From Athlete To Entrepreneur: Building Business Relationships With Grit With Craig Coppola

TTD 1 Craig Coppola | Building Relationships


How do you create relationships that help you build a game-changing business for your business? Learn from someone who has mastered games his entire life. Dr. Patty Ann Tublin interviews athlete turned top-producing office broker Craig Coppola. Bringing with him the persistence, grit, and determination as an athlete, Craig shares with us his entrepreneurial endeavors and how, at the heart of it, he was able to nurture and sustain relationships and grow his business. He talks about how referrals play out, how to build trust, and how to restore it when breached. Craig then lets us in on his book, The Fantastic Life, explaining what living a fantastic life means to him and what we can gain from understanding the most important things in our lives. Join Craig in this conversation to learn more awesome insights on relationships and business growth!

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From Athlete To Entrepreneur: Building Business Relationships With Grit With Craig Coppola

I am so excited to have my good friend, although he might not always want to admit it, Craig Coppola, who is coming here to us from Arizona. Thank you so much, Craig, for being here.

Dr. Patty Ann, this is my pleasure for sure.

Thank you. Let me share with you a little bit about Craig’s bio. Craig is the top producing office broker. He has many accolades including having been drafted for a professional baseball team as a first baseman. He’s got the stretch going on.

He’s the top producing office broker in the 60-plus offices of Lee & Associates with 40-plus years of history. He is one of the founding principals of Lee & Associates, Arizona. He received the William J. Lee Lifetime Achievement Award in 2015, and he hasn’t stopped since then. He has earned the top three designations in the real estate industry.

The letters won’t mean to anybody to the audience but it’s a big deal, and less than 33 people worldwide hold all three designations. Pay attention because Craig has a lot of wisdom to share with us. He has been named the NAIOP Office Broker of the Year, not once, not twice, not three, not four, not five, but six times. In 2020, he was awarded the NAIOP Award of Excellence.

Beyond his successful professional career, Craig is an avid athlete. Having been an amazing athlete in his youth where he continues to scale and climb the Grand Canyon in his backyard because every time I want to talk to him, he’s in the middle of packing up his backpack going on a retreat for how many days and he’ll be out of the loop. He is definitely one with nature.

He was drafted and played in the Minnesota Twins Baseball Organization and represented the USA and won a world championship in Taekwondo. There is nothing this man can’t do. I want you to hear his wisdom from the horse’s mouth. Craig is married to a wonderful woman named Tracy, who, Lord knows, she must be a saint. Craig has four incredibly accomplished and kind adult children.

I just had my first grandbaby. That little Colbert. It’s fun.

Craig, thank you so much for agreeing to be on this show with me. Tell me about how your journey started.

I was always a baseball player. My dad is a baseball coach. He coached me in high school. He was a high school coach. I worked my way through college playing baseball. I got drafted. I thought I was going to be a baseball player. When you’re that age, at 21 years old, that’s what you think. The Minnesota Twins had other ideas. They released me and so, the real journey began. The pre-journey was this baseball journey. I was telling somebody this story that I came to understand that I was going to be an entrepreneur when I played baseball.

I told the story that when I played for the Minnesota Twins, they were owned by a family and one of the daughters had married a guy named George Brophy. George Brophy was this very large man who had never played baseball in his life but because he married into the family, he got the Director of Minor League Operations. They had this saying when you played in the Twin Minor League when George Brophy came to town, he never left alone. Meaning, he would release players when he showed up.

When they released me, I had this incredible feeling saying, “I don’t want anybody else to run my life.” That’s when I became an entrepreneur. It took me about a few years to get to the spot where I was commissioned only but I haven’t had a paycheck since 1984. That was a big turning point and that’s how the journey began to say, “I want to have my own business. It took me another seven years to start our own business, but that George Brophy and being released by the Minnesota Twins and have other people make the decisions in my life was a big turning point for me.”

That’s interesting. He comes into town and he never leaves alone. What a legacy. You mentioned seven years. What transpired during those seven years, Craig?

I took a job. I had no experience other than playing professional baseball for a short period of time. I did have my degree, and I wanted to work.

What was your degree?

