Sokol and Eva Bardhi
In this episode, Pamela welcomes her parents, Eva and Sokol Bardhi, to share their remarkable and inspiring Underdog story. Eva and Sokol grew up during the communist era in Albania, eventually escaping to Italy to start a better life. They didn’t stop there and eventually fulfilled their dream of moving to America in hopes of building a brighter future for their children. Coming to America without knowing a word of English, they started a pizza restaurant and built every bit of their success from the ground up. Tune in to hear their remarkable story and the sage insights shared about their sacrifices and how they found the strength to keep their dream alive.

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The Underdog Podcast host is none other than Pamela Bardhi. She’s rocking the Real Estate Realm and has dedicated her life as a Life Coach. She is also in the Forbes Real Estate Council. To know more about Pam, check out the following:

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A Story of Sacrifice, Struggle & Strength Against All Odds

In this podcast, Pamela Barty, a Forbes 30 under 30 entrepreneur and developer of a hundred million dollar real estate empire. Will share her inspiring underdog comeback story, and along with those of her guests. She’ll share how you too, as an underdog, can rise up and succeed against all odds. Here’s your host, Pamela Bardhi.

Pamela Bardhi: Eva Bardi and Sokol Bardi are the definition of trailblazers and entrepreneurs. Both Eva and Sokol grew up during the communist era of Albania. When their daughter Pamela was born, they fled to Rome, Italy, as an escape for a better life. On the day their son Eneo was born in Italy, it was announced that they won the visa lottery to come to the United States. That day, at the hospital, with an infant in hand and completely unprepared. They made the decision that they were heading to the United States for a better life for their family. Came to the US and built an empire through their unmatched hard work in the restaurant business, they are proud parents of anea and Pamela bardi. And soon plan to enter in their daughter’s real estate and construction business to grow the bardi empire.

Eva Insocal bardi says everything she does is for her family

Today, we welcome Eva Insocal Bardi.

Pamela Bardhi: I have two of my most inspirational people in my life, my mentors, my everything. My parents are actually here today, Eva Insocal Bardi. Mom and dad thank you so much for being here today, I know you’re not used to interviews and this kind of thing. It’s all good, so we’re going to make it fun. Yeah. So if you want to introduce yourself to everyone and sort of who you are, your name, what you do now, and that sort of thing. Okay.

Eva Bardi: I’m Eva, and I’m Pam’s mom. Right now me, Soko and my son, Enea, work at a pizza place. We owned a pizza place for about 22 years, and I’ve been working there for almost 18 years. It’s a lot of work, but I’m enjoying it. As long as I do it for my family, for my kids, I’m happy to do it. Yeah.

Sokol Bardi: My name is Sokol Bardi, I’m Pamela’s dad and I have my lovely wife here, Eva. Both of us, we started working at that pizza place, which is even more important. And together we raise our kids, Pamela and Anne, like Eva said, it’s hard work. We got all the satisfaction then you can get from one job like, financially, is the second one. But we are happy we got our place and we work for our family, so that is our goal.

Pamela Bardhi: I know you both very well because I was born for my mom, but you always talk about the family. That’s one thing that I always remember, is everything you do is for the family. And I’m the same way, too.

Annette was born in Albania, Tirana

Now, I want to hear a little bit more about you, each of you, and sort of your journey, your story. Where you came from, like mom, where you were born, where you grew up, what you studied in school. That kind of thing, up until you met daddy.

Eva Bardi: Okay? So I was born in Albania, Tirana, and then I went to school there, I finished college for finance in Albania. After I graduated from college, we both got married, and after a year, we were married together. You were born on November 1, so after four months, dad has to go to Italy to work. Because in Albania at this time there wasn’t too much work. And then for a better life, he just went to Italy, where his uncle was living at that time. Me and you, we stayed in Albania for about ten months, and then finally we got the visa to go to Italy.

We went to Italy, and we lived there for about five years, I didn’t work much over there because I was raising you. And then after five years, Enea came 1996, and I was doing some little jobs. Like when dad used to come home, I used to go take care of one old lady in Italy. I mean, it was hard, but we got through it, and then when Enea was born the day that he was born. My mother in law, dad’s mom, called us and she said that we want the visa lottery to come to.

