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I Made It!

I made it to another birthday! Some people don’t look forward to their birthdays, they see it only as getting older and are actually sad about it. Remember when we looked forward to birthdays? We couldn’t wait to turn 10 (double digits!), or 16, 18, 21 (tequila!), and then we started not enjoying our birthdays or at least only partially enjoying them (cause there’s still cake : ).

I went on my traditional long “birthday run” this morning and started sorting through my thoughts and came to the conclusion that each birthday, no matter how old we are turning, is to be celebrated as an achievement. We all have loved ones that sadly never made it this far. As “they” say, getting older is better than the alternative!

My other early morning thought worth sharing (most of them aren’t) is to do what calls you, do what you are passionate about. Many years ago I made significant changes in my life. I had grown tired, had stopped striving, stopped competing. Apart from being a father, I wasn’t doing anything else that I was really passionate about, or that really pushed me to compete and grow. I did what everyone around me in my little bubble did and was expected to do. I went to B-School, worked in a professional office (in a coat and tie!), spent 100 hour work weeks where my efforts and accomplishments were recognized and praised but too many times the level of effort didn’t correlate to the level of output. Ever spend 6 months working night and day on a project, only to have it shelved due to a shift in strategic direction? Not fulfilling to say the least. I like tangible outcomes and where the level of effort is directly tied to the outputs (or more generally, success). So I started running and then swimming and cycling. I tracked my progress, set goals and loved hitting them! So satisfying and it was directly tied to my effort! I was competing again!

Then I turned to my professional life and decided I wanted the same thing I had found in my personal life. I wanted to do something different, but also something I was passionate about. And it had to be something where efforts and outputs were directly correlated (and measurable!). I also had to break free from what I thought I was supposed to do or expected to do. That is when I made the jump to Real Estate and it had to be full-time, all or nothing. What better way to do something I am passionate about where the success or failure is all on me. I am competing again and I love it…there are well over 1,000 agents in Santa Barbara and the Santa Ynez Valley and everyone I know also knows at least a dozen other agents. Bring it on!

Real Estate checks all these boxes for me, but it also had to be a field where I could leverage my experience, skills, and education. This couldn’t be more true in Real Estate where my marketing skills, specifically digital advertising, have made the difference on the listing side of the business. Real Estate may be the last bastion of print advertising (print is dead…come on!). Other skills such as financial modeling (buy vs. rent, income streams, etc.) and negotiation have been greatly appreciated by my clients.

All in all, it’s been a great decade of change and growing old! Thank you all for your birthday wishes! And to my clients, thank you for putting your trust and faith in me to get the deal done!