Antonio Sustiel is the CEO of “Flooring King,” one of the largest flooring companies in the world. He’s built a hugely successful business and is worth hundreds of millions of dollars. And while that’s impressive, it’s not nearly as impactful as his work disassembling bombs in the Israeli military. Antonio shares what he learned from that experience, and how it laid the foundation for success in his personal and professional life.

On how “The Flooring King” came to be:

“Flooring King started about 20 years ago after I retired from a previous business that I used to run – I used to be in the perfume and fragrance business. Out of retirement, I met some people who introduced me to the flooring industry. The name ‘Flooring King’ was available for $1,000 on GoDaddy. I bought the name, I started working super hard, and today we have one of the largest flooring companies in the world.”

On the enormous success of his business:

“I can’t believe how big the business is. It was never intended to be that big. It was intended to have fun, to enjoy, to make some money, to live life, to give back, and I never believed that this business was going to be this big. I think today I still can’t believe how big it is and it is still growing. But, within me, I never let money take over. The fundamental of everything I have been doing is basically giving back, so I know I’ve been blessed and have been doing the right thing for people. I am super positive about everything that’s happening, and I just can’t believe how big the business is.”

On his personal secret to success:

“I would say the core (reason) for my success was always believing in myself, never quitting, working hard, and ‘rise and fall.’ I keep failing, I keep rising, and I just don’t take ‘no’ for an answer. I just outwork everybody.”

On his work with the Israeli bomb squad:

“I had been trained for eight months in Israel, in the military, to disassemble bombs. That was my job in the Army for the first three years. Super interesting; super scary at the beginning. It created a lot of confidence. You become emotionless and fearless. That helped me later on, but I was scared at the beginning. … I’m happy to be alive. It was a very crazy experience; I have to admit.”  

On why consistency is key:

“You need to wake up in the morning at the same time. Drink your coffee at the same time. Go to the gym at the same time. Go to work, come back at the same time. Every successful person that’s made it; if it’s Bezos, Elon Musk, or if it’s Bill Gates … none of them just woke up in the morning and decided that today they were going to make a lot of money. These guys put hours and hours and hours and years and years and years into hard work, stayed in their cars; in my case I stayed at the flea market (where he was working) from 4:30 am to 6:00 pm in Miami, in July, 100 degrees. It’s easy to quit, it’s easy to go home, it’s easy to cry. You have to work hard, and you have to grind hard.”

On the importance of dreaming big:

“Everything needs to have a plan. If you’re planning to succeed in life, you must have a list, you must have goals, you must have a fundamental belief of what things are going to look like, and you have to almost predict your future. You have to believe in where you’re going, you have to train yourself and educate yourself. If it’s an industry of merchandise, or if it’s a service, or whatever it is that you do … you do have to believe in yourself and have a lot of goals and never, ever, ever quit.”

On part of what sets Flooring King apart:

“I built ‘Flooring King’ around the fundamentals of ‘Proudly built in the U.S.A. is the way to go.’ So, my message to my customers is not only do we sell the flooring cheaper than anybody else, but our product is proudly made in the U.S.A. with American employees.’