Pamela Bardhi: America on Annette’s birthday.

Eva Bardi: Yeah, the day that he was born.

Pamela Bardhi: Oh, my gosh.

Eva Bardi: Wow.

Pamela Bardhi: Ah.

Eva Bardi: So I said we learned Italian and we were used to that life over there, I told Sokol, no, we’re not going to America. We’re all set in Italy, we already moved from Albania to Italy, no more, he said, no. We got to go there because America, like, it’s a dream for everybody to come and realize their dreams. And that’s how we came here in 1990. 719 97.

Pamela Bardhi: Was it the end of 1996, something like this?

Sokol Bardi: No, 97. June.

Eva Bardi: June.

Sokol Bardi: Like, we come at the end of June, and there was that snow, famous snow then. That was in April, and there was big snow, so we all had our jackets and everything. We put it on top because we said we’re going to go in the summer, so we don’t need it. But then when it was that cold, we thought it was going to be cold. And when we came here, it was 90 degrees. So we have to put the jacket back again where we got them from.

Pamela Bardhi: Oh, gosh.

Sokol Bardi was born in Austria to an ambassador

So, dad, you got to introduce your story now.

Sokol Bardi: My name is Sokol Bardi and I was born in Austria, because my father used to work for the country as an ambassador. And then my life was between Albania, Austria and Germany where my father continued to do that for 30 years. So there was back and forth.

Pamela Bardhi: He was an ambassador. Right.

Sokol Bardi: That’s for Albania, for the countries, so basically, I see what happened to Albanians. But I’ve come back to Albanian and I was going to school there and I finished college, like Eva said. I was playing basketball for almost 17 years, so basically I go to the school they used to call that time physics education institute. And from there I graduated, we married at that time, an Albanian, they changed the system from communists. Communism goes down, there was really confusion over what you had to do. So like the other Albanian people they left the country, I decided to go too, so I can build something better for my family. Went to Italy, where my uncle was, which is like it’s everything for me.

We are almost the same age so we live our life together in Albania, I went to Italy and we started working. Every job that comes, I work construction because till I learn italian. And then after that, I started to distribute the medicines at a pharmacy with a motorcycle. Those were the two jobs that I did there, and then like Eva said, when Anea was born, they came to the visa lottery. Eva says, we aren’t gonna go, right? I said, why not? We never talk about that, I said, we never talk because I don’t want to go illegal over there, I want to go legal. This is the way we can all family go there and we can build our life.

Pamela Bardhi: And nona put in the. She put in your names for the.

Sokol Bardi: Visa lab, but we don’t even know that because everybody put in the names over there. But it doesn’t mean everybody has to win.

Eva Bardi: Right?

Pamela Bardhi: Right.

Sokol Bardi: But we got lucky, probably that little anea came in life and he said, hey, you gotta do something better for me. And that’s what decided to come, all of a sudden, after eight months we’ve been to America. We came here and now what we can do, because we can’t speak English, we’re looking for a house. Nobody gives us the house because they say, where do you work? So you can bring your check and what check? I had to bring them a check from Italy, so I’m just, you know. Found a house, after a lot of problems, till there was to be co signer people.

So I have all my friends and looking to be, to give a warranty, then we’re gonna pay the rent. And we came to this country, now we are good people. I end up going to Chelsea to one building over there. We are in a room, we are waiting to come, all the furniture and everything. That was another stress, because we said, at least bring something where the kids are gonna sleep. Then that thing goes by, too, and what comes after the job? Everywhere I go, nobody can understand me because I don’t speak English.

It was very hard, and I wanted to work construction. So do you make more money to pay all the bills? After a while, I started working in one pizza place as a delivery driver, I go part time. But then the guy decided to keep me full time, so that was my thing. Then I had to do it till I bought my own place. The guy that I used to work for, he helped me with the money to put him down to buy that place. And that’s what I did, I went to buy my place. I was speaking very little English.

Pamela Bardhi: The pizza place, right?

Eva Bardi: Yeah.