I have a Finance degree and I have an Associate’s degree. I went back in the late ’80s and got my Master’s, so I have an MBA as well. Back in the early ’80s, there weren’t the opportunities like there are for the young people nowadays where they can go to tech companies, risk a lot of their opportunity on the startups. Back in those days, if you wanted to risk your career and be on your own. It was very hard to start your own business if you had no capital, which I had no capital. There were three options. One was to be a stockbroker, an insurance salesman or a commercial real estate broker. Those were the three big ones where you have the opportunity to reap what you sow.

Grit is the ability to have long-term goals and to step towards those goals on a daily basis.

I interviewed because I had a finance degree with all the major stockbrokers, Merrill Lynch and at the time, A.G. Edwards and there was one other one. They all three turned me down then I turned to real estate. I couldn’t get into as a broker, so I interviewed with a company called Grubb & Ellis, which is no longer around but would be the equivalent at the time. There was Grubb & Ellis, Coldwell Banker, which is now CBRE and Cushman and Wakefield. Those were the three big ones. None of the other two would even interview me.

Grubb & Ellis said, “Go get some experience.” I got some experience. I came back. I interviewed a second time a year later. They said, “You still don’t have enough experience.” I took a second job, got another year as experienced. The third time I interviewed with them, two years later, they accepted me. My career started right there. In 1984, I started with Grubb & Ellis. I was with them for seven years until we started Lee & Associates, Arizona.

It sounds to me that your persistence as an athlete and your grit and determination is what fueled you in your entrepreneurial endeavors or at least the start of it.

The number one word that I would use for my entire career is not in luck, not good looks and not anything. It was grit. It was the ability to have long-term goals and to step towards those goals on a daily basis. I do get asked the question, what’s the number one thing for your success? My answer is obviously, I’ve been putting myself in a very good growth market but the other answer is grit and determination for sure.

How do you use your grit in your relationships with people and growing your business because the theme of this show is the trust doctor? It’s all about relationships and relationship skills that help create success. As you know, Craig. I believe strongly, all success is predicated upon the ability to create, nurture and sustain healthy relationships. Anyone that knows you know you are a master at doing all of that. What do you attribute to that? Is it only grit or other traits?

No. When people think about grit, they think about, “I’m going to push through this pain. I’m going to do the extra,” or whatever it is. When I looked at grit, I looked at it from a holistic standpoint and it ties into your relationship standpoint. You know this because we’re close that I literally track every single day my wife and four children, “Did I connect with them this day?” I track that every day of the year to make sure that I’m connecting with my family.

I remember distinctly, early in my career and I don’t know what it was. Maybe it was natural or it was not. Every cold call, every time I met somebody, every relationship when I was 23, 24 years old, I simply said to the person, “I am going to know you for a very long time. How can I help you?” You have to add value first. Now, I do that. You and I know in our relationship completely, how can I help you first? I’ve done that for my entire career and it’s paid off in spades, too.

One of the reasons I wanted to come on is because I’m an absolute huge believer in what you believe. That’s why we have such a good relationship because it is about relationships. There’s institutional knowledge that we know that these things work. They work over a long period of time. Everybody knows that. They’ve heard this. They’ve read it, but how do they incorporate it into their daily lives? That’s the tough part.

How do you do that? Let the audience learn from you because you are a master. I do want people to know that what Craig said is a thousand percent of the truth. He is always asking. Not only me, because I’ve been at live events with him. I’ve seen him say to people that he might have met five minutes ago, although don’t underestimate, Craig. He’s a good read of people but he will say to them, “How can I help you? What do you need?” I know he’s done that for people that I’ve introduced him to. How does that play out? What can people learn? What’s the skillset?

I wrote a book called The Fantastic Life. One of the rules of the fantastic life is this 2% rule. I was talking about it with somebody. I’ll give you an example. If you want institutional relationships with people, what do you do? I’ll give you something that we started, the 2% rule. I create these little note cards. A little card on the back. I started at 2%.

I’m going to write one personal handwritten note a week this year. Now, I’m 30 something weeks in it and 30 personal handwritten notes to people who aren’t expecting them. It’s been interesting that of the 30 notes that I’ve written, 20 people have called me immediately or written back to me and said, “Thank you.” It’s the Schoonover.

