Danielle Pierce wants people to know they can create the life they truly desire. Pierce, who turned 40 on Nov. 13, specializes in buying tax lien properties and managing foreclosed properties. This year, she’s starting a business – Serenity Acquisitions – that will buy debt at a steep discount and then sell it to entities.
“People don’t have to be stuck doing things they actually don’t want to do,” Pierce said. “You don’t have to complain every single day doing things you don’t want to do. You can create the life you want.”
In 2007, Pierce’s entire department at a Downtown Chicago corporate office lost their jobs, and since then she has been living the entrepreneurial life. Five years ago, she started a business that focused on managing bank owned properties. She also created a separate business that acquires tax delinquent properties for pennies on the dollar. In both instances, she is nearly always the only African-American woman operating a successful multiple six-figure business.
Pierce has marketed her expertise through her companies to the masses through online courses, the latest of which helps individuals buy tax delinquent properties and/or manage foreclosed properties. Pierce, who grew up poor and was the first in her family to attend and graduate from college, made $750,000 in 2019 and expects to hit the $1 million mark this year.
In the last two years alone, Pierce and her clients have purchased nearly 100 tax lien properties primarily in Indiana, Illinois, Michigan and Tennessee.
“I’m a resilient person,” said Pierce, who grew up in south suburban Chicago Heights and for the last three years has lived in Fort Worth, Texas. “And I always hated being broke.”
Pierce is the only one of her four siblings to attend college. Her brothers have been in and out of prison. Her father was a drug addict and alcoholic. Pierce’s mother had dreams of college and entrepreneurship, but life as a single mom prevented her from realizing those dreams until she was in her 50s. Her mother ultimately realized a lifelong dream of graduating from college when she was 53 years old.
Everyone knows what they need to do to create the life they want. Yet, very few ever gather enough courage to live that life. I want to be a catalyst for people to act in spite of their fears.
Pierce earned a full-ride Evans Scholarship to the University of Illinois after serving as a caddie for several years at Idlewild Country Club in suburban Flossmoor. “I guess that’s where I started my entrepreneurial career,” said Pierce, who first caddied as a 13-year-old, taking home $20 on her first 18-hole round. “It gave me exposure to the fact that everyone wasn’t broke. Many of the golfers were entrepreneurs or in finance.”
Pierce graduated from the U of I’s Gies College of Business with a degree in accounting. During her time in Urbana-Champaign, she worked full-time at Meijer and the third shift at International House of Pancakes while taking a full load of classes. She worked in corporate for a few years, but after her position was eliminated, she realized that life didn’t suit her.
She never understood why there were 55-year-olds at her company who hated their jobs but never had the guts to start their own businesses or simply leave.
“I never wanted to make a decision based on fear,” said Pierce, who is a member of the Forbes Real Estate Council. She instills the same attitude in her daughters, ages 8 and 5, and her 7-year-old son. “I want them to be independent thinkers, resilient and just be themselves unapologetically, which is so rare these days,” Pierce said.
5601 Bridge Street
Fort Worth, TX 76112
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