Sokol Bardi: So I bought that place, and I worked with some other guys till Eva come on aboard. Since Eva come on aboard and worked with us, everything changed. We started doing good, I cannot move from the place, and I used to live in Chelsea because Pamela was at school. Don’t want to disturb the kids, bring them, Pamela to change the school and everything. Stayed a couple of years, going back and forth, and then we decided to move to West Roxbury. One of my places. And then Pamela, since she was ten years old, she used to cry to come to work, which is. I used to tell her, don’t come to work, just learn and go to college and do this. But she came, and that was her start, she can talk about that more than me.

Eva: How did you meet Eddie Sokol, the prime minister of Albania

Pamela Bardhi: So I have a few questions for you guys. How did you meet? Where did you meet? Because you guys never tell me these things, so I’m interested.

Sokol Bardi: So Eva can say first.

Eva Bardi: Okay. So I was in high school when I met Sokol, so my house was next to his grandma’s house. He used to stay all the time, as he said earlier, with his uncle who is almost his age. Because his parents at that time were in Germany, all the time he was hanging around with his uncle next to my building. Like my house, that’s where I met him. Then we talked and we were friends for a long time, all high school. And then, when I was in college, first year, we got engaged and when I graduated, we got married. That’s it.

Sokol Bardi: So we took a step by step.

Pamela Bardhi: You took it step by step, dad. I heard you were like a bad boy, you know, I mean, or, what?

Sokol Bardi: You cannot consider a bad boy everything. I mean, you know, you do in your age mostly that nobody likes it.

Pamela Bardhi: You had like a motorcycle, did you?

Sokol Bardi: I used to have a motorcycle when nobody has a bicycle, that has to have a motorcycle. So I used to, because my father, not from me, I got more support from them. And of course, I don’t know what she saw on me, but she liked me, so we took it. Like I said, step by step we finished everything, you know, the school and everything. We got married and after one year and a half, you came. That I figured out now I’m responsible for the family because it’s not anymore. Joke.

Like, you know, play basketball, go with a motorcycle all day and everything, go to school. When I was a teacher, but since we play professional basketball, we used to go only one day at school. So we have a class, then we go just one day and all the other days for 6 hours a day. 6 and a half hours we used to practice, so I used to have very good life. But like I said, everything comes down in that country and then I have to be responsible for my family. And then that’s how I ended up going to Italy, everything started there, and whatever I said to you before.

Pamela Bardhi: That was now in basketball, how many years you played for the national team of Albania, right?

Sokol Bardi: Yes, we play, I play for the national team, of course, you know, they are. Since it was closed for 45 years, all the talented people used to be in one place. So it was very hard to be the best of the best, because everybody, it’s not like right now. Then everybody, he can go to another country, he can play. If it’s really good, he can play, so he would leave you space to play more. But I was one of the six teams that are in this area, so I used to play. I was ten people then playing on that team.

Pamela Bardhi: So who was your biggest teammate? Because Eddie, he’s the prime minister of Albania now.

Sokol Bardi: Right. Eddie was playing with another team because there used to be four teams in the capital. So one was Tirana, which was the team of the regular people, one was the police team, which Eddie used to play. And one was a military team, then another one was, student. All student universities, they played in one team. Four of those teams are in the capital and they are very good, very competitive. That was good, I was playing with Eddie, with the prime minister of Albania.

Pamela Bardhi: Now, what do you remember from Eddie?

Sokol Bardi: From Eddie, I mean, I would tell you, everybody plays sports, he is not gonna play sports if it’s not crazy. Yeah. I mean, you know, you can’t be like, but Eddie was a good player. But he was a very individual person and he was very dedicated to his things. And that’s why he became the prime minister of Albania, because he was saying something, I’m going to do 1234. That’s what he used to do. So even now he took the country from the, everything was bad. Doesn’t go all right. He’s working very hard to bring it into the system, and I think he did it.

Sokol Bardi: Of course, with all the help of the world, you know, they liked Albanian to be different, to be the country. Then everybody can work there and can live there, no one has to go around the world. And, it’s going well, I guess.

Pamela Bardhi: Yeah.

You grew up in communist Albania during transition from communism to democracy

Now another question for you. So you grew up in the communist times?

Sokol Bardi: Yeah.

