Valentines day! ♥ The perfect day to write about commitment, about putting your skin in the game, trusting a corporation, or a business, or your own dream. Falling back in love when your enthusiasm is running thin.
In the “Business Romantic” by Tim Leberecht, the book that I’ve been reading for a while, there is the story about Kay Compton and her husband, who in 2007 sold everything and charted a course that would take them out on the ocean, off the grid, for almost two years. They were both avid sailors. They decided to make the “milk run,” sailing across the Pacific Ocean, hitting all the most beautiful beaches on their way.
They alternated duties, each serving as captain of the watch while the other stayed below. “You have to have the ultimate trust in the other individual. Your life is in their hands and you have to have faith that they will keep you safe,” Compton told Leberecht. Most of the time the sailing was smooth, but they hit a storm with fifty-five-mile-an-hour winds and twenty-five-foot waves. She said that you have to make peace with your situation and realize you cannot walk away.
Compton says she remembers that time when the ocean surrounded them on her daily commute, and the memory keeps her above the fray in her job as an architect and reminds her that there can be only one leader at a time. You must understand your role and the role of others. “When someone is the Captain, you don’t argue. You don’t start an argument in the middle of the ocean.”
In our business lives, there are times when we need to put faith in the leader and not start a fight in the middle of a project. This means you have to crush down your pride and your own know-it-all self and work at the direction of the other, perhaps not to “survive,” but to make it through the crisis. Employees get this wrong when they are always standing on the edges looking for a better deal. But employers get this wrong when they forget that the crisis cannot go on for years.
To keep employees and to keep your own love of your business alive, you have to keep it real. As Matthew Stinchcomb, VP of Etsy, says, “Go for a walk instead of messing around on the internet to look busy.” This is the final value for Etsy, “Keep it real, always.”
Keeping it “real” is part of real estate.
Remember that Real Estate is solid, made of dirt and trees, bricks and mortar, or sand and stone. It has boundaries and doors and windows and homes are made there. A great business for a romantic to be in.
Happy Valentines Day.
Pat St. Cin
Reference: Leberecht, Tim. 2015. The Business Romantic, Give Everything, Quantify Nothing, and Create Something Greater Than Yourself. Harper Collins.