I’ve done 4,000 lease transactions in my career, which is an insane number. I could count on one hand of the 4,000, how many of them, I cared about the money. I started this from like, “I’m not in this to make money. Obviously, I do make a lot of money and I’ve done well.” I figured if I took care of a bunch of people. I call it the bunt defense because I tie back to the baseball analogy.

When I was trying to teach our kids the bunt defense, in a Little League season or junior season, you may work on your bunt defense. You may execute bunt defense five times in a season. In MLB now, they may do 10 times out of 160 games and yet every single practice, we worked on bunt defense. The kids were like, “We already know what to do.” It’s like, “It’s not what you know what to do. It’s what you can do when the situation hits.”

I always call it the bunt defense. Relationships are like bunt defense. You know what to do but when the shit is hitting the fan, are you doing it? When the deals going sideways, when your clients being a pain in the butt, when they’re not calling you back, when they’re asking you for the 50th favor, are you doing what you do?

You don’t rise to your expectations. You execute to the abilities that you’ve practiced for. I’ve literally on this 2% rule practice the relationship piece. You and I have experienced this. I do this with all of the people that I have relationships with. It’s like, “I do more. I would say in 95% of my relationships, I give more than they give me.” I made that a habit and I love it.

You’ve outworked people, outplayed people and you out-give people. You’re a no-nonsense type of guy. Can we agree to that? You’re very kind, but the word that keeps coming to mind as you’re speaking, Craig, is as a leader. I think it might be helpful for the audience, for you to speak a little bit about this and tie it into relationships. You lead with empathy.

TTD 1 Craig Coppola | Building Relationships
Building Relationships: Back in the day, the three big ones where you have the opportunity to reap what you sow is by being a stockbroker, an insurance salesman, or a commercial real estate broker.


You use the word empathy. In my relationship, what I’m trying to do is to get people to trust. I have a big team on our real estate side. As you know, I’m an investor in a bunch of other companies. All of the companies that I have CEOs with and you know a large number of them, I’m trying to develop this trust with them on a continual basis. We’re always developing trust. The key thing that I tell my people is, “There is a huge difference between somebody liking you and somebody trusting you.” I said, “I would rather them trust me than like me.” I have a partner and his name is Gregg Kafka.

Craig, can you explain that difference?

This came out of Gregg. He is the funniest guy. He’s the humor on our team. Everybody loves him. They like him, but he’s not a business generator like me. I’m like, “The difference between you and me, Gregg is to your point, I’m not the funniest guy in the room, but when people meet me, they go, ‘I trust that guy.’” What is that difference? It’s the demeanor. It’s not necessarily the demeanor. It’s the fact that I give first. I give-off. I’m value-add first and you’re trying to get people to like you. There’s a difference there.

I’ve been working with Gregg. He’s been with me for years. We were looking at like, “Don’t be the guy that they only like. Be the guy they hire and trust.” How do we do that? We do that by adding value to them. Not only getting them to like you. It’s the same with our relationship. We established that from the very first time that we talked. It’s like, “I’m not here to win the popularity contest. I’m here to win the relationship contest.”

How did you learn that? Who influenced you?

First, I’m three of six. We have two families. I turned 60. I have a 61-year-old brother and a 62-year-old brother. We were all together. I was the third boy in the family and we were close. I hung around my older brothers and I learned right away. You can either become the joker or you become the better athlete. There are lots of ways to win people over. I think my family would say I’m the black sheep of the family because of the six kids, I’m the only entrepreneur and I’ve done well.

You always had this nice way about you and it was because I had older brothers that if I got out of line, they would’ve called me. Now, my family will tell you. It’s way different. They’re like, “You’re always sticking your foot in your mouth.” In our teams, we speak the unspoken truth. We are not shy about calling people out. We don’t dance around issues.

At the end of the day, everybody on my team understands two things. One is that I sincerely care about them and I give first. Two is that there’s no BS that I’m going to give them. I’m not going to dance through the issue. Andrew, whom you know, has been with me for years. Also Gregg and Chelsea for many years. We have this core team.

They are amazing.

