Difference between your money and other people’s money

In my line of work, I run across all kinds of young guns who know every answer to every question and have no trouble spending someone else’s money. The real rub is they don’t want to spend their own money. They are happy to give you all kinds of advice but when it is turned back on them, it is a different result.

Perfect example is me. A few years ago, there was a company that went public on the stock market. The stock opened good and within a week had lost half its value. I literally walked down the halls of our office and told people they should buy some of this stock. When I got back to my office, did I personally buy some? No. Why? it was my money versus someone else’s money. Ha. I should have followed my own advice because that stock has gone up 15 times.

Let’s look at a silly example of the same concept. Your children. Have you ever heard someone that doesn’t have children give advice on how a parent should handle their children? Watch that same person when they have their own children, and you will see a person who now understands this concept. I had a stock guy call me one day talking about where I should be investing, and I remember asking him how much of that stock he personally owned. The guy went quiet on the phone and never called back. ha

When I am speaking with a prospective client, one of the first questions I ask is if they need to raise the equity or if it is their own. How they answer that question will drive much of the conversation.

There are always people that want to tell other people what they should be doing. Heck, the south was built on gossip that took place on front porches where people gossiped and opined on what their neighbors should be doing. I find that a good question I try to often ask myself is, what would I do? KT

Fans or friends

A person that wants other people to admire them for what they have accomplished, is looking for fans. They don’t want friends who respect them. They want fans to praise them. A great leader always pushes fans away and redirects praise to someone else. This is a person that earns the trust and friendship of people around them.

I had this guy I knew once who wanted people to admire him and want to be him. He would have a gathering or some social event at his house and he would park his expensive cars outside so that the guests would have to walk by them to get to the front door. Basically, he was a narcissist. He just couldn’t handle people believing they were on the same level as him so he always had to puff it up. He wanted admirers not friends.

Friends are the ones that want to see you succeed and fans are the ones that secretly want you to fail. Ronald Reagan was a person that wanted friends. When something good was happening he always gave the praise to other people. Never to himself. That is why he was so beloved by the American people. I have a friend who was the chief pilot for Coca-Cola for many years, and on occasions would fly presidents from time to time. He flew Ford, Carter and Reagan and Bush. I was at his house the other day and he had a picture of himself and Reagan on the plane. He said Reagan was so kind and would always give his appreciation to others and would even send handwritten notes of thank you. He said the most arrogant and ungrateful person he ever flew was one of the other three presidents (I will not name) but will let you guess. He said the public perception of that president was completely wrong.

Bear Bryant (head coach for Alabama) was often interviewed after a big win. He would never talk about how great his team was, instead he always talked about how great and well coached the other team was. He never internalized the praise even though he won six national championships.

So, when praise may be headed your way so for something you’ve accomplished, remember this little blog, and don’t talk about yourself and how great you are. Talk about those around you and give them the praise. That is how you win friends who love you, not fans that will disappear.  KT

The value of an advisor

For an owner to try and sell their commercial property themselves is like a person being their own lawyer in court. There is an old English proverb that says, a man who is his own lawyer, has a fool for a client.

I had this gentleman recently that just knew everything about everything and wanted everyone to know he was smarter than anyone else. If you don’t believe it, just ask him. Ha

He ran me the through the traps to get information for the sole purpose of educating himself, so he doesn’t have to pay a broker. He was a real gem of a guy. What he missed is the real reason someone needs an advisor between him and the buyer. The advisor can speak about enhancements to the hotel management. It is impossible for an owner to talk about improvements the buyer could make because the buyer just looks at him wondering why he hasn’t done it himself. The owner speaking for himself, loses all the upside conversation.

Secondly, an owner that wants fans instead of friends, always wants to come across as the smartest person in the room. In fact, his ego demands it. The problem is, it leaves no improvement (in the buyer’s eyes) so the buyer just walks away. I have had very accomplished sellers and I have had seller’s that are terrible operators. I will take the terrible every day of the week. Reason, it shows upside to the buyer and the buyer leaves with the belief he can improve the property.

There two fundamental reasons why any buyer buys any commercial real estate. One – they can get a loan, two – they can see some upside. That’s it. Therefore, if they can’t see some upside, they absolutely will not buy it. So, the owner that wants everyone to see how smart they are just shoots himself in the foot because he tried to save an advisor fee.

There are situations in every person’s life when they need an advisor, a go-between, an advocate, a representative, etc. Basically someone in between them and the other side. Not every time, but many times, the money you pay an advisor is the best money you can spend. KT

Being meek

The bible has a passage that says the meek shall inherit the earth. When you hear the word meek, you probably think what most people think and how the dictionary defines the word. Quiet, gentle, easily imposed on, submissive. Basically, a person who won’t speak up for themselves, never takes a stand and lets everyone push them around.

That is not at all what is meant by the passage in the bible. It speaks more of the quality of the person’s heart and their willingness to take advice and submit to the will of God. Basically, someone that recognizes they don’t know everything and may not have all the answers. A person willing to listen to a trusted friend and willing to adjust course if needed. That’s what it is talking about

Proverbs 12:15 says–the way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice.

My father in-law used to say, “when God saved me, he didn’t turn me into a door mat so people can walk over me.” Ha. The world thinks a meek person is of no leadership value, but the truth is, a meek person (bible meaning) is one who will listen to sound advise and will listen to his/her heart. I heard someone say one time, “to change your mind is the best evidence you have one.” KT

The only bible some people read

Your example and how you live your life are possibly the only bible some people will ever read.  Simply put, people watch you. If they know you are a believer, they watch you even closer. There are those who will never pick up a bible to read but they will be reading you.

People watch everything from how you speak to how you tip in a restaurant. Regardless of what the news media says, people are looking for examples of what is right and good. The impressions you make (many times without knowing it) could be profound in its impact on others. People need the good news and the good news is, there is a God and he is real and it’s up to us (like a billboard) to show a different kind of life than what they may see in others.

I remember years ago riding with a gentleman in a car and we started talking honestly about our different faiths. I did not try to push my faith on him but simply answered his questions. Once he told me what he believed, I remember like it was yesterday. I ask him if he really believed that. He took a long pause and said, “no I really don’t, it is just what I was taught all my life.”  People are looking for people to emulate and examples to follow.

The next time you leave the house for the day, remember the impact you could have on someone without even knowing it just by how you live your life. KT