PM360 recently spoke to Alejandro Arciniegas, Director, Remodulin Marketing at United Therapeutics Corporation, about DIY and how to basically live for free.
Alejandro Arciniegas: As marketers in this industry, our minds are always going. So, I enjoy doing things that take my mind of off work. When it comes to DIY projects, I love the challenge and problem-solving aspect of them. I also enjoy leveraging new learnings to explore possible side-hustle opportunities.
How do you pick your projects?
Haha, sometimes they pick me! Often, it’s a home improvement project while other times it’s pure curiosity or a business opportunity. I’m an entrepreneur at heart. Growing up, my dad enjoyed projects of all types with a good eye for identifying business opportunities. So, I picked up some of this from him. For example, I got an older golf cart to use around the neighborhood. I painted it, fixed it up, and enjoyed it for a bit. When I sold it, I made a good profit. Fast forward a year, I bought 20 golf carts, fixed them up, and sold them. So, some projects start out as fun activities and then evolve into mini side-hustles.
What are some of your other favorite projects?
I built a big tree house for my kids right at the beginning of COVID, which was fun. My kids helped as well. My wife and I also renovated our kitchen a few years back. I built our cabinets, took down walls, and more. It was crazy but worth it. More recently, I installed a hot tub in my backyard, which was a little challenging since we live on a slope, so I had to level it off, add a retaining wall, and finish it by building a deck around it.
You also buy and fix up properties to rent, correct? How did you get started with that?
Before I got into pharma, my heart was set on real estate. My interest started right after college when I learned some valuable lessons while selling cars for a few months. During that time, I asked every customer who bought a Mercedes what they would tell themselves at my age. About 80% to 90% said to buy more properties and start as soon as possible. Now, my wife and I own a few rental properties. The goal, aside from the investment benefits, is to net positive (rent/mortgage) each month for each property and use that passive income for incidentals and towards our main residence’s mortgage. This passive income, when compounded by more properties, ends up covering all mortgage-related expenses.
What about plans for future projects?
My dad and I always talk about buying a project car to work on. Aside from that, I look forward to continuing teaching my kids the value of problem-solving and how much you can do/save if you take the time to learn. My wife and I are a wonderful team. She is now a real estate agent and having a blast. We plan on purchasing more properties and having fun in the process!