The average relationship of my investments now, I started doing this years ago, they know that I’m part of their team for a long time. It’s something that I’ve grown into. It’s not natural. That’s the other thing. Everybody says, “That’s natural.” It’s like, “No, I think it’s something you earned and then you become.”

People know that you’re no-nonsense. You speak truth to power and you’re on their side.

I will tell my clients up and sometimes they don’t like it. I had a client and you know I travel a lot. He’s a fairly new client. I told him, “I’m going to be in Spain backpacking for 25 days,” and I did some other trip. He’s like, “You’re with your family for two weeks and now you’re going to Spain?” I said yes. I said, “If you want this relationship, you’re going to put up with me because I do travel.” You mentioned it. I’m not shy about that. I’m not dancing around that issue.

You will like me because I’m available anytime. When I’m in town, I’m available. When I’m backpacking, I’m not available. We do occasionally have that and some people don’t want it. That’s okay with me. I’m at a point in my life where it’s okay. If you don’t want the relationship that I’m going to have. You start realizing there are people that will take advantage of those relationships. If you would give first, there are people and lots of people who say, “I might get taken advantage of.” I’m like, “You might but you might actually develop a relationship, too.”

Also, nothing ventured, nothing gained. You can smell a rat a mile away more with more wisdom.

It’s funny because how this plays out is referrals. I’ve referred you. I refer people that I’ve gotten to know and trust. I have people that will tell me how I never refer anybody because it could come back to me. I’m like, “You’re not developing the relationships if you can’t refer the people that you’re hanging out with.” I call myself a collector of unique abilities. Dan Sullivan, which is one of my mentors. I’ve been in the Strategic Coach program for a long time. He has this concept of unique abilities. I’m a unique ability collector and one of the reasons that you and I have connected is because you have a unique ability.

I can’t find your skillset anywhere else. When you find somebody with a skillset like yours, then you go, “I need to get close to this person.” That’s what I am. Now, when you see my life, it is full of people who have unique abilities outside of mine. It’s an amazing life to see to have those skills. We’re doing some work on our house. I’ll give you a perfect example. The biggest word on the street now is if you’re trying to build a house or remodel a house, you can’t get it done. We were talking to somebody and they bought a lot in McCall, Idaho.

It’s not what you know what to do. It’s what you can do when the situation hits.

They said the earliest they can get a contractor is 2024 before to even start the construction. It’s crazy and lumber and all these delays. Months ago, we decided to stay in our house and remodel it. We have this relationship with somebody that’s one of the top developers of custom homes in the Valley of the Sun in Phoenix, Scottsdale. We called them and we hired them. They were more expensive. Everybody else I know was saving money and they never got their job done. Our job was done on time. It was right. We love being here. It was because of the relationship that we have. We’re asking them and they’re doing more work now. It’s great.

Your unique ability is creating relationships that have helped you build a network that has been a game-changer for you. You mentioned building trust. What can you share with the audience where the trust has been breached? How have you been able to restore and repair that or do you even bother?

The answer is trust either on my own end. If it’s me breaching the trust, which happens. Nobody’s perfect. We have the first four non-negotiables on our team or this is Coppola-Cheney is to show up on time, do what you say you’re going to do, finish what you started and say please and thank you. Those are the first four. It’s hard. We’re doing 125 leases a year on our real estate company. We’re closing a deal every two days.

We’re running with 150 transactions anytime. Stuff falls through the cracks and we have to own that up. We had a client. He had to sign some paperwork and he went to the Nebraska Football game. The buyer’s yelling at us and we have to own it. It’s not us. It’s our client who dropped the ball, but we have to own it because we represent him. I get on the phone. I’m not shy about it. The first thing that I do is own your breach, own the issue. Charlie’s working with me now and so, I’m teaching Charlie.

Charlie is Craig’s son who is an amazing young man.

Charlie is over here working with me now. I’ve been teaching him, “Make the call right now.” I will stop right there, immediately. There is no thinking. If there’s a breach, I make the call immediately. Then we start repairing immediately if we can. How do we repair it? We go back to the core values, which we’re going to over-deliver. Now, if the breach is on the other side, then you typically give them an opportunity to come back and do it. After the second time, then I’m eliminating people that are trust breakers in my life. I don’t have those. I’m at a point where I’m okay with eliminating those.

