A Tale of Mentorship and Growth With Anthony A. Luna

Anthony A. Luna is the CEO of Coastline Equity, a firm specializing in commercial real estate advisory and property management. Growing up in a challenging environment in San Pedro, California, Anthony faced the hardships of gang violence and a single-parent upbringing. Despite these obstacles, he became the first in his family to graduate high school and pursue higher education.

Anthony honed his leadership and mentorship skills at the Boys and Girls Club, transitioning from grant management to real estate under the guidance of Holocaust survivor George Mayer. Committed to community service, he continues his involvement with the Boys and Girls Club, writes on real estate for Forbes, and serves as a trusted industry thought leader.

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Here’s a Glimpse of What You’ll Hear:

  • [05:10] Anthony A. Luna covers his work ethic and how he juggled jobs as a teenager
  • [06:15] How a college town left a lasting impression and shaped a career
  • [11:51] The significant impact of mentorship on career and personal development
  • [17:31] A Holocaust survival story that influenced Anthony’s career direction
  • [20:06] The unique journey that led to becoming a CEO
  • [24:29] Why did George Mayer choose Anthony to take over his business?
  • [26:31] Overcoming fear and embracing massive opportunity

In this episode…

Have you ever wondered how a challenging childhood environment shapes a person’s future? How does one transition from such adversity to becoming a leading figure in the corporate world?

Anthony A. Luna, growing up amidst economic hardships in San Pedro, California, transformed these obstacles into stepping stones for success. Through his journey from the Boys and Girls Club to the helm of Coastline Equity, Anthony’s story is one of resilience, mentorship, and unexpected opportunities. His encounter with a Holocaust survivor, who became his mentor, fundamentally altered his career path and instilled in him a profound sense of purpose and direction. This pivotal experience catalyzed Anthony’s rise in the real estate industry and significantly amplified his community contributions.

Tune in to this episode of the Smart Business Revolution Podcast as John Corcoran interviews Anthony A. Luna, CEO at Coastline Equity, about navigating life’s challenges and leveraging mentorship for success. They delve into Anthony’s childhood and how his resilience and relentless work ethic led him to balance multiple jobs from a young age. They also discussed why George Mayer chose Anthony to take over his business, and how to overcome fear and embrace massive opportunities.

Resources Mentioned In This Episode

Quotable Moments:

  • “Growing up, you probably don’t recognize anything different about the way you’re growing up, because it might be similar to all of your friends.”
  • “I don’t think anyone grows up saying ‘I want to be a property manager’; it’s always accidental, but you find you love it at some point.” 
  • “George Mayor has been the most pivotal and life-changing mentor throughout various formative years of my life.”

Sponsor: Rise25

At Rise25, we’re committed to helping you connect with your Dream 100 referral partners, clients, and strategic partners through our done-for-you podcast solution. 

We’re a professional podcast production agency that makes creating a podcast effortless. Since 2009, our proven system has helped thousands of B2B businesses build strong relationships with referral partners, clients, and audiences without doing the hard work.

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When you use our proven system, all you need is an idea and a voice. We handle the strategy, production, and distribution – you just need to show up and talk.

The Rise25 podcasting solution is designed to help you build a profitable podcast. This requires a specific strategy, and we’ve got that down pat. We focus on making sure you have a direct path to ROI, which is the most important component. Plus, our podcast production company takes any heavy lifting of production and distribution off your plate.

We make distribution easy

We’ll distribute each episode across more than 11 unique channels, including iTunes, Spotify, and Google Podcasts. We’ll also create copy for each episode and promote your show across social media.

Cofounders Dr. Jeremy Weisz and John Corcoran credit podcasting as being the best thing they have ever done for their businesses. Podcasting connected them with the founders/CEOs of P90xAtariEinstein BagelsMattelRx BarsYPO, EO, Lending Tree, Freshdesk,  and many more.  

The relationships you form through podcasting run deep. Jeremy and John became business partners through podcasting. They have even gone on family vacations and attended weddings of guests who have been on the podcast.

Podcast production has a lot of moving parts and is a big commitment on our end; we only want to work with people who are committed to their business and to cultivating amazing relationships.

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Contact us now at [email protected] or book a call at rise25.com/bookcall.

Rise25 Cofounders, Dr. Jeremy Weisz and John Corcoran, have been podcasting and advising about podcasting since 2008.