Pamela Bardhi: What was that like in Albania? Cause I think you guys were, it was hoja and Verhojo and then it was sunny Beresha after that.

Sokol Bardi: Yeah, she can say, talk first. What experience was from you?

Eva Bardi: I mean, for me, it wasn’t just. The only thing that I remember was when we came from Italy to get the visa to Tirana Albanian American embassy. And that time was a war because it was just changing, it was very difficult.

Pamela Bardhi: What year was that?

Eva Bardi: 19 before we came here, 96.

Sokol Bardi: Oh.

Pamela Bardhi: Because that’s when everything was changing from communism to democracy.

Sokol Bardi: Changed at 90. But since the communists, they are still behind us 50 years holding the country, still strong. They now have no more power in the government, but they used to be very strong in the other system. Basically they split those people they used to be communists. All of a sudden, just to do a career they go on other side, they become democrats, change their name. And they did not change the name, but I was young, I didn’t know too many things. So basically they changed into two, and that was fighting very bad at that time. That’s why the embassy was closed, but it opened. Probably I don’t want to lie, but three, four days before my time was to go and take the visa. You, mom and Anea, you’ve been in Albania, and when those people are fighting, you’ve been there.

Pamela Bardhi: Yeah.

Sokol Bardi: I was in Italy still working because I wanted to make as much money so I could pay for the ticket, you know, for everything. Then we’re going to go to one country then we don’t have any support. We don’t know what’s going to be there, but it opened, we got lucky and it opened. So that’s why we went, we took a visa and as soon as we got ready, they were like. Probably two weeks, three weeks, we just fly to America. And when I came here, I said, now I’m saved, I can start my life. But living in communism, I told you, my father used to be in a very good position, so I never had a problem. Yeah, but wasn’t that the system that can follow all the generations or all the people that wasn’t good for everyone?

Like, it’s here in America, you got opportunity, but you got it, everybody can do it over there. You have to be to one side of the party, whatever they call that time, I mean, so you can do good. The other side of the dictator used to banish them, bring them to jails or wherever, for them, it was hard for me. It was never hard but I realized when my time was. Till I had my father, I used to have a very good life. Now what I’m going to do for myself to make a better life for my family. And so I decided to leave the country to not deal with those things that happen over there just for the family. Family was my goal and still is and still going to be till I’m gonna go away from this world.

Pamela Bardhi: Done. Yeah, definitely. But in the communism environment, you couldn’t go to church, right? You couldn’t.

Sokol Bardi: No, that was the worst thing that they did to people, I mean, I would say that was the worst thing. And I would say there was, 25% was good. Because people learn how to live with each other, no fighting for religion. Like they find in half of the world, they don’t make you. Religion is good, but not till you’re gonna go after that without looking left and right. So that was then, everybody was the same, everybody living together, they had no problem, they had no fighting. Even now in Albanian, they don’t fight for religions at all. It’s the only good thing that was about that, but they destroyed a lot of people, a lot of people. Then they want to go to church. Still some people, they hold it even though there was that system where they hold everything.

How did you make the decision to just come to the United States

Pamela Bardhi: So now, how did you make the decision to just come to the United States? Because I remember I was five and now I was like six months old.

Sokol Bardi: Yeah, you are five. But I will tell you, you didn’t say I want to go to America, but you need space. I would say that, and I remember they came, two of my friends. They came to visit because of the air and to see you. So we used to have our house, you know, like a building, there was clothes. And those guys, they brought you an umbrella, what do they call it?

Pamela Bardhi: Umbrella. For the rain?

Sokol Bardi: Yeah, for the rain. And in Albanian, I don’t know for what reason you cannot open inside the house.

Pamela Bardhi: Oh, yeah.

Sokol Bardi: I don’t know, it’s something bad.

Pamela Bardhi: Thing, you know, old wives tale.

Sokol Bardi: So you want it to open and we say no. And then you find the way, said, maybe it’s raining outside, so I want to check, take the umbrella. My friend told me if she’s going to go outside, which is closed, how the rain is going to come in. He says to me, if she’s going to say, oh my God, it’s raining too much, she’s going to be smart. And then as soon as you go out, you say, oh, my God, it’s so rainy and this and that. Then you open the umbrella, my friend says, so cool you’re going to have a problem with this umbrella.

