Morais Dicks was born in Kingston Jamaica and is the oldest of 11 siblings. From an early age, Morais had an entrepreneurial blueprint instilled in him. His father, also an entrepreneur, owned an engineering company where his mother worked and helped manage. As a child growing up, Morais always loved new challenges. Morais attended Maverley All Age, which he then graduated and moved to Meadowbrook High School. Throughout this period, he developed a unique survival skill and unmatched skill in communicating with others.
He migrated to Miami, Florida in 1986, where he would face challenges in adjusting to the new culture, but Morais embraced and overcame them. In December 1992, he moved to New York to pursue a career in the medical field. Upon arrival, he attended New York Institution of Technology to be an x-ray technician. During that time, he continued to work alongside his father. Morais always wanted any career choice he entered to be done on his terms. While his peers aimed towards securing good hospital jobs, his thoughts were to own and operate his own mobile health stations. He is always thinking about how he can make a great plan grand, always planning for more. Already established in his accomplishments and in life on the eve of his 30th birthday, he still had the desire to want and do more. He felt he needed to take actions that would make greater strides.
Keeping in his entrepreneurial spirit, in 2003, Morais started underwriting and brokering mortgages in the basement of his home in Baldwin, New York. Within six months, Morais embarked on his first million-dollar venture and quickly outgrew the basement. In 2004 he moved his operation to Valley Stream which is the flagship office and currently the headquarters of his enterprise.
In addition to his professional accomplishments, Morais is a father of three, and married to Gina Dicks for 23 years, who offers him a tremendous amount of support by being a listener, mentor, and motivator.
Morais currently owns six corporations and manages an additional five. His business expertise and experiences span several industries, including investing, real estate, medical, debt buying, and consulting across continental borders. By always staying ahead of the trend, he has birthed a multinational operation.
Between combined ventures, he ended last year’s portfolio with a combined $26 million in gross sales. His portfolio for the current fiscal year is expanding into diverse new markets and investments and enroute to surpassing previous year’s performance.
The current mission statement of his company is to connect people, places, and ideas in a way that revolutionizes business. He creates and facilitates opportunities for financial growth by working in partnership with individuals and organizations to achieve their maximum potential.
Morais has continuously reinvented the wheel. He has crafted the ability to take chances where others view as risks and make the success of it all seem effortless.
Where did the idea for Progressive Networks come from?
I selected Progressive because it’s about moving forward, which is something I’m always doing. For Progressive Holdings, it is a common real estate term, which conveys the intention of the company. I also have Progressive Global Network. This company oversees everything that I do and want to do. They are different companies.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
My routine keeps me moving forward and productive. I wake up daily by 6:30 in the morning. After watching the local news and CNN to learn where the markets stand, I get ready for the day. By 7:30 I am dressed and enjoying breakfast with my family. I leave the house by 8:30 and arrive at the office between 9:30 and 10. The first thing I do in the office is to discuss the day with my assistant; after we have determined what has to be addressed, I contact my project managers and outside support team. Once that daily series of conversations have occurred, I follow up on new leads for the rest of the day.
How do you bring ideas to life?
Every new idea that comes to mind is cultivated by action. From that action, the idea takes shape and engages in the world around us.
What’s one trend that excites you?
I feel like it’s important to look the part. As such, I do pay some attention to fashion trends in professional attire. Everything in my closet coordinates well. Looking the part of a successful entrepreneur helps to keep me focused and to convey success to those I work with.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
I am a keen motivator. It’s important to remain positive regardless of what I might be feeling at that time. This positive disposition is something I share with everyone I connect with through the day.
What advice would you give your younger self?
I would tell myself to never be quick to judge any situation, person, or thing. I would also tell myself not to write a check without knowing the answer to the questions: What are your expected results? Will this have the desired result? Thinking before you sign a check for anything is important, even more so with business.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on?
I have learned that I see things completely different from the rest of the world. I am always thinking outside of the box. When others thought something wouldn’t or couldn’t be done, I’ve done it. I’ve made them succeed. So, there have been many things that people did not agree with me on, but none of them have held me back.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
I have a few suggestions that are crucial to success. Know what your destination is and stay on track, no matter what might distract you. Be open to changes but stay focused on the goal. You may come across many new opportunities, but if you stay focused on the goal, you will get there.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Stay aware of your financial status. Debt is not your friend. You should be fully aware of your liability in every situation and know what you need to do to overcome it. By knowing your basic accounting skills, you can keep your overhead down, and bills paid, leading to larger profits.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
Last year I took on a big project that I came close to giving up on. At one point I had invested more money into it than I spent to purchase it. In my mind, I knew a buyer would see my vision, so I kept at it. After a year on the project and investing in the improvements I did finally find that investor and he paid 50 thousand dollars above market price.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
I’ve spent time watching the infomercials that sell trinkets and find them interesting. The reason I find them interesting is that you can go to areas where they create these unique trinkets for a dollar or less for one. If you pick up several dozen and market them correctly, you can make good money. The American people pay more for symbols, more than they would pay for the item. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do and think could be really successful. If you have the resources, I strongly encourage you to do this.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What on and why?
I would say the best 100 dollars I’ve spent was spent in Cancun with my wife. We had dinner at this great restaurant on a Saturday night. The atmosphere was wonderful. The meal was delicious. The company couldn’t have been better. It was the best money I’ve spent.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive? How do you use it?
I would say one item I couldn’t do without is Property Shark. It provides immediate information on all of the available properties in the local area. This information includes the current owner, any leans on the property, what the square footage is, how much is paid in taxes and other information you need when choosing a new property. Anyone who is interested in becoming a real estate investor should be using this app.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
There was this book written by Spencer Johnson in 1988. It’s called Who Moved My Cheese? I promise you need this book.
It talks about rats digging holes to find cheese. One of the rats would come to a hole and say, “I’m not going to move forward, I’m content.” The next would say that the cheese would come to an end someday. The first would respond, “No, it’s not. I’m just going to sit here and eat.” Another rat would get to the hole and go lower. When he reached the bottom, he moved to find a new adventure.
The moral of this book is that you have to be open to change, try new ideas, and become a visionary. I would really suggest picking it up. It’s well worth reading.
What is your favorite quote?
It’s a great one. My dad shared it with me, and I have to agree with him completely. “Experience taught is better than experience bought.”
• Always stay the course
• Be open to change
• Communicate consistently with your clients
• Don’t micromanage – it’ll keep you from growing; let the process happen
• Stay focused on the goal
• Be open to trying new things
• Even if it gets tough, keep focused
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Carlyn runs the day-to-day publishing operation here at ideamensch and interacts with our awesome customers and entrepreneurs. She is likely editing this with a cat on her lap.