You’ll give them one Mulligan and then after that, they’re gone.

Now, the question is and I know people on your show will say, “I have family members who do that.” I would tell you that in my own family, we have some of those because we’re a big family. Those family members, I do the minimal, but I’m okay. I want to feel good. I’ve lost some key people in my life over the last couple of years, including both of my parents and Bill Lee. As you know, Bill Lee was one of my second father. In my mind now, it’s like, “Did I have the relationship I wanted with them when they passed?”

Everybody in my life, if I were to pass now, or if you were to pass now, did I have the relationship with DPA that I wanted? The answer is yes. If the answer is yes, I go away from all relationships like, “Do I have the relationship with my wife, my four kids, if something were to happen now and all of my teammates?” The answer is yes. I did have a couple of people that were out there that breached my trust. I’ve reached out to them and I’ve cleaned it up. It’s been interesting.

One guy had lent money to me, I did a favor and he ended up paying me back but it took him a lot longer. It was a fairly substantial amount of money. I didn’t talk to him for a couple of years. I had lunch with him maybe months ago and it’s a good relationship. That’s like, “I have cleaned up all of those, so I feel at peace with the relationships because of the trust and the unique abilities and where I am.” That’s the long-term bond.

The example you gave for Charlie, pick up the phone and call, if you’re respected, if people trust you, they can hear things that they might not want to hear. It’s not a popularity contest but usually, you hear your faults and your flaws from your enemies. How many friends will share with your things that are difficult to hear that are essential to your growth? You can only do that if they trust you.

You’ve mentioned and this is a critical point. I’ve had somebody who never wants to do post-mortems. I was with a client and he will never do that. We are exactly the opposite. We’re like the SEAL teams. Every operation, we’re doing a post-mortem. We started this in our team. As you mentioned, I won this huge award. It’s a lifetime achievement award.

Only twenty people had won it in Phoenix, which is the NAIOP Lifetime Achievement. Now, they call it the Award of Excellence. I won it. They had a dinner for it and 900 people came to the dinner. I’m doing my little talk and we have this post-mortem. I thought that 900 were there for me but as it turned out, it was the 900 because we had been in COVID for a year and they all only wanted to come out.

I do my little speech and within three minutes after my speech, I can feel my phone buzz in my pocket and it’s a text. It’s like fifteen minutes later, I’m off the stage. I’m over there. I look at my texts and it was from Andrew. It was a post-mortem on my speech. “Here’s what went great, here’s what I’m doing and here are the two things that I would have changed.” I’m like, “There it is.” To me, that’s what I remember about the night is that we’ve trained each other so much. On this night that it wasn’t only, “Craig, good job. You’ve earned this.” It was, “Craig, here’s your speech. People love this. Here are two things I would have changed.” That’s pretty cool.

You’re always aspiring for better, for more or for what? Always aspiring for what?

Kaizen, continuous improvement. It’s a Japanese term for that.

TTD 1 Craig Coppola | Building Relationships
The Fantastic Life: How to Get It, Live It and Pass It On

I’m comfortable letting you know that I don’t speak Japanese, so I had to ask. Is that during your taekwondo days?

Taekwondo is Korean. Kaizen is a Japanese word. We have this thing. We will get better. I’m a learner and I want to get better. It’s funny because we’ve normalized it. We will tell each other, “This didn’t work. What do we get out of this?” I do that with my kids and they only look at me. People aren’t used to that. I’m like, “I want that feedback. I want it from you.”

After this, I want you to go, “Craig, you said too many ahs,” or whatever it is. I want the feedback. I did a show and they turned off the recording. I ask him, “Give me some feedback.” He goes, “You told these two stories that were fantastic. I would have gotten this a little bit different.” I’m like, “That’s what I want.” I look back and I have a thousand seminars where I’ve gotten to of my career and I’ve taken notes on all thousands.

You’re a note-taker. I can attest to that.

To me, it’s learning, getting better and growing. There’s no finish line. That was one of the points that I made in that speech. I appreciate you saying that. When Craig won the Bill Lee Award, I won that award and I kept going. It’s like, “I’m going to take the award tonight and what am I going to do tomorrow? I’m going to get up and go to work again.”

