fast learner and an even better time manager, Carbone, by the time he graduated from Harvard in 2017, had completed almost $8 million of property development deals for his own account.
Nowadays, Carbone is the epitome of success at a young age. On top of developing millions of dollars of real estate, he has an avid interest in art, and has started his own exquisite collection. He is a patron of the New York State Ballet and the Whitney Museum of American Art. Carbone values timeless art as much as he values time. “I have always prized efficiency. Life is short and precious. Know what you want, and then find the simplest, most direct way to accomplish your objective. That’show I approach life, whether I am negotiating a business deal or scheduling my day. I think this is the most elegant way to think about the value of time. You have to be able to quickly zoom out and look at the big picture, and then zoom back in to focus on specific details,” reflects Carbone on the value of time in the June 2020 Elite Luxury News interview.
With over 20,000 followers on his private Instagram, Carbone sets a graphic example for his acolytes of how a sense of purpose coupled with discipline helps realize one’s ambitions.