All posts by Keith Thompson

Swing and a Miss

Do you think Babe Ruth was afraid he would strike out when he went to the plate? Nosiree. Back in his era, it was considered disgraceful to strike out, yet he struck out 1,330 times. His career averages were as follows. He had at 8,319 at bats, 2,873 hits which include 714 home runs and had a career RBI (runs batted in) of 2,214. His batting average over his 22-year career was 342 which means he struck out two out of every three times he went to the plate.

James Patterson is the most prolific fiction writer of all time, but his first book was turned down 31 times before he found a publisher that agreed to take him on. He has since written over 200 novels and holds the Guinness World Record for 67 #1 New York Times Best sellers.

Thomas Edison was fired from his first two jobs for being “non-productive.” He made 1,000 unsuccessful attempts to invent the light bulb before his 1,001 try. Alexander Graham Bell failed many times for six years from 1871-1876 to invent the phone, but finally in 1876 he made the first phone call. Before his death he held 18 patents that still stand today.

The founder of Holiday Inns (Kemmons Wilson) was a friend of mine before he passed away. I have handled most all the Wilson Family hotel business for over 28 years. Before his death, he had invested in or started over 100+ companies and most of them failed. He kept swinging and hit on five to ten companies that made it big and still exist in a large way today.

Why am I telling you this? Many people will take one swing at their dream and if they miss, they quit and walk away. Thomas Edison was once asked how he felt about failing 1,000 times and his reply was classic. “I didn’t fail 1,000 times, I just discovered 1,000 different ways that wouldn’t work.”

If you keep swinging, the laws of average say you will eventually hit something.  You don’t have to hit success with every swing because if that was the case, there would never be any failures. The advice, keep swinging with all your heart and never forget why you are swinging. KT

The four S’s – silver, sloth, sex, self

Many, if not most human failures (of all time) can be traced back to one of these areas of life. Other words for these areas are money, laziness, impropriety, or a self-centered personality.

Think of all the people you read about (actors, politicians, athletes, CEO’s) in the news or people you know personally who have stumbled in life and there is a good chance one of these four topics was the basis for the downfall. It even covers many of the people in the bible. My point is, it has been going on for centuries and will most likely go on for centuries to come.

For those of you who are older, you may remember the show, Hee Haw that started airing in the late 60’s. My parents had it on every Thursday night. In one scene that sticks out to me, the guy was talking with the doctor, and he said, “doctor it hurts when I move my arm this way.” The doctor said, “well, don’t move your arm that way.”  Sage advice if ever heard it.

So, taking the advice of the Hee Haw doctor, just don’t do it.  KT

Long Drift

Have you ever seen what muscle car enthusiasts refer to as drifting? It is basically where a driver holds the break petal down about halfway and guns the engine causing the rear tires to just spin and smoke and just sort of slide around. He does this the whole way as he slowly drifts around the course. Even though the engine is screaming, the car just slowly (drifts) around the track. I was at a Barrett Jackson auction in Scottsdale a couple years ago and they had free rides with drivers that were drifting around the course. It eats the tires up in no time, but it is a strange feeling hearing the engine rev high and seeing the smoke from the rear tires as the car is just slowly drifting around the orange cones.

Why am I telling you this? Many of us are doing that in our own lives. We don’t have a purpose or we are not where God wants us. We are revving the engine (our heart and our efforts) but just slowly drifting around life’s track. No real traction and no real speed but using up our gas (our energy) and tires (our bodies) while caught in a long drift on life’s track.

The answer: stop the car, shut the engine off and ask God almighty to help you find your purpose and your calling and direct your path and help you figure out what you are supposed to be doing and where you are supposed to be going.  Then when you get back in the car, you don’t have to rev the engine so high (your anxiety), and your tires (your efforts) wont needlessly spin in place, and you will find that you are much more at peace and more at ease as you drive through life’s course. KT

Don’t fix the symptoms, fix the problem

When there is a problem in life, relationships, and business, we often are reactionary to the symptoms, not the real problem. The word symptom means, sign or an indicator of something else.

At our lake house, we sit at the bottom of a steep street at the lowest point. When it rains heavy, we get all the spill over from the street. Our neighbor’s yards are fine, and we get (in some cases) overtaken with water. I have three drains in our driveway to sweep the water away from the house and for years I have been trying to fix the symptoms of the problem instead of fixing the real problem. The real issue is to get the water diverted before it even gets to our driveway.

As I was thinking about this water problem recently, I stopped and realized we often do this with other areas of our life, business, health, finances, and relationships. We want to fix or repair what we see today instead of working on the real problem. A friend of mine used to say, “the best way to remember your marriage anniversary is to just forget it once.” Ha. Sometimes, flowers a day late doesn’t fix the real problem.

It is that way many times in our health, our work, and our relationships. We need to get the core issue identified and as best we can, get that part right and the symptoms will go away. Metaphorically speaking, we want the exterior of the home to look good when the foundation could be crumbling. Fix the foundation before you repaint the shutters. Fix the person in the mirror first and the rest of it will fall into place. You will also be much happier and more content. KT

The seller is the most important component in commercial real estate

One thing I learned 32 years ago was the importance a true seller is to a hotel transaction. I don’t care how much money a buyer has, without a ready, willing and able seller, he is just wasting his time. One of the first questions I always ask when a new client wants to sell their hotel is, why? The answer to that question will largely dictate if we have the likelihood of a transaction or just a tire kicker. If he can’t tell you “Honestly” why, he just needs to call someone else.

In these type cases if the seller answers, “it seems like a good time to sell,” what he is really saying is he wants you to price the deal (via offers) for him, but he is not committed to close the sale transaction. Basically, he is just fishing for a value. The answer I want to hear to that question is the real reason. Several examples are the following, it doesn’t fit with our future growth plans, it’s old and I don’t want to invest any more into it, we want to redeploy the money into something else, family situation, health situation, shift in investments etc. etc. Those are real reasons that we believe are actionable.

A true seller will be accommodating, helpful, flexible, and more importantly, easy to work with. The person that always draws to a hard line in the sand is not someone you want to spent time trying to please. In commercial real estate, price, location, performance, age etc. are all good and important aspects, but the smack daddy thing you must have is a ready, willing, and able seller. KT