That’s you. I know you. Good enough is never good enough. There’s so much value that you can add for people. I sit here and you take notes when we have our calls. I’m only soaking this in. I have a different style than you. What would you say is the most important takeaway you would like to share with the audience to help them live the life that’s made you fulfilled?

If you look at what I call The Fantastic Life, what is it to me? First of all, to understand what the most important things are in your life, people, goals and relationships. What are those and get super clear on what you want out of life. That clarity is always changing what you wanted when you were raising your kids and when you had the twin, changes. You have to continually always be thinking about that. The clarity of purpose and what you want and the relationships that you want is the first thing you have to have.

I think the fantastic life is not a singular life. We’ve signed some tragic falls from that, like a Tiger Wood. He was so focused on Tiger being the best player ever and we see this all the time in athletics, in these super-driven guys, like Steve Jobs, who changed the world but didn’t have time for his first child from his first marriage. For me, it was like, “What’s important? I want to be a great husband.”

We celebrated another anniversary. “I want to be a great dad.” If my kids were here, they’d say I’ve been a great dad. I want to be. I call it a full-time athlete. I want to continue to be a full-time athlete. I want to build a successful business. I want to do all of these things. I want to travel the world. All of these things are in there.

The fantastic life is the ability and the takeaway is you can do all these things. I say this all the time. You can have anything you want in life. You simply can’t have everything. The idea is to narrow your life down into what the fantastic life is for you. You can get three or four. I’ve been able to, over a long period of time, get five things but you’re not going to get ten things.

The Millennials nowadays are like, “I want to get up and I want to have my child. I want to meditate for half an hour, then I want to take the dog for a walk. I’m going to make a million dollars. I’m going to sit in there and I’m going to binge-watch it at night. I’m going to read.” You’re not going to get much accomplished.

What you’re saying is you have to be focused and you have to be intentional.

Yes, and rule number two of mine is to get clarity in what you want. You have to have clarity. When you say intentional, it means clarity.

If you don’t know what you want, who else will know? How do you know what resources to pull? I’d like to close on some fun questions. Are you game? All right. If you could have lunch with anybody in history at any time. Who would it be and why?

I thought long and hard about that.

I’ve never asked before. How could you have thought?

The fantastic life is not a singular life.

I’ve heard this question. I used to always say Thomas Jefferson but now, after having lost some critical people in my life and having gone through health issues with my own, I would say a Jesus of Nazareth because I’d want to have a conversation with Jesus. I’d want to know.

Know what?

I only want to have a conversation. I’d want to know.

Are you getting into those pearly gates?

I’d want to know. I’m reading a book now by an Atheist and I’m Christian. It’s interesting. It’s a guy named Seth. He’s a super-smart guy but how he draws the conclusions and I’ve drawn it differently.

Religion is based on faith, not intelligence.

That’s right.

I’m sorry. Finish what you were saying.

When you and I were growing up, they said there was no way there’s another life on any other planet. Literally, in the last few years, they found 15,000 Earth-like planets in our solar system, much less the Milky Way, much less the Universe. It’s like, “There’s another life out there. Who created this life?” I like the answer, so to me, it’s a bigger question.

It’s interesting, though, what you said about what we learned when we were growing up. So much leadership and so much success in growth nowadays and I see this more. It is unlearning what we learned for new learnings, for new paradigms. I know you’re a big reader. We’ve shared books. We’ve shared very deep books and very fun books. What’s the one book you’d like the audience to read that’s moved you and why?

I would challenge myself to say, “What is the one book I’ve given the most out to that I’ve bought extras and over my career, that book has changed.” The first book that I gave everybody when I was younger is a book called Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki, which is financial. How do I get out of the rat race because 98% of all people are stuck in mired in the morass and mendacity of their life?

When my kids grew up, the book I gave as a book by Meg Jay called The Defining Decade, which is about the twenties. It’s a fabulous book about what you should be accomplishing in your twenties. The book that I’ve been giving out now because, since 2013, I’m on this spiritual journey, if you will, and faith and spirit and becoming at peace with myself. I give out The Untethered Soul by Michael Singer a lot. The Untethered Soul is the book that I’ve probably bought the most of in the years. It’s changed.