Episode Transcript

John Corcoran 0:00

Today we are talking about the power of a single mentor relationship and how that transformed the life of my guest today. It’s an amazing story. My guest is Anthony Luna. I’ll tell you more about him in a second. So stay tuned.

Chad Franzen 0:15

Welcome to the Smart Business Revolution Podcast where we feature top entrepreneurs, business leaders, and thought leaders and ask them how they built key relationships to get where they are today. Now, let’s get started with the show.

John Corcoran 0:32

Alright, welcome everyone. John Corcoran here. You know, every week I get to talk to interesting CEOs, founders, and entrepreneurs from all walks of life. And if you’ve listened before, you know that we’ve got great episodes in the archives, we’ve got companies like Netflix and Kinkos, YPO EO, Activision Blizzard GrubHub, go check out lots of great episodes for you in there. And of course, this episode was brought to you by our company, Rise25, where we help B2B businesses get client referrals and strategic partnerships done via podcast, and content marketing. And you can email us at [email protected]. Or go to Rise25.com. Learn more about our podcast copilot platform there as well. 

My guest here today is Anthony Luna, he is now the Chief Executive Officer of Coastline Equity, which is a commercial real estate advisory and property management firm. But he grew up in San Pedro, San Pedro, depending on where you grew up. I grew up partly in Southern California. So I’m used to the San Pedro pronunciation but I’m an interesting guy because I grew up, you know, rough upbringing, gang violence was around him, single mom. You know, now, of course, writes for Forbes, and it has amazing opportunities, but it was one relationship with a Holocaust survivor that led to so much growth. And so Anthony, I can’t wait to get into that. But you know, first of all, for you, what was it like for you? At the age of, you know, 910 11 Growing up with single mom in a rough part of town?

Anthony Luna 2:03

Yeah, I think any kid that has a, you know, an abnormal or less than what would be considered, you know, the American status quo of upbringing, you probably don’t realize it, you know, as a kid, you probably don’t recognize it, there’s anything different about the way you’re growing up. Because it might be similar to all of your friends, I don’t think I really understood. Well, you know, the different lifestyle that we had or our upbringing until later in life, probably, you know, more into my teens and in my college years. But there were definitely some interesting experiences and interesting characters that came in and out of my life. My mom, you know, really tried to raise myself, my siblings the best she could, you know, with the resources she had, but there were definitely some challenging times.

John Corcoran 2:50

and what was it you had, you know, gang activity around you where you grew up?

Anthony Luna 2:55

I think, you know, much of La there’s, there’s, in most parts of La there, there are different times in history of La have been more and more gang activity. And during my childhood, especially my teenage years, there was more activity happening in San Pedro. And in the harbor area, probably most, most specifically, there was a black and brown gang war that was kind of brewing for many years. And I grew up at the Boys and Girls Club, most of my friends were black. Still, some of my best friends that I grew up with on my wedding day Dale have grown up with since I was in the third grade. 

He’s now a police officer with LAPD. But simple things like walking from school to the boys or girls club, you know, there were times we’re being shot at for no reason we weren’t gay members. We weren’t involved, you were shot. Because, you know, there was an active kind of violence that was happening where drive-by shootings would happen pretty frequently around town. And, you know, boys or girls could go on lockdown. And it was a kind of our safe haven during those years. Like it is for many boys and girls club members. And the only reason I reached out is because of the color of their skin or the color of my skin. And that was kind of a regular occurrence for many years.

John Corcoran 4:06

Wow. That’s so frightening. Do you have kids now?

Anthony Luna 4:11

No kids, so married and we, our kids, are our businesses. So we’re pretty busy with the businesses at the moment. 

John Corcoran 4:19

Yeah. You know, you look back on that period of time. You know, with the boys and girls club you know, there’s no wonder that you ended up going into working for the Boys and Girls Club. But before we get into that, you went to I believe Chico State for college, which is the opposite end of California as far as you can go. And what was that experience like when you got there? So different? I mean, more rural, you know, environment, that sort of thing, not as urban. Where do you even start? So I’ll start with my Amtrak bus and train ride to orientation. That’s how you got there. That’s how I got there for orientation. Yeah, my brother in law went to Chico State and he drove himself I give I give my, my wife’s family a hard time about this all the time, I can’t believe that he just drove himself to college because, you know, my my parents, you know, unfortunate they took me to college. 