Pamela Bardhi: Oh, man. And then like, because in Italy we were with Tetaetti and Diabeni. So we were in Rome.

Sokol Bardi: Rome, yes, we’ve been in Rome.

Pamela Bardhi: For five years, right? Almost five years, yeah, so I was like there, back and forth. And then I permanently moved there when I was a year and a half old.

Eva Bardi: Right?

Sokol Bardi: Yeah.

Pamela Bardhi: And then, but like, how did you make the decision to just go, dad, did you just say we’re going? Cause it sounded like mom didn’t want to go.

Eva Bardi: No, I was used to

Sokol Bardi: We never talk about that, but I see people then paying $20,000, $30,000 to come to America. They used to go through Canada, I don’t know, but to bet, to use every way to come here. And they came here, they had no paper, they had nothing, and so why are you doing that? I mean, but some people say that, oh, I have to go to America, I never talk about that. But when I saw the opportunity to go, like I said before, it’s, we go over there legally. We’re going to be like everybody else, only thing you have to do, you have to go over there.

So I came here. Of course, you know, I don’t come to Hollywood, so I would see what I see in tv. Come to the real life. But I never blame America. Why am I in this position? Blame myself because I don’t speak English, so I had to learn English, and then that’s how it starts. I never say, oh, I was happy in Italy, I got a job, and why now? Here, or I used to be a basketball player, now I have to work in construction. Never put my head back, and from that time, Eva, can say that all the time. Say America is the best, the problem is the people have to find themselves what they’re gonna do. And wherever we did together, it’s very good what we did, we worked.

We got your kids at school and everything, we got business. Of course, they took more than most of our time to do that, and we really did it very hard. I tell you Eva, it’s, I can say that she’s 80% of the store than we do in there. She’s in charge of everything, and I do my part but without diva, I cannot go. And we still have to do more till you guys are going to do better, and I don’t want all our jobs to go for nothing. Because then, you know, we don’t do anything. If you aren’t gonna do the next step for your family and your kids, you’re gonna have tomorrow and everything.

Eva and Sokol started their business in West Oxford in 1999

Pamela Bardhi: Now, what did it feel like when you first came here? Because you pretty much took everything that you knew in Europe and just, like, completely started fresh.

Sokol Bardi: Yeah, you know, I have to look back.

Pamela Bardhi: Yeah, no, I know. But what was it? What was the struggle like at that time? Like, were you scared? Were you, like, how, scared?

Sokol Bardi: I was never scared. That’s for sure and I don’t say that because I’m a man, I cannot say, Oh, I was scared. The only thing you are not scared of, but you worry about is your family, because we came here with some money. But the money we spent for furniture, we spent for this. And, you know, you got to pay rent, you got to pay for food, you got to pay for this.

Eva Bardi: Yeah, 1 second, I just remember that time that we lived in the building, right? So we had to pay rent, and the due date was Friday, but dad at this time was working. Some construction job, and then the check would arrive, like Friday. We didn’t have enough money to pay the rent, the due date, so we were so worried. And we asked my cousin, can we just borrow $300 from you, to pay rent? Then Friday we can give it to you back, and he was off. Of course, sure, and then I remember that day every second here, like, oh, my God.

So we start from minus and we try hard to have a better life for you. And since Sokol was raised without his parents most of the time because they lived in Germany. They lived, four of them, in Albania, that’s why I’m always trying to keep you guys close to us. Because dad has this thing that he didn’t spend so much time with his parents. At least you can spend a lot of time with us.

Pamela Bardhi: Yeah, no, definitely. I just, like, more than anything, I admire how you guys just sacrificed everything. You put everything on the line, that would scare me to just say, you left everything. To come here and just.

Sokol Bardi: You had me.

Eva Bardi: Yeah. What are you gonna do? Sometimes like, it’s been days that I’ve been very tired. And I just wanted to cry because I was so, like, full of stress and everything. Tired, but then when I was thinking of you guys. Like okay, I’ll do this because this is all for my kids or just everything.

Pamela Bardhi: Like, you both built something beautiful, so. And when did we buy the business? It was 2000, right? 1999, I think you were working there dad, so you were here not even three years.

