We had the good fortune of connecting with Milla Goldenberg and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Milla, how has your background shaped the person you are today?
I was born in the Ukraine when it was part of the Soviet Union. My birth city is Lviv, though back then it was called Lvov. I left when I was three years old and have no memory of it. My family landed in Los Angeles with nothing beyond the idea of an American Dream. At that point, my story follows the path of many similar Angeleno immigrant stories. There were language barriers, food shortages, money anxiety, hard work for low wages, delayed gratification and, ultimately, rewards after a long journey. The backbone of my business is my work ethic and I give all the credit to my parents, who showed me that hard work can pay off. Those early struggles still inform who I am today, keeping me humbled, grounded and focused on the long game. I wouldn’t change a thing about my upbringing. My family is my foundation.
What should our readers know about your business?
Realtors are a dime a dozen in Los Angeles. And there are plenty who just keep a license and do it part-time. When I entered the business (with no plan B), I knew I was entering a saturated industry and every doubting voice in my head kept reminding me of this. The only thing that got me through those early years was just my focus on working, working, working. I tried to never look up and notice how others had sold more homes than me or made more money. Every day, I would rise and grind, rinse and repeat, keeping at it until the wheels fell off. I think that’s the only way to launch a business because you can easily find reasons to get discouraged. But when you’re busy working, you’ll see results faster and those small gains will motivate you to keep pushing. Five years later, I work just as hard for my clients. I never take my foot off the gas and never plan to. That’s the key to my brand and story: I work hard to make my clients’ dreams of homeownership come true. In the process, they’ve helped me make my own dreams come true. It’s a win-win.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I love this question and I love playing tour guide! As a native Angeleno, I’m proud of my city. First thing I do with friends who come to visit is take them to my favorite taco truck: La Estrella on York and Avenue 54 in Highland Park. (Their red sauce is amazing.) There is plenty more to do in Highland Park, where I’ve lived for the past 12 years, so I know it the best: Galcos for soda and candy, Second Saturday Art Walk on York, hiking through Debs Park, the Audubon Center, historic homes in Garvanza. After we explore my own hood, I will take my friends downtown to see Frank Gehry’s Disney Concert Hall. We’ll eat in Little Tokyo at Daikokuya for the best ramen in the city, then go to the Far Bar, walk through the Historic Core, catch a Lakers Game at Staples. Of course, any trip to Los Angeles must include a walk through Venice Boardwalk, Santa Monica Pier, The Promenade and the Getty Center, plus a concert at the Hollywood Bowl. Also essential is a long drive down Sunset, starting at the beach and heading through the Palisades,, Beverly Hills, the Sunset Strip, Hollywood, Silver Lake and ending downtown near Olvera Street. And as a realtor, I love archi-touring with clients — craftsmen homes in Pasadena, midcentury beauties in Laurel Canyon, Spanish homes everywhere else. Los Angeles has so much to offer. I’ve been here my whole life and am still discovering it.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Yakov & Ida Goldenberg (aka mom + dad)