Michael Phillips
Michael Phillips of "Flip This Hood," which airs on WGN America on Sundays at 4 a.m. ET (Courtesy photo)

WGN America and award-winning director Arthur Muhammad has introduced a new kind of home restoration show that the country hasn’t seen before.

The show, “Flip This Hood,” debuted on Nov. 19, starring Michael Phillips, a former drug dealer turned real estate businessman who has sold over 800 houses in 17 years in the Fort Worth, Texas, area.

“One of the reasons I came up with this idea is I wanted to show people to never give up on your dreams,” Phillips told “Conversations Live” podcast host Cyrus Webb. “I’m very passionate about this. I love what I do and every morning I wake up I want to show people to never give up. I want them to be inspired by me and my story.”

Raised by a single mother of four in a tough Fort Worth neighborhood, Phillips had the entrepreneurial bug early in life.

“I recognized at an early age I had the entrepreneurial blood inside me and its been in me,” he said. “When I would talk to my mom and ask her questions about why didn’t she do this or that, I realized then that everyone doesn’t think the same.”

Phillips bought his first house at the age of 19 for $7,000 with money he saved from hustling. It would be several years later, though, when he was married with a family, before he would pursue real estate again seriously.

“On the show you will see me interact with several properties, auctions and the inner dealings of real estate and that’s one thing I wanted to show is all of the intricate details,” he said. “I want them to see through the eyes of an investor for those who ever thought about flipping properties to give them as much information they can think of.

“I want them to get as much as they can from me,” Phillips said. “Not only will they get a chance to be entertained but educated as well.”

Viewers will also meet project manager Carl Sullivan, who oversees the remodeling and construction projects that Phillips purchases. The duo is assisted by Alejandra Ortega-Ramos, whose father Carlos Ortega has worked on and off for 17 years with Phillips.

The show will also feature Phillips as a father dealing with the tragedy of losing his wife, who died from heart failure in 2015.

“My kids are honored to see dad talking about it [the show] for years and then doing it,” he said. “It’s an eye-opening experience for them as well, because us as parents can have a lot of expectations for our kids, but they look at us like you want this for me but what are you doing about your own life and your own dreams.

“That was one of the main things I wanted to show them,” Phillips said. “Not only am I pushing you towards your goals, I want you to see your father do the same for [himself].”

Sarafina Wright is a staff writer at the Washington Informer where she covers business, community events, education, health and politics. She also serves as the editor-in-chief of the WI Bridge, the Informer’s...

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