The past few months have presented challenges from many directions. Some of it has to do with the typical winter month slow down in the resort business. Some has to do with the annual property tax joy. Some has to do with getting a cumbersome long distance property management situation taken care of. Some has to do with the aggressive construction schedule we’ve established for the treehouse resort and the subsequent cost of all that. Some is just “life happening.
During all of this, it sometimes feels like there’s a cascading effect of problems and issues that just has one thing piling up on another. Of course this is true in everyone life from time to time. The difference is that the more plates you are spinning and the bigger they are. the more and bigger the issues seem to get. Whenever this phenomenon occurs, I’ve always believed we get tempted to enter into a “fight or flight” mode. The other day I came across an article that described the emotions responsible for this and it made a lot of sense. The Article if you care to read it.
About the same time I was working through a sale of a couple properties that had run into a snag that stopped it in it’s tracks. It frustrated me to the point that my first reaction was to forget the whole deal and not sell them. After the irritation of the moment subsided, I took another look at it. In reality, I figured out a half a dozen different ways to accomplish the same thing. Same outcome, different path to get there. None were necessarily as easy, but all still workable. As I discussed the options with the buyers, we decided that a couple of the options were just about as good, and maybe a little better in some respects.
This brought me to a conclusion that I think makes sense. In my experiences as a real estate investor, there are a lot of skills that it’s important to learn and understand. Perhaps the most important one is the ability to get things done when they look impossible. I’m not talking about getting things done that are routine. I’m referring to getting things done that are determined to fight you. Things like bringing deals together that just seem impossible by their appearance. Solving problems that seem to have no workable solutions. Even scratching together resources when nothing seems available. That is perhaps the most valuable asset you can possess. With that ability, nothing is impossible.
Each December for the past several years, I’ve asked myself this question. This year, it’s “What About 2015? Since this blog is mainly about our experiences in real estate investing, the question is normally related to that. I think I will depart from that a little this year and think about life in general. So I ask myself…..”What About 2015?” Looking ahead, I know for a fact that this year will be busier than normal. Since the purchase of the treehouse resort, we have set ourselves on a pretty aggressive construction schedule. The biggest question this year will be how to balance our personal time against all of that.
In a strange way, it’s an interesting dilemma. Our investing activities have created the ability to enjoy free time. At the same time, it’s enabled us to pursue our creative passions that consume our free time. I suppose that I’m okay with that. After all, the creative urge to build things is really the most dominant force in my life and it brings a lot of satisfaction with it.
As I look to 2015, I can see the beginnings of a transformation. For years, the focus has been that of establishing resources. This year I believe I can see a movement to the next step. I think this year will be the year that momentum takes hold and all of the work of previous years will actually begin to pay off in a significant way. It’s just a gut feeling at this point, but I think it’s true.
I only bring that up to make a point. this year marked our 10th year in our investing plan. Every year from the beginning has had increased benefits. Even after all of that, it’s only been this year when it’s felt like the bigger picture is beginning to emerge. For us, 2015 will be a year of transition and I’m still working on what that will look like. However it develops, I’m confident it will represent greater freedom and opportunity than ever before.
This leaves me with my final question. What about 2015 for you. Is this year the year when you begin your quest for financial freedom? Or will you be sitting here next year reading my post titled “What About 2016?”
I’m writing this post from a hotel room about 550 miles from home. It’s early in the morning, I’m eating a croissant and drinking a coffee. I’m way up north. (that’s not too fun) I do have some work to do, plus several meetings over the next couple of days. I’d rather be home, but business needs taken care of. As I was working and thinking of all of this, I remembered something from about 10-12 years ago that helped bring things back into perspective for me. I remembered the days of leanness (I guess that’s a word) I remember struggling to make ends meet and provide for my family. My spare time consist of all the time when I wasn’t working for pay and that was a lot. I filled my spare time with doing anything I could think of to make a few bucks. (Any of this sound familiar?) Anyway, those were tough times and I still remember them vividly.
During my “spare” spare time, I remember sitting and thinking “If I just had enough things to keep me busy! Enough business to keep me busy enough that I didn’t have to always go out and try to create some paying business!”. I thought the secret was to just have plenty of things to do! 10-12 years later, here I am, in another state with things to do here while there is a huge list of things to do back home. Plus, whether all those things to do aren’t enough, we are getting ready to start more things later this month.
The secret is actually not having more than enough things to do, We all have that! The secret is having the “right” things to do. So what are the “Right” things? To me, I’ve learned that the right things to do are those things that keep business moving. I’ve learned that it’s not NEARLY as important finding jobs that pay. It’s important to get an income machine going and keep that machine running smoothly. Somewhere along the way I learned that when you build the right kind of business, that the income shows up whether you are busy doing anything or not. It’s called “PASSIVE INCOME” and passive income is a magical world. Still. even with income that is “Passive”, you still need to make your rounds occasionally to care for your income machine.
So here I am oiling the gears on my machine. 550 miles from home and glad to do it. I beats sitting around wishing I had something to do!
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