Dolly Amaya’s BIO
Beginning at age 8 running her mother’s store in her native Colombia, Dolly Amaya has lived her life as an entrepreneur by starting and maintaining three new businesses, two organizations for her Latino community in Rochester Minnesota. Her businesses range across a real estate investment firm, an essential services business model, and a non-profit organization.
Her commitment to her Latino community first took shape in her founding in 1998 of JUNTOS (“Together”)—Now opened as Youth Entrepreneurship Program in MA, an outreach program for Latino students, a non-profit legacy Dolly is proud of and wish to duplicate in many other states of the USA and her home country, Colombia.
In 2003, Dolly found her own successful real estate brokerage, Real FIC Realty as now named. Despite the real estate market’s recent perils, her firm has not only survived but thrived, driven, as she is driven, by twin commitments: to gaining expertise in select niches of the business and to sharing information and access to the opportunities and benefits available to her community offered by real estate.
The firm has attain a number of accomplishments including becoming #1 seller of short sales residential properties in two consecutive years and becoming a preferred Broker to Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and of Housing Urban Development (HUD). Always driven to create, while attending Harvard University as a Graduate student, Dolly has already opened a branch of Real FIC Realty in Massachusetts and has added other branches in GA, FL, and TX.
Fully to list Dolly’s professional, community, and academic activities and accomplishments would not only be out of character but would overstep the space limitations given here. A hint at the range of her capacities, and of the ways she has been recognized by others, may be gathered from her being named “Ten Who Make a Difference, KTTC-TV Channel 10, Rochester, Minnesota; Winner of the International “Diversity” award, and graduated as a Summa Cum Lade while attaining two degrees.
IN THE SPOTLIGHT INTERVIEW
1. Please tell us about your role as President at Real Community Stabilization & Youth Entrepreneurship.
Dolly: My role is
- To establish and perpetuate our organizational culture
- To coordinate and continue building the educational team which includes academic professors, real estate and other business professionals;
- To aid in the creation and development of curriculum for all programs;
- To promote the organization and continue to create partnerships with veterans and educational institutions in the initial launch of the programs;
- To coordinate fundraising and outreach efforts to corporate entities & gain additional financial support.
2. Given your current professional and personal goals, please share with us a sample of your day, start to finish.
Dolly: My personal and professional goals are intertwined in my mission in life while combining my three passions: Education, Real Estate and Social Change.
My mission is to grow personally, professionally, and intellectually by empowering myself and others to achieve financial freedom, to realize that by giving our highest gifts to the world, we can fulfill our most meaningful personal goals in life.
3. What are your ‘can’t live without’ Smartphone or desktop applications?
Dolly: Simple: Microsoft Office Professional Plus; a do-it all in one!
4. What are tricks for accomplishing so much under tight deadlines?
Dolly: No sleep marathons…lol. Surround myself with an amazing team; allowing them to be innovators, allowing space for their own initiatives and leadership development, and permitting them to make errors. In response, they offer you their best and turn into productive members allowing tremendous growth for all. Delegating and diligently organizing your and everyone else’s responsibilities daily.
5. What was the best advice you received when you started your career?
Dolly: It was way long after my many failed attempts when I found a mentor who told me “Dolly is only one and she is only able to work 7 days a week 20 hours per day; a team will multiply your effort.”
“Nurture a team, pay them well, and keep them happy”.
6. What are your strategies for building awareness of your organization, for the short term and the long term?
Dolly: To be honest, we have been spreading awareness by word of mouth and use an annual celebrity spokesperson but need more non-traditional and traditional marketing. In the meantime, we plan to include:
Presentations to military-based organizations
• Annual Celebrity Spokesperson
• Schools, Colleges and Universities Sponsorships
• Collaboration with local organizations (Currently Sneakers to Beakers and LSA)
• Fairs, Trade Shows, and Displays
• Merchandise Taglines
• Local Stores (Current online jewelry partnership with Local Art Store in HS)
• Traditional printed mailed marketing
• Store-front signage
• Press Releases
7. What are your proudest achievements, personal and professional?
Dolly: I have several proud personal and professional moments so it is hard to pinpoint to one:
1)Being accepted at a graduate program at Harvard University.
2)Purchasing our first new commercial building to in house our headquarters for our Real Estate business.
3)Giving “The Peoples and City Award of the 10 Who Make a Difference”.
4)Reaching our first big number in sales.
8. How do you maintain the work/life balance? Is it a challenge or does it come naturally to you?
Dolly: To me, balancing work and life is not too difficult because I love what I do and do not have too many responsibilities at home.
I travel a lot for business and always take time to get to know the cities, cultures, and cuisine of all places I do business in.
I outsource the tedious work like house chores; I take problems very lightly and focus on the solution so having fun at work is quite natural.
9. What are your top 3 book recommendations?
1. Great Business Teams (Howard Guttmann)
2. Think and Grow Rich (Napoleon Hill)
3. 7 Highly Effective People (Stephen Covey)
3. Reach Dad, Poor Dad (Robert Kiyosaki)
3. The E Myth (Michael E Gerber)
10. What charitable causes are most meaningful to you & why?
Dolly: Youth programs that support underrepresented communities.
11. Who has influenced your career the most?
Dolly: Many people but my personal Mentor, Jose Calva and all successful individuals I am surrounded by.
12. What is your advice for someone interested in a career in starting a business?
Surround yourself with positive and productive team member, mentors, and friends;
Do not duel the little things: pick your battles.
Slow to hire, quick to fire.
Care and love your team members as if they were you all.
Create unlimited value.