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We have all read Christmas articles and reminders of what the season means but I want to tell you a short story that may help you choose, yes choose, joy in this hectic time.

I have a friend in his 40’s that was doing perfectly well at Thanksgiving. I saw him and talked to him, and all seemed well. He started feeling bad and called for an appointment with his doctor. They found cancer all over his internal organs and today, he probably has a few weeks to live. All of this in four weeks.

Everyone of us is one bad diagnosis or one middle of the night knock at the door away from life crushing down on us. Take this season and choose to be with your family and look them all in the eyes and tell them you love them. Hug them and kiss them and make sure they have no doubt of your love. Sit in your chair, start a fire in your fireplace and really have a conversation with God thanking him for the joys of this season. Merry Christmas. KT

Pealing the Formica back

When you peal the Formica back on a kitchen counter you can see if it is really wood or just particle board. This is what it means to peal the Formica back. In terms of real life, it is knowing what is underneath the surface.

One of the toughest roles we play in hotel brokerage is knowing who is real and who is not. We get many calls from investors looking for this type of deal or that type deal and in some of the cases, the person is either not real or not serious.

In a commercial transaction, you may get a second try, but usually you get one shot to pick the right buyer who will follow through and consummate the transaction. The larger the deal the easier this is because we know most all the institutional grade buyers. We run into this “validation” more with smaller deals. Buyers will tell you anything you want to hear so they can get awarded the deal. The problem is once they get awarded the deal, we must tell the other interested buyers the hotel is under agreement. This means they go away and turn their attention to other deals. So, you want to make the best decision you can when you pick a buyer. Every now and then you can get the backup buyer interested again, but it doesn’t happen often. Hence, the need to pick the right buyer the first time.

I could tell you funny story after funny story where buyers turned out to be boneheads. In the movie Jerry Maguire, there is famous line/ scene called “show me the money.” This is the fastest way to separate the wheat from the chaff or in other words, see if they are real. I have a philosophy on the subject. It is simple. If the buyer won’t show you the money, they don’t have the money. Isn’t that easy? Buyers who have the money have zero problems showing proof of funds, whereas the other buyers will have all kind of reasons they can’t show you the money, but the main reason is, they don’t have the money.

So, there is my nugget of real estate wisdom for the day. KT

Want to be good at big things? Focus on the little things

If you want to be ready when the big things and big decisions come along, focus on the little things first. Being competent in the small things builds confidence in your heart to better handle the big things. Many small tasks are not seen by other people, but you still know in your heart if you did it right. It is that knowing that builds your self-esteem and self-confidence so when the big things come along, you are better prepared to handle them.

Years ago, I was the chairman of deacons at my church and one of the responsibilities was to cover the notes and minutes from one meeting to the next. I asked this retired State Trooper friend to handle the minutes for the deacons. The next deacon meeting rolled around and I asked this gentleman to give a report on the minutes and it was so well written and well prepared I was stunned. The level of detail in his report was impressive. I thought to myself, here is a man that gives great attention to every detail, and he probably handles everything in his life the same way. It made an impression on me and taught me a lesson that I have never forgotten. If there was ever a big assignment that was needed, he would be the guy I would go to.

Think of your job/business and how you handle the small things. If you are dismissive on the little things there is probably a chance you are the same way with the big things. When you do well on the little things, even when no one is watching, it simply changes how you approach all decisions, all tasks, and all assignments. Therefore, if you want to handle the important decisions well, be thorough in the little things and you would be surprised how many people ask you to handle larger things, including God. KT


You have heard people say that we will never cause change in our life until we make the decision to do so? I want to expound on that just a little,

I have only seen what I am going to try and describe only a few times in my life. I had a friend who was in a very complicated and complex area of commercial real estate, and he went on to become the nationally recognized authority in his field. I knew him before and after this transformation. I was close to him when this shift occurred, and I have thought about this many times. What he did was almost biblical in nature, and I don’t use that term lightly. One day he was like everyone else and the next day he was different. The only explanation I have is that he just decided one night he was the authority, not going to try and be, but was. It was the single most amazing transformation of a person’s mindset I had ever witnessed first-hand.

There is a vast divide between becoming something and being something. He decided he was that person and from that day forward he acted like he was and guess what; he became that person. I saw it change how he handled every client, every call, and every interaction in the business. He was like a totally different person.

Zig Zigler used to tell people his wife was a decided red head. He said she just decided one day to be a redhead. It’s the same type thing I am talking about.  As we look at our lives I think of areas like relationships, money, work ethic, production, marriage, parenthood, health, career, and we never make changes until we decide to make a change. That said, have you ever just decided that you are something that you weren’t yesterday? When we do make those levels of decisions it changes our life. Like deciding one day you are a good father or mother and it’s amazing how you began acting like that. It you want to be a runner, decide that you are a runner and yes, it will still hurt as much when you start but your mind set will be different. God has given us an amazing mental capacity, but most people don’t use all its resources. Pick out some change you want to make and just decide you are that person, and you will see what I mean. KT

Locking eyes with your dog

We have two little hammerhead dogs that I love. They do three things very well. Eat, pee, and show you love. That’s it. They are always ready for one of those three things.

The thing about dogs is, they can see into your soul. They know who you really are, and they never judge you. They know if you are kind or cruel, truth teller or liar, honest or dishonest. When they look at you in the eyes, they really see you.

One of our dogs is a little fat Sheltie that is my buddy. It doesn’t matter what kind of day I have had; he is always there to settle me and always forgiving and, in a sense, show unconditional love. He doesn’t do tricks, in fact, I can’t get him to fetch to save my life. When I say fetch and throw the ball, he hears, I love boy and just stay right here with me. Ha

There are several examples of true unconditional love in our lives. A love so strong that it will never break regardless of our actions. That is the way a dog looks at you. Total unconditional love. It tickles me sometimes when both dogs are laying in the floor without a care in the world. Just happy to be there and always ready for a scratch or a treat.

Our other dog is a four-pound Yorkie who thinks she is the ruler and boss of the world. She manhandles that little fat Sheltie like a sponge ball. He just lets her do what she is going to do and roles with the punches. The thing about both dogs is, every night they both want to be held a little and scratched and they reciprocate with those eyes that say, I love you. It is easy to see why dogs become like part of your family and while they don’t usually live past their teens, if you measured life by pure enjoyment, they all live to be 100 years old. KT