A quick story: I went to Long Island recently for charity event benefiting The NephCure Foundation. My plan was to meet a client in the city for lunch and then beat the traffic. When the client cancelled lunch, I decided to stay in the office until about 2:30, knowing traffic would be impossible if I left any later. It seemed like a good plan until the phone rang at 2:25 and that call didn't end until 3:15. Once in the car, I plugged the address in to my GPS and I was on my way. There are many ways to get from East Brunswick to Glen Cove, but I thought the GPS would eliminate the guess work of which was the best route. Throughout the first leg of the trip, I ignored the GPS and followed my instincts which went fine. However, during the second leg of the trip, I listened to the GPS, especially when it asked me if I wanted to use a different route to avoid traffic. This led me to side streets, traffic lights, and more traffic.
In the end, it took me over three hours to get there. The GPS gave me "a" way to go...not "the" way to go.
When you think about it, it's really a great metaphor for many areas of life, including business. We might know where we want to go, but there are many ways to get there. Sometimes, we follow our instincts and sometimes, we follow others. Life doesn't come with instructions and even if it did, who would read them? But if we are lucky, we come across those who have "been there, done that" and can guide us accordingly.
Having been in real estate for 13 years and achieved a certain level of success, there are people who look to me for guidance. I take this very seriously. However, I am very aware that my path is not for everyone. I had a few mentors before teaming up with my partner of the last 11 years, Joe Sarno. Working with different people allowed me to see traits and habits I liked, and things I didn't and proceed accordingly.
For example, when I first entered the business, I was told there were basically two kinds of brokers: relationship brokers and product brokers. Relationship brokers excelled at developing business on the golf course, in bars, and at lunch. The joke was that they couldn't find the buildings where they did deals, even with a map. Product brokers knew the buildings, including the technical specifications, as well as the tenants in the buildings, the former tenants in the buildings and could speak about market statistics all day long. I was told I should pick one and focus my efforts there. I decided I was going to be good at both. Some would say I succeeded. Again, this isn't right for everyone, but it was right for me. Had I chosen a different path, I may have ended up in the same place, but it would have been a different route to get here.
So as I proceed on my journey, I will definitely take some right turns and some wrong turns. When I veer off track, I will stop and ask for directions from those who I look to for guidance. Along the way, I will continue to jot down some thoughts here to share with you. I took a bit of a break the past few weeks, but not from a lack of ideas or thoughts. I wanted to think about the direction of the blog and where it's going. You will see I chose a new design and appreciate your feedback, as always. I hope you enjoy the ride.