EVERYONE told George Roumanous not to buy a real estate business in Bonnyrigg. They warned him it wasn't an area where that business would flourish.
Five years and two Fairfield City Local Business Awards later and he is well on the way to achieving his goal.
"I wanted to prove everyone wrong. It was a big goal but it was my goal," he said. "I'm happy to say that five years later and we continue to grow and thrive as a business."
Mr Roumanous was awarded the Business Person of the Year at last week's Fairfield City Local Business Awards. This comes a year after Century 21 at The Plaza Bonnyrigg claimed the Most Outstanding Real Estate Agency.
Needless to say it was a big surprise for the former IT guru.
"Yes, it was a massive shock. I've only been in the area for five years as an owner so for me it's good all the hard work I've put in has been recognised," said Mr Roumanous, who has been in the real estate industry for 14 years.
"I was up against people who'd been in the industry a lot longer than I've been so I was really over the moon to win the award. It was very exciting for me."
So what's the key to being a successful business person?
"People. This is not a one-man show," he said. "All the staff - old and new — have taught me to be a better boss.
"And all the relationships with the people in the area have helped me to become a better person," he said.
■ More than 530 people attended the 2014 Fairfield City Local Business Awards at Club Marconi on Wednesday night.
The managing director of Precedent Productions, Steve Loe, said the local businesses of Fairfield City are renowned for having a close-knit relationship with their community.
"Through my experience with the awards I know these local businesses are filled with a special kind of person; hard working and with a dedication to providing the best for their customers. There's a great sense of pride and community in Fairfield City."