Why The Untethered Soul?

There’s a whole bunch of books, The Power of Now, the Eckhart Tolle stuff. The Tao Te Ching, that’s the seminal book. The way Michael Singer writes, it talks about getting peace in your life while you’re here and you got a shot on. He explains it. It hit me pretty good. There are chapters that allow you to get more peace with your life.

It may not be how to make the most money, but there are three books that I’ve given you. Obviously, the book I had at the most is one of my five books, but The Fantastic Life is the one that I give out. I’m rewriting it now. We’re adding. It was a manual and now we’re making it more of a big book, so we’re rewriting. It’s called The Fantastic Life Revisited, which it’s at the 10th Anniversary, we’ll publish it.

On that note, that’s a great way to wrap up this show. You gave many great pieces of information on how to restore trust and repair significant relationships. How can people learn more about you or follow you or be able to reach out so that they can get The Fantastic Life when it comes out or perhaps purchase the first book.

TTD 1 Craig Coppola | Building Relationships
Building Relationships: You’re not developing relationships if you can’t refer the people that you’re hanging out with.


You’d probably want to pick it up now because it’s an easy read. You can google me, Coppola, R. Craig. There’s another Craig Coppola but it’s R. Craig. Go on Amazon and type in the author, R. Craig Coppola.

Thank you so much. This has been fantastic. I truly could talk to you all day.

We do talk a lot.

Thank you.

Thanks a lot.


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About Craig Coppola

Craig Coppola is the top producing office broker in the 60+ office, Lee & Associates’ 40+ year history. He is one of the Founding Principals of Lee & Associates Arizona (1991) and received the William J. Lee Lifetime Achievement Award in 2015. He has earned the top three designations in the real estate industry: CCIM, CRE and SIOR. Less than 33 people worldwide hold all three designations. He has been named NAIOP Office Broker of the Year six times, and in 2020 was awarded the NAIOP Award of Excellence.
Beyond his successful professional career, Craig has been a lifelong athlete with a bevvy of achievements under his belt. He was drafted by and played in the Minnesota Twins Baseball organization, represented the USA and won a world championship in Tae Kwon Do. He was inducted into the Tae Kwon Do Hall of Fame in 2015. In addition, Craig is a former ultra-long-distance runner completing over 60 marathons and longer. Today, he is an avid backpacker having hiked in over 25 countries and 5 continents and completed such rigorous trails as the Arizona Trail (one of 11 U.S. National Scenic Trails), GR 20 in Corsica (widely considered one of the most difficult GR routes in the world), Everest Base Camp and the Summit of Mount Kilimanjaro.
Craig is extremely involved within his community, donating substantial amounts of his time annually. He has served on a broad range of community boards including Advisory Council of the World’s Largest St. Vincent DePaul (4 years), the Banner Health Foundation (9 years), the Arizona Chamber of Commerce (13 years), the Xavier Preparatory Board of Trustees (7 years), and as the Valley of the Sun United Way Tocqueville Chairman for multiple years.
Among his many accomplishments, Craig has also authored five books. His first book, How to Win in Commercial Real Estate Investing, won him the “Best First Time Author Award” from The National Association of Real Estate Editors (NAREE). As a follow up to his investing book, Craig published The Art of Commercial Real Estate Leasing in December 2014. Craig co-wrote, Chasing Excellence: Real Life Stories from the Streets with Lee & Associates Founder Bill Lee. In addition to his three real estate books, Craig has also written The Fantastic Life: How to Get it, Live it, and Pass it On, and What Now? A 5-Prong Approach to Handling Cancer Diagnosis & Treatment.
Craig is widely known as an industry thought leader and is asked to give numerous speeches each year on market overviews, forecasting, and strategic planning. He produces two blogs on the commercial real estate industry and other interesting topics that reach over two million people annually.
Craig holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Finance from Nicholls State University and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Arizona State University. In 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020, he was inducted into the ASU Sun Devil 100 for distinguished alumni who own or lead successful businesses.
Craig is a third generation Arizonan and father of four remarkable children.

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