Category Archives: Career

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


I did not write this but saw it yesterday and thought it was cool. Wanted to share it with you.

On June 16, 1903, the Ford Motor Company was established. Henry Ford was the founder. This was not his first rodeo, as he had previously operated the Henry Ford Company. He left that company and took his name with him. What became of the Henry Ford Company? They became known as the Cadillac Motor Company.

Ford’s Model T, which would number in the millions sold, required 100 board feet of wood to build. Ford despised waste. His motto was, “Reduce, reuse, and recycle.” He was also a nature-lover, an environmentalist of his time. His escape from the stress of life was camping in the great outdoors.

Frustrated by the mountains of sawdust his lumber mills created, he and his partners sought a way to utilize the scrap wood and sawdust into a useful (and profitable) product.

An idea came to him one day as he was camped with some friends in the wilds of Michigan. After his party spent a long time collecting sufficient wood for a campfire, an idea spring in Ford’s mind. Upon returning back to the lumber mill, he shared the idea with some of his partners and set to work on it.

The idea? Lumping a fistful of sawdust and cornstarch with a bit of tar to form a briquette. After charring it, it performed exactly what Ford imagined it would. He then built a charcoal briquette factory adjacent to his lumber mill where the waste from one became the fuel for the other.

A new Model T was frequently sold with a bonus bag of Ford Charcoal Briquettes, so you could drive into the woods to camp and not worry about finding campfire wood.

So know you know. Ford not only created the modern automobile industry which takes millions to work and back each workday, but he also created the weekend grilling and camping industries.

In 1951, the Ford Charcoal Briquette Company was sold. The new company was named after Ford’s real estate partner who helped him find the land to supply wood for building the early Ford automobiles- E.J. Kingsford.

Today, Kingsford Charcoal is the largest producer of charcoal briquettes in the world.

Most unusual closing

Years ago, I was selling a hotel in Nashville well before the internet, cell phones, email, and such. Back then I had to physically go to the closings if I wanted to get paid.

The closing was set for 9am, so I drove up to Nashville early that morning. When I got there the buyer was there with his attorney and my client (seller) was there with his attorney. The buyer was a good guy and a deeply religious man. We had discussed our faiths several times during the sales process.

When everyone was in the room, everyone got coffee and chatted and the two attorneys do what they usually do and that was talk about where they went to school and common people, they knew etc. By this time, it is now 9:40 that morning.  During the chatter between the attorneys, I noticed the buyer hadn’t said anything. A minute later he leaned across the table and told me that if he didn’t sign all the documents before 10am sharp we would have to reschedule the closing.

I calmly stood up and ask to speak with the seller and his attorney in the hallway. Once we were clear of the room, I told the seller and his attorney what the buyer said. I looked at the seller’s attorney and told him the buyer was represented by an attorney and to just slide the stack of documents over and let him instruct the buyer. It was now 9:45

We walked back in and the seller’s attorney did just what I had suggested. He told the buyer’s attorney of the time urgency and slid the documents over to him. The buyer started signing and 12 minutes later the deal was closed.

I felt like I needed a shower after that, but I learned a big lesson that day. When going into a meeting, always ask everyone how much time we have.  KT