Sokol Bardi: Yes.

Pamela Bardhi: And you guys bought the business in West Oxford.

Sokol Bardi: Yeah.

Pamela Bardhi: How did you go from not speaking English to getting to that point?

Sokol Bardi: You gotta go Pam, you gotta do that, you know, it’s like when I learn English that I mean. If I know basic English things then I don’t stay in the middle of the road. To ask for Moana Road or to ask for my things or just to speak normally. And, you gotta do it and when you take the store, it’s more responsibility because that’s your life before you take the store. Basically, when you buy the store, you buy the problems of somebody else, so you have to deal with it. It’s completely new, you gotta make it to work for you, so you’re gonna find a strategy. How to make it, how it works, and but never better, to make it better and to stay in business.

To stay in business is not easy, it’s hard. But for example, when I go to that store, I see people, they give me ideas, do this, do that. What I did, I said, I’m never going to advertise. And they said to me, how are you going to bring your business up? Instead I spend money on the papers. Everybody just take a look at it like this and put in the garbage my money. I’m going to give more food to people. I make my sandwich sizes a little bigger, I buy all the time, quality food, I still do now and everything. So the people, that was word of mouth, and slowly everything started coming.

Sokol Bardi: And since when I told you then, Eva, it’s 80% of the store, I don’t say that as a compliment to her. I say that she really is, because I spend time going out of the store when I deliver and I’m not there, it’s all on her. But this way I meet people, I see people, and my philosophy on the business was this. Don’t put the dollar in front of people, put it on the back. So you see more how to make people happy and to work with them and to make it a relationship, the relationship.

Then you see the money. Because if you’re going to see only the money, you’re not going to do it for yourself. Just to take care of people that you don’t know what they need. People you don’t know what you’re doing, you know? So that was like, I keep it that way, and so far everything went fine.

Pamela Bardhi: Yeah, I remember, that’s what you taught me in business. You remember when I called you guys after my junior year in college, I told you I was gonna open a business. And I didn’t know what it was yet, I’m in it, and mommy freaked out. Then the first thing you told me, dad, you were like, Pam, you gotta understand. If you’re gonna own a business, you have to have a big heart. That was like the number one thing that I kept. Like, I always focused on relationships and everything since I heard that.

Sokol Bardi: You have to have a big heart because not everything, I mean money is there, but not all the money is for you. Sharing and working and you’re doing everything with people, people are more important than money.

What’s the best piece of advice that you’ve ever gotten from anyone

Eva Bardi: Oh yeah summertime the door, pizza place is always, most of the time open. So you see dead going outside with bottles of water. People, they walk around, oh, take water.

Sokol Bardi: It happened for us to be, the YMCA in the back. So they are old people, then they go over there, but they’re coming out and they’re exercising. Over there and you see them all red in the face and I say, take water. And they tell me, I said water should be free, I said, shame on them. Then they put it in a bottle and they start laughing, it’s just like, oh, you see construction when you drive. I drive to bring food to them and I see them working in the middle at 90 degrees.

They go in and work inside the road, and doing things, I see how many people there are. All the time I bring them water or Pepsi or whatever and they say, where’s this from? I said, it’s no problem, you can drink it. So I mean it’s everything you got to share with people and you’re going to have better business and better life, I guess.

Pamela Bardhi: I know, I remember I was like ten years old when I was at the pizza place. And I would watch you chase people down the street to take a walk and it was like, no.

Sokol Bardi: Because some people think he needs this guy, but then I see at the bus stop. See an old person waiting for the bus and staying there and sweating and doing everything. It doesn’t cost me anything to cross the street and give one water to them. And I, all the time, tell you, I said, those people they work and they pay taxes. So we come from another country and we have everything built. We know what it means to not pay taxes. But you have nothing. Some people, they tell me, oh, you almost, you are happy you pay in taxes. I said, I come from one place and they don’t pay in taxes but they got nothing.

You complain about paying taxes and you think you love your nephews and your grandkids, you don’t. Because how are those going to leave after, if you stop paying or they don’t have anything? And they say, yeah, you’re right, it makes sense. I said, it makes sense. But we all have to contribute and make it look this kind of the way it is. That’s why it is like that.