Anthony Luna 5:10

Yeah. So I went, I was the first in my family to graduate high school, let alone go off to college. So I don’t think my mom really knew what to expect. I don’t think she really understood what orientation meant. And that that was normally the kind of experience you had with your parents. Yeah. Where they like, you know, vet out your dorm room and make sure that they’re comfortable you live in here. So I think everybody was just so excited for me to go, I was like, Alright, you’re on your own, like, plus, you’re the bus ride.

But that bus and train ride was California, Southern California has these crazy wildfires that happen every couple of years. And that was one of the years in 2007-2008, I’m on a bus going to Chico by myself. And all of the rice fields around town are on fire from this major fire. And I feel like I’m driving into, you know, the depths of hell. Everything’s on fire around me, that’s Riyadh down and I’m like, where am I going to school? Like, this is totally different. So that was my first introduction.

John Corcoran 6:04

Wow. Well, and had you been there, and you’d imagine you hadn’t been to visit. So you’d accept going into this place you’ve never been to, which is probably about a 16 hour ride away from San Pedro.

Anthony Luna 6:15

That’s exactly what it is. When you take a bus and a train. The combo is about 16 hours. Normally, it’s about an eight to 10-hour drive. But you know, when you’re on a public bus system or like Amtrak or Greyhound, it’s a long ride. Yeah, yeah, that was one I ended up falling in love with. But it was it took probably about six months for me to get just accustomed to the way of life and the culture and, and it took a it took a lot of great friends and I was active in a fraternity, you know, in those years and still very close with my fraternity brothers from that time, but it took a lot of them just kind of talking to me about you don’t need to be as on edge as you always are. 

You don’t have to, you don’t have to be looking over your shoulder as much as you do. We can walk down the street, you’re fine. Like I was very hyper-aware of my surroundings, just kind of growing up in San Pedro. And I had a really good friend of mine get murdered at a party that I was DJing. So I think all of those experiences just kind of led to me being very aware and fearful of my surroundings and not really being comfortable going out late at night. But over the years, just getting more accustomed to the safety of a college town and the safety of that town. Just the way of life that was so different.

John Corcoran 7:28

And I actually skipped over one area of your life that I was going to ask about because you said that as soon as you legally were able to work around age 15, you got a first job and then a second job and you started DJing on the side to make money.

Anthony Luna 7:43

Yeah, so you know, California you can legally, or at that time, you can legally start working soon after your 15th birthday, as long as you had parents approval on a document and school approval. So the school had to annually verify that you were in school, and you’re passing grades efficiently and on the right track to graduation, that you can work and you could work in California. So my first job was at the huge San Pedro Fish Market. There used to be a really large still a very large business, but they’ve moved locations and are building a new facility. I think they’re like the number one or number two most traffic businesses in the restaurant business in the country. huge groups of people go down there every weekend to go celebrate birthdays and buy fresh fish and shrimp and have a great time. 

That’s my first job. Tough, tough first job, you know, yeah, looking messy work, messy work gutting fish and cleaning crabs and that sort of thing. That was my first job. And then my second job that I did concurrently through high school, was working for the Boys and Girls Club as a tutor. So as a high school student, I was tutoring elementary school members. And that was a part time job Monday through Thursday. And then Friday through Sunday, I worked at the fish market. And then usually most Saturday nights after I was done at Fish Market, I was off DJing you know at a party or a club or a restaurant. So kind of just stay busy that way.

John Corcoran 9:04

So, you were working a lot were you saving your money what you’re doing with your money.

Anthony Luna 9:08

I was not saving up, it was probably a lot of it was reinvesting it back into the DJ equipment. In those years. You were still DJing with physical vinyl. So you know, every time a new song comes out, I’m buying that new record. So between equipment and records, and then also paying for things like my own school clothes and paying for my own cell phone bill and cell phone. First iPhone came out. I wanted the new iPhone. So those bills are expensive.

John Corcoran 9:34

Yeah, to some extent. I feel like the cell phone bill is the only thing in the last 20 years that has gone down in price.

Anthony Luna 9:40

Right? Yeah, she doesn’t know.

John Corcoran 9:44

Yeah, it’s crazy. I mean, I paid like 200 bucks a month 20 years ago. And now it’s like, you know, like a cell phone bill can be as cheap as 25 to 40 bucks. I don’t know. I don’t get it, but I’m all in favor of it.