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Monthly Archive for: ‘June, 2011’

  • 10 Random Thoughts

    1. I like the name “Buckhead Atlanta” for McMillen’s project. (I’ll explain why later)

    2. I should smile more often. I am a happy person and I think I should show it more often on my face.

    3. West Midtown is VERY popular right now. Maybe I am a contrarian, but if I were to buy property over there right now it would have to be a phenomenal deal.

    4. I heard a great quote this week worth sharing: “I would rather over-pay for spectacular real estate than under-pay for questionable real estate.” Interesting mentality and it makes sense to me.

    5. I hope the Braves never leave Atlanta. Thrashers are gone. Hawks may bolt. But keep my Braves. They are the only professional sports team on the planet I have any emotional attachment to. I still remember Otis Nixon scaling the center field wall in Fulton County Stadium in 1991.

    6. I don’t understand people who don’t like dogs. Dogs have to be the friendliest and most loving creatures on the planet. Maybe you got bit by a jack russel or got chased by a doberman, but, in general, dogs are gentle and playful friends. Cats are Satan with fur.

    7. Atlanta NEEDS light rail. Learn from Phoenix, Seattle, and Charlotte. Get people off of Peachtree at rush hour.

    8. On a related note, why isn’t all road work done at night?

    9. There are way too few good books on commercial real estate? Maybe I should write one.

    10. If I had 100 Million dollars to invest right now, I probably wouldn’t concentrate my efforts on North America.

    Stay tuned for a book review of Good to Great by Jim Collins.

    – Duke

  • Perfection vs Greatness

    Allow me to share a lesson I have learned from sports . . .

    Perfection can be the enemy of greatness.

    Maybe you are like me and are a Type-A, competitive person by nature. You want to be first in everything you do and want to win anything that could possibly be construed as a competition. Most people think that is a great way to live your life and that healthy people are competitive people.

    To a certain degree, I agree with that. If you shy away from competition or conflict, then CRE deal-making probably isn’t where you will find your greatest success. But beware of chasing perfection or being “the best in the world” or “the best that ever lived.”

    In my experience, the amount of time and the quality of life you have to sacrifice to truly become the greatest in the world at something IS NOT WORTH IT. In this case, we are talking about commercial real estate. Maybe you want to be the greatest broker in the country or the greatest office developer on the planet. Whatever your goal, be careful.

    What I have learned from knowing and playing with some of the greatest athletes in their sport is that rarely does extreme success come with balance. Those people you see that are the greatest hitters on earth or best quarterbacks on the planet or best runners or best whatever tend to have obsessive personalities and a singular ability to focus on one thing and one thing only. If you were to ask them about their goals in life, almost all of their goals would have to do with their sport. You won’t hear family goals. You won’t hear relationship goals. You won’t hear travel goals. You won’t hear any type or lifestyle goal. They just want to be the best “X” that ever lived.

    There are, of course, exceptions to the rules. From what I know of Peyton Manning, he is a wonderful person and well-rounded athlete. Steve Nash and Derek Jeter have similar reputations. But they are the exception that proves the rule. Most people cannot reach the pinnacle of their endeavor without an almost unhealthy obsession and I am telling you it isn’t worth it.

    If I had to chose between being the world’s greatest developer/owner/broker or being the world’s greatest husband/father/friend/mentor, I would always choose the latter. I have seen or heard above too many¬† of these athletes who push themselves almost to the point of suicide once they retire or quit because they think the only value they have is their ability to hit a ball or throw a football or dunk a basketball. These are not healthy, balanced people.

    So, to expand on my headline, be satisfied with greatness. You should always strive for greatness and for being one of the best at what you do, but be careful about what it costs you. You can’t go back and redo all of those hours you spent in the office instead of at your son’s baseball game or at your daughter’s play or simply having dinner and a glass of wine with your wife. There are no do-overs in time. Make sure that your corner of the business world is one where balanced people are rewarded and obsessive people are pitied, not revered.

    Be Tim Hudson, not Roger Clemens. Huddy is a great pitcher who is loved and respected by coaches, teammates, and fans. H emay not be one of the best pitchers of all time, but he is as solid as they come and I would bet his teammates have confidence in him every time he takes the mound. Clemens was so obsessed with being the best that he cheated (ROIDS!!!) and then lied about it. If you are the real estate equivalent of Tim Hudson, you will make a great living and will enjoy a satisfying lifestyle. If you are the equivalent of Clemens, feel free to call me and we can work on deals together, but don’t expect me to be in the office when you call for information at midnight on a Friday.

    All of this is just my opinion and my observations from the wide world of sports, but I think the lessons are valid. If you disagree or have found a way to balance perfection in business and other aspects of your life, comment below.

    – Duke

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