Holley native will share book, entrepreneurial advice at GCC event

Posted 19 February 2020 at 11:45 am

Press Release, Genesee Community College

Provided photo: Tom and Ariana Sylvester have written a book together. The former Ariana Cuadrado graduated from Holley in 2002. She is in the school’s athletic hall of fame.

BATAVIA – They are the quintessential entrepreneurs. Creative. Funny. Hard working. Authors. Speakers. Designers. Open to change. Jugglers of life encounters. Self-employed. Parents. Husband and wife. College sweethearts. Athletes.

And maybe just a little crazy – proudly so. Tom and Ariana Sylvester are also the perfect pair to kick off Genesee Community College’s Third Annual Pitch Competition with their presentation on Thursday, March 19, at 11 a.m. at the Batavia Campus in the Conable Technology Building room T102.

With a program entitled, Becoming a Lifestyle Builder: Your Guide to Creating an Aligned and Amazing Life, Tom and Ariana will cover the first three sections of their successful book, “Life Builders, Build Your Business, Quit Your Job and Live Your Ideal Lifestyle.” In a one-hour program, they intend to cover the basics of their inspirational message, and give the flavor of chapter one: Planning with Purpose; chapter two: Finding Your Freedom; and chapter three: Concept to Cash.

Their program is free and open to the public. Limited seating is first-come, first-served and a book signing opportunity will follow their program.

Tom and Ariana currently live in Gates and have two young children. They both grew up in small towns – Tom in Perry and Ariana in Holley. They met at Oswego State College where they earned degrees in computer science and zoology, respectively, and both played on the college’s soccer teams. They graduated in 2006, married in 2008, started their family in 2012, and have gone on to establish three different businesses all while still in their 30s. Sylvester Enterprises is a residential and commercial real estate firm is based in Warsaw and Perry, and they owned a retail liquor store in Warsaw for approximately seven years.

Since 2015 however, they have been living their dream come true with Lifestyle Builders, a firm they founded to help others secure their dream careers by building upon individual passions while also balancing life’s competing priorities. Their 285-page book also includes chapters on Setup and Scale Your Systems, Quit Your Cubicle and Stop Self Sabotage.

“Life Builders, Build Your Business, Quit Your Job and Live Your Ideal Lifestyle” encourages people to plan with purpose and in pursuing personal and career goals.

As self-described “family entrepreneurs,” Tom and Ariana have many speaking engagements, and a robust variety of podcasts available on their website, under seven different headings: Lifestyle, Start A Business, Grow A Business, Marketing, Sales, Operations and Finance. The diverse selection of podcast titles include: Organic Marketing Before Paid Marketing; Automate Before You Delegate; The Hiccups with Hiring – How to Build Your Team; and the FIRE Movement – Financial Independence, Retire with Entrepreneurship; and let’s not overlook The Danger of Mom-Guilt.

From their podcasts to their book, their website and their speaking engagements, Lifestyle Builders look beyond the financial details of starting a business by helping entrepreneurs consider and prepare their personal lives and goals as well.

“It rarely is a straight and narrow path,” Ariana said. “And we wouldn’t want it any other way.”

Genesee Community College offers both degree and certificate programs in Entrepreneurship preparing emerging business owners and investors for success. Tom and Ariana’s presentation help expand the learning opportunity and kick-off GCC’s third annual Business Idea Pitch Competition, which is cosponsored by Genesee County Economic Development Center.

The competition will be held Thursday, April 23, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. (check-in starting at 8:15 a.m.) in room T102 of the Conable Technology Building at the Genesee Community College’s Batavia Campus.

To support participants’ efforts and help prepare their first entrepreneurial steps, GCC is hosting the following preparation workshops all held in room T121:

• Tuesday, March 31, 12:45-1:45 p.m. – “Starting a Business” presented by Sam Campanella

• Tuesday, April 14, 12:45-1:45 p.m. – “Writing a Business Plan” presented by Sam Campanella

• Tuesday, April 21, 12:45-1:45 p.m. – “Developing Your Pitch” presented by Dr. Lina LaMattina

The workshops are free and open to anyone participating in the Business Idea Pitch Competition. To sign up for a workshop, please contact Dr. Lina LaMattina at lmlamattina@genesee.edu.

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