Pamela Bardhi: Because what’s been like the best piece of advice that you’ve ever gotten from anyone?

Sokol Bardi: See, you know, I came from different worlds so nobody can give me advice here for that world, than I came from. And here I try to do everything to work for this world here, but there wasn’t any advice. I was just into it. You know, like I work with my friend on how to make everything around me work for me.

Sokol Bardi: I mean to work on relationships and everything. Not just to work making money, but just to be a normal person, and then you’re going to do everything. You know, do everything right. Try donuts, because you do bad things or everything comes back to you, you do good things, come back to you. So treat somebody else the way you want to be treated. This is the best advice I hear in America, how you want to be treated. That you treat somebody else and then everything would be fine.

Pamela Bardhi: And for you, mama, what’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever given or advice you would give too?

Eva Bardi: Like if you work hard and you have something in your.

Sokol Bardi: Mind, you have to be focused.

Eva Bardi: Yeah. And then everything can be possible if you work hard.

Sokol Bardi: Nothing in America is impossible, but you don’t have to jump from one place to another. Everything has a nice foundation, what you do, and then, you can go forward with everything. Because don’t forget that we do something our way. Maybe it’s all timing, you know, not what we are doing. But you, all the time you’re gonna take that experience and put it in your life and your kids tomorrow. You’re gonna watch what kind of experience you give to your kids by doing things. So I think family is the best thing you can do, all those things to go through.

Other than that, I don’t think anything, work has to be family. Consistent, listen, everybody’s opinion, see what they want to do, give your advice and wait, what’s going to happen? Because you are 30 years younger than me, of course you are a way updated for me. But the basic things are the basic things, family, honesty and work for everything you have or you wanted to have.

Pamela Bardhi: Now up until date you’ve made all these sacrifices, you bought the business and you bought the building. And now everything is expanding in my world of real estate development and the construction stuff.

Sokol Bardi: But you, yeah.

Pamela Bardhi: Now what is next for you?

Sokol Bardi: It’s not for the parents, it’s not for the next parent who just falls all the time. So you’re doing good, what you’re doing in real estate, I told you, it’s not the money. You have to see what you’re dealing with, you know, it’s, you do just the right thing for people and everything. You’re going to get better, and this is the way you can go more around your family tomorrow. Because if you’re going to be like us, spending all day in a business, you’re not going to have time for your kids. And, God bless you, you’ve been two good kids, so we never had a problem. But some families then, seeing only the work and they don’t see the kids, the kids going different ways. Even this one is to support you and Anne to do better in life.

To have more time to stay with each other, help each other, we are a bigger family than that. You know, we are just four of us. But we got Eva’s sister, we got her niece and her husband, so we are seven people working together. And I wanted to mention that Monica was a very great help for Eva too, to do that business. We are a family of seven people, we got now, because both our old man passed away. Her father and my father, so we got two more, my mother and my mother in law. Then we have to take care and we stay all together and do the right thing. Hopefully, it’s gonna be like this all the time. Don’t forget our niece Kayla, she’s watching all the time what we’re doing, she’s gonna be one day like you.

Pamela Bardhi: Yeah, I hope that would be awesome.

Sokol Bardi: Yeah.

So that means you’re gonna be getting out of the restaurant business

So you’re gonna be both doing, you know, and we’re gonna be just happy seeing how you’re doing great. Next step is to support you with everything and anything, and we have more time to help you.

Pamela Bardhi: So that means you’re gonna be getting out of the restaurant business.

Sokol Bardi: We’re just gonna sell the business. But we got the building, then they are, you know, we want that what we start, somebody follow that. He can do, you know, he got more energy, he got more things to do, that one. And, everything else is gonna work for you guys.

Pamela Bardhi: Now that you’re kind of like, gonna be semi-retired. What are like, what’s something that you want to do that you’re passionate about? I know, dad, you have the birds, so.

