Before Sidney Torres made millions developing real estate, he was a college dropout working as Lenny Kravitz's personal assistant.
The musician "basically invited me to come to LA one weekend and I ended up staying and worked with him for a year and a half … doing assistant-type work," Torres explained in a July 2016 interview with CNBC.
"I thought I wanted to be in the music business," Torres told CNBC in an interview on Wednesday. Kravitz fired him in 1996 and that led Torres to change course.
In 1997, the future real estate mogul started working for a construction company making $40,000 a year. It was then that, with help from his grandmother, he bought his first property in an up-and-coming neighborhood in his hometown of New Orleans.
"I convinced my grandmother to cosign a $40,000 loan so I could go and buy my first fixer-upper," he told CNBC. Since then, Torres has developed over $250 million in commercial and residential real estate.
Today, Torres is using his experience to help struggling property investors on CNBC's "The Deed."
While he was once "very angry" at Kravitz, he told CNBC in 2016 that, "the truth was, I was the problem."
"With all the employees that I've employed and employ today, it's taught me a great lesson," Torres continued. "And that lesson is to learn how to give people chances and to work with people. And sometimes, you just can't. … [Kravitz] did me a favor at the time I didn't realize."