So much of what we do seems to be about the numbers, and that is the careful approach to money and real estate investing. Research, data, and knowing are key. Once we have enough numbers, coordinates, impressions, population flows, and price points, we can let the algorithms take over and decide for us if it is safe to jump, to invest. But where is the mystery in that? Where is the romance? In the book The Business Romantic, by Tim Leberecht, we read the staggering statistic that in the time it takes us to read one chapter in his book, “the human race will produce the same amount of data that currently exists in the U.S. Library of Congress. Big Data indeed.” Awk!
Too Much Measuring
Lebrerecht points out that in business, the mantra often is “You can’t manage what you can’t measure.” I’ve seen this in business. Managers trying to track performance data on every employee and somehow relate it to success. In our personal lives, the fashionable apps available to us also quantify our every heartbeat and the fate of every calorie, spitting out information about everything we eat and how it relates to our best-every performance. As we age, the mobile heart EKGs and breathing machines tell us if we are okay despite how we feel, or if it is time to call 911. Human agency it seems is being pressed out by the numbers.
And so it is in many of our decisions in this business we are in of borrowing, lending, buying, renting, and selling. Over and over I say, do the numbers, do your research, know what you are getting into. We want to know the numbers. We want to quantify all the potential risks and rewards. And, that is the sensible thing to do.
But there is another way to do business, the romantic way as Lebrercht points out in his book. It is the unpredictable way, the way of the gut. It is looking at business as the greatest adventure of the human experience. It is giving all we have and not counting the return. It is the leap of faith, our celebration of the unknown and the unexplainable. (I can just feel the office quake as all those business productivity managers falling out of their rolling desk chairs.)
So, I ask, what if we fall in love with a house? What if we want to embrace a neighborhood, a town. What if we are passionate about fixing this little house up so it is beautiful, each door knob polished to perfection, each mop board stained precisely? If that is the way we are feeling about our business, we are business romantics. It is taking the small and making it big.
When we are in love with our work, we do it for the sake of doing it. We see our work as bigger than ourselves as something with purpose. We don’t even notice our paychecks. We might not get along with everyone or be completely streamlined, but we are successful. We are improving neighborhoods, building communities, turning the sow’s ear into the silk purse.
My advice on this winter Friday in January is to forget the efficiency and give old romance a try. Seek out the mystery, the romance in property. Where a person lives is so important to them. It is our job to bring property to life, to engage in the business of buying and selling to create places where humans thrive and to thrive ourselves as we bring a dream to life.
That is it! Look at your work for what it is—creating places for humans to live! This is a high calling indeed.
I would love to give you a hand in whatever you endeavor to do.
Follow this link for a quick application form: http://investorslendingsource.com/pre-qualification-program
Or, please call or e-mail.
Pat St. Cin
Jacqueminot Roses, painting by Martin Johnson Heade [Public domain] via Wikimedia commons.
Leberecht, T. 2015. The Business Romantic. New York, NY: HarperCollins.