EP 151: How to Handle Contractors and Successfully Work with Family

construction Dec 25, 2020

Your general contractor can make or break your business so it’s important to vet them properly. On today’s episode, we talk with Ada Li, general contractor and investor, about how to effectively work with GCs and what it’s like running a large business with her family.

Ada grew up in the construction space and used that experience to build multiple businesses with her husband and family. We discuss with Ada the red flags to look for when choosing a general contractor, how to be taken seriously as a female in a male dominated industry, and how to set boundaries with your family to successful run a business with them. Ada also shares how she became earned a Minority & Women Business certification and the advantages that come with that certification.

Ada Li is a general contractor with a background in active and passive investing. Her parents immigrated to America in the late 70s and started a construction company. As a first generation American, Ada had to help her immigrant parents navigate their business. She officially joined the family construction business about 18 years ago. In 2015, Ada started a development company with her husband (Hardscrabble Developments) and in 2017, they started their own real estate syndication group (Hardscrabble Investments) to diversify their investment portfolio. They have invested in funds for multi-family apartments and workforce housing (600+ doors) and self-storage units. They also own a few mobile home parks in the Sunbelt States. Ada is currently learning Spanish (trying to be trilingual), loves to travel, cook, and spend time with her family.

On today’s episode, we discuss a ton with Ada including:

  • How to vet a general contractor
  • The appropriate deposit for a GC when starting a project
  • The benefits of a Minority & Women Owned Business certification
  • How to set boundaries in life when working with friends and family


Never Split the Difference by Chris Voss

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