Why are Greek Business Owners so successful in America?

It’s something I’ve always noticed. Growing up on Long Island, there were several occasions when I came in to contact with rich Greek kids who’s parents were very successful. They were usually in the restaurant (or food and beverage) business.

I recently went back home to Long Island to spend the holidays with my family. While I was there, I happened to run into a former coach (and mentor) from when I was 12 years old.

He is what I would consider to be the most alpha male I have ever met. I’ve mentioned him before. Here are the Cliff’s Notes on why:

  • very successful business owner
  • very physically intimidating Greek guy
  • universally respected
  • represents old school masculinity
  • the first words that comes to mind when you see him are “strength” and “power”

I was happy to see him and made sure to thank him for the discipline and work ethic he instilled in me.

The mindset and work ethic I have relied upon in the gym (as well as other endeavors) originally came from him and his strict system. 

Yes, he’s that important. Like my father and the other men who helped raise me, without him there is no Strength By Sonny.

He was happy to see me and happy to see that his teachings have stuck with me all these years.

I told him about high school, college, grad school, and everything else leading up to my position now: Creator and Owner of Strength By Sonny

I knew I wanted to pick his brain regarding success in business. He was more than happy to help.

However, he declined to do a podcast. It was nothing personal. He’s just a very secretive guy. That’s a big reason for his success…

We talked for about 2 hours and I can honestly say that I learned more about business from our talk than any other book or video out there. He told me that a lot of his success is based off of good old fashioned business practices he had adopted over the years.

Here are the big takeaways.

1. Business is about precision.

My former coach is one of the most precise individuals I have ever met.

He was like that when he was my coach. Everything was regimented under his leadership.

For most 12 year old kids, baseball was just a game. You went to practice and then you played real games.

For us, baseball was business. Our season never ended. We practiced year round. In the winter, we practiced inside school gymnasiums.

He sent us team e-mails and personal e-mails telling us what we needed to execute.

On top of practice, we also held team meetings.

Our practices. Our mental preparation. And eventually, how we performed in the games… everything was regimented. Everything was about precision.

That’s why we were so successful and won so many tournaments during Summer 2002. Our overall record was somewhere in the realm of 85-15.

And that was just his approach to coaching a baseball team. With regards to his business, where millions of dollars are earned, there must be even more precision.

Everything under his control is regimented and falls under the banner of precision.

The employees. The marketing. The operations. Together, it makes up a finely tuned, precise, money making machine.

2. If you want to attract money, you have to BE money.

One of his biggest criticisms of my business was my YouTube videos.

“You want to be wealthy but a lot of these videos show you dressed like a bum. It’s sloppy. Fix it.”

He always wears a suit or at least a shirt and tie. He does this because in his experience you want to “be money to get money.”

He said something along the lines of:  “When you look like money, you feel like money. And when you feel like money, that’s when the money starts pouring in.”

He made some very interesting comments. This was my favorite part of our conversation.

3. Keep your inner circle tight and “operate in the shadows.”

My former coach admitted to me most of his partnerships are with family or people who are close to family.

“You just can’t trust anybody in today’s day and age. You can barely trust blood anymore.”

As far as “operate in the shadows”, what he meant by that was try to be as secretive as possible when it comes to your business.

Don’t share plans. Don’t share ideas. Don’t brainstorm potential ideas with others.

He’s also a big proponent of holding important meetings at odd hours, like 3:00 AM.

His reasoning behind these early morning meetings was interesting:

1) It shows his employees dedication.

2) He knows he has their undivided attention.

3) It gives him (and his business) a mental edge over the competition.


I had no intention of meeting up with my former coach. It happened by chance.

I’m glad we were able to catch up and I’m proud that I continue to live out many of his ideals (and mindset) to this day.

It’s also cool how our relationship evolved over the years. It used to be coach to player. Now it’s more so veteran business owner to up and coming business owner.

Thanks for reading.

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  1. MB
    January 5, 2016 at 12:37 pm — Reply

    Lots of wisdom from that man! I’ve always been of the mindset to operate in the shadows… I also like that bit about being money to attract money – interesting psychology.

    Btw the suits are a nice touch 😉

    • January 6, 2016 at 3:06 am — Reply

      Definitely man. That’s one of a few conversations I’ve had over the past several weeks that has really helped me out 🙂

  2. January 15, 2016 at 9:59 am — Reply

    Thats awesome☺

    Im greek myself and my dad taught me tons about money and business.
    He is a good businessman and top salesman at two different companies.
    Im not sure where he learnt it from or if he picked it up himself.. maybe just greek genetics😜 haha

    • January 16, 2016 at 5:30 am — Reply

      Haha. That’s awesome bro. Glad you liked the article 🙂

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