Where are they now? Alumni Jeffrey Ma
Meet Alumni Jeffrey Ma
Class: Kappa, fall 2012
Current Positions: Real Estate Broker at Compass, Restaurant Owner, Entrepreneur
Brother Alumni Jeffrey graduated the University of Illinois at Chicago in Spring 2014 with an Entrepreneurship degree and has worked hard to build his connections to reach his everlasting goals. Check out the Q&A below to see how AKPsi has impacted him, his advice for the upcoming pledge class, and what it’s like to be a real estate broker and restaurant owner.
What did you enjoy about AKPsi?
What I liked about AKPsi is that is based on the idea of developing business leaders. It taught work life balance. Learning that what I may want to achieve in life might not be what I really watned to do, and that this one profession can lead me to other options. I saw an opportunity to be part of something and develop my professional skills as an entrepreneur.
Tell us about your job(s) and the journey.
At 20, I opened Lan’s Old Town with my father, 10 Years ago when I enrolled into UIC, it was 2 years later that I join AKPsi, for the most part the restaurant was my only job, which included everything from being a waiter, to bus boy, prep cook, delivery guy, management, and even DJ. We currently do BYOB Karaoke on the weekends and regular Chinese restaurant during the week days.
During the past decade I’ve joined several networking marketing companies, and opened my own restaurant at age 27, called U Rice. That restaurant lasted about a year and half, which later I transformed into a catering business working alongside with FOODA, who actually has different local restaurants that show up to the SSB building for lunch.
First network marketing company I joined was “World Ventures”, they actually did a presentation during Marketing 101, they offer vacation packages. Afterword’s I joined, ACN “American communications network” Which provide telecommunications and energy solutions for end consumers. Then “It Works!” A health and beauty company with products like body wraps, and vitamins, and detoxes. Then at 26 I got my real estate brokers license. And Join Main Street Real Estate Group, after my first year as a real estate broker working part time , I made absolutely nothing, in fact I lost money because as a broker we have membership dues to the Chicago Association of Realtors and office fees. To generate leads I joined “Royaltie” another networking marketing company that sells technology that’s focused around proximity marketing.
Two years later I left Main Street to join Bridge International which later merged with Compass. And now I’m apart of “Jeunesse” another networking marketing company whose sells health and beauty products based off stem cell research.
To be clear each time I joined a networking marketing company, I left the other.
How do you balance Real Estate and owning a restaurant?
It’s a constant battled of figuring out the right balance. However, one thing I learned with joining all the different networking, marketing companies starting my own business, building a restaurant is that to be successful in anything you have to go all in with everything you got. Everyone has 24 hours in a day what you do with that time is up to you, you will have to make sacrifices, you will mess up, but you are creating a person that will ultimately create more value as years go by, and you learn from your experiences. If there is one skill you need to learn in order to be efficient and effective is time blocking, I wouldn’t say time management, because you can’t manage time, time is constant. But what you do manage is yourself, so learn to block time for certain things in your life in order to achieve goals and create balance. Blocking time to do work, blocking time to exercise, even blocking time to have fun and let loose.
Any Advice for brothers who are interested in real estate?
If you are serious you have to have a minimum 5 year plan, the first year don’t worry about making money but also don’t quit your second job, learn from your mistakes and improve upon them, because you are going to make mistake, like I said earlier don’t be afraid to fail, but avoid making the same mistakes.
Any advice for the upcoming pledge class, Omega Class?
Follow your heart and never stop learning! Don’t be afraid of failing but avoid making the same mistakes. Never stop believing in yourself. Whatever you do, try to be a better person because if you continuously improve upon yourself, you'll never fall behind.
What’s the goal you’re still currently striving for?
My goal in life, my passion is to helps others get what they want in life, by teaching individuals like myself who are trying to get to the next level, who want to create a better life for themselves and their loved one.
Educating others that success doesn’t mean happiness, but that happiness is success. Don’t compare yourself to others everyone is on their own journey. To me the path to true happiness is by being the best possible version of yourself, by reaching your full potential, so when your time comes you have zero regrets, and you leave this world a better place.