Sokol Bardi: Yeah, that is not understandable for everyone. Because when you say, I wanna deal with my pigeons, everybody first thing comes to mind is pitching from the street. Oh, and say what he wants to do, but I am in the clubs from California. Then I got all my friends, all those clubs are bigger, so they are fancy birds and it’s different. Some people probably never hear of it, but in 300, some million, they are in America. We are probably 500 people dealing with that, but I travel. When I say my passion is this, I want to travel because the clubs, I mean, the shows, they are all around America. But sometimes they are in Texas, sometimes they are in California. Sometimes they are going to be in Louisville, Kentucky this year, which I can be driving there not to fly till California.

So this is, I need more time for that hobby than I have, and that’s why I’m spending time with my lovely wife. Because people ask and say, how come you work together and you have no problem? I said, who said we have no problem? They say, no real problem because I said no. Basically she does her job and I do my job, because when you say you own the store, it’s a lie. The store owns you because he needs you there every day. But we work as a family, so we have trust inside, so everything goes smoothly. It’s not like this for everybody, but time is time to go for another step and we’re gonna do that. And let’s see how it’s gonna work.

Eva Bardi: I mean, I just want, at least practice what I finished for finance, so I can help you with.

Sokol Bardi: Some stuff still at the house.

Eva Bardi: Yeah.

Sokol Bardi: So, that’s it, to have your dad and mom bosses, you’ve learned. Now I’m gonna see how I’m gonna be when I have my daughter, boss. She’s gonna treat me the same thing, so that’s gonna be.

Pamela Bardhi: That’s gonna be interesting to see.

Sokol Bardi: Very interesting. Yeah.

Eva Bardi: No.

Pamela Bardhi: Now, dad and mom, you both are on Facebook, cause you gotta tell everyone how they can reach you. Cause you’re famous now, now that you’re on the show.

Eva Bardi: You know my facebook, I just got the Facebook page, Eva shukle with my maiden name. Maiden name? Yeah, Sokol has the same. Sokol?

Sokol Bardi: Yeah, for me you come to this country, you gotta work.

Pamela Bardhi: I’m excited for your next chapter, though. Like, you guys have worked.

Sokol Bardi: I told you, I’m gonna see what kind of boss you’re gonna be.

Pamela Bardhi: I’m not gonna be that bad, dad, I promise, I don’t know I’m gonna take it easy on you. I don’t know. You weren’t easy on me either, I wanted to go to middle school dances, dad, and I had to work.

Eva Bardi: You said, no, it’s Friday, you can.

Pamela Bardhi: Go after eight after you work, and I would go there and I would smell like french fries.

Sokol Bardi: It’s gonna be from this place, then we are doing that interview with you. First person that was there wasn’t that good, boss, and tell me, so probably you’re gonna do that too. I’m joking, it’s the nicest guy, he’s gonna remember that now and he’s gonna say, what did I do? I tried to do my job, like you keep talking here. In my job, everybody has to do his job, so that’s what I did. But as soon as I, you know, as much time I’m going to be at that store. You are a free guy for life, so did I pay you back for this?

Pamela: Thank you so much for listening to Underdog

What I saying about you other guy too?

Pamela Bardhi: So I thank you both so much for coming today, as you know, you’re my number one inspiration and motivation. You know, when everybody asks me, Pam, why do you work as hard as you do? I always say, well, it’s for my parents and my family. Everything you’ve sacrificed and everything you’ve done is more than appreciated. And I thank you both so much, the next chapter is gonna be exciting. Promise I’m not gonna be too hard on you, dad.

Sokol Bardi: Bam. It all depends on you, I understand my position, so I’m gonna do my best.

Pamela Bardhi: Thank you, thank you both so much for coming. Everyone, thank you so much for tuning in to underdog, next episodes will be out soon. Special shout out to our sponsors, Veep Salotti and the Moshe group, thank you so much, and until next time. So that’s it for today’s episode of Underdog, head on over to iTunes and subscribe to the show.

Tune in to the episode to hear the rest of my incredible interview with Sokol and Eva Bardhi. If you found this story worth your time and made changes in your life, we’d love to hear from you! Subscribe and leave a review. The Underdog Podcast host is none other than Pamela Bardhi. She’s rocking the Real Estate Realm and has dedicated her life as a Life Coach. She is also Forbes Real Estate Council. To know more about Pam, check out the following:

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