There’s nothing average about real estate investor, former champion swimmer, and influencer Christian Carbone. From his unique philosophy to making his residence in multiple cities around the world, and his athletic approach to business and life, Carbone does things his own way—and it’s certainly working. It seems that in order to realize big ambitions one must walk an uncharted path, where discipline and routine are juxtaposed with risk and innovation.
Q: As someone who’s always on the go, how are you navigating through the current blockade on travel?
A: I’m currently self-quarantining on an island, which between the warm weather, low density, and ability to control the flow of new arrivals, made it an easy choice. I basically pulled out a map of the world and asked myself where the safest place would be to ride this thing out. Before the pandemic, I was pretty much living between three cities: New York, Tokyo, and London. I was aboard something like 54 flights the past year, many of which were international. This is actually the longest I’ve been in one place for years, but I am definitely making the most of it.
Q: Since your normal day-to-day life has been interrupted, how are you coping?
A: I am used to spending most of my time in hotels and traveling. My principal residence is actually a hotel. I think it is the most efficient way to live, and I value the anonymity. So my routine can, and must, be done anywhere. It’s like a good foundation. So even now, I still start my day with an hour and a half workout during which I listen to books and mentally plan out the business I want to accomplish that day. I listen to a lot of biographies, a lot of history. I find that in this state of mind, I do some of the most important thinking of the day. The workout is always half cardio and half body weight exercises. From there, I go for a steam and then go straight to breakfast where I read all of the major news publications before getting on the phone. I spend most of my day on the phone.
Q: That’s quite a morning. How did you develop your incredible discipline?
A: A lot of it came from my background in swimming, which I did competitively from about age 10 all the way through university for Harvard’s Varsity team and through two US Olympic Trials, 2012 and 2016. I almost considered making a run at it [the Olympic Trials] this year. Swimming is a collaborative effort of both mind and body, which coupled with the hours of training needed to be successful in the sport, breeds a strong foundation of discipline that I have carried over to other aspects of my life. I put together my first multi-million-dollar real estate deal before I could legally order a drink. It’s all about staying focused and striving for perfect execution, no matter the task.
Q: Can you elaborate a little on the idea of “perfect execution?”
A: Yes, I find perfect execution to be the most beautiful thing—from the design of something to a moment. You envision something, apply discipline, strategize, and it happens just so. Getting something truly perfect is almost impossible. Oftentimes effectively perfect translates to simply good enough, and actually perfect may be detrimental from a return on time standpoint. It all comes down to knowing what you want. Having a clear vision of what you want is the most important thing. Whether in business or life, this concept drives me.