When you’re driving down the road, everyone has a natural pace. And it’s really fascinating if you think about it…Some people will patiently plod along in the slow lane, doing 52 in a 55. They might even do this in the fast lane (usually with absolutely no awareness of how much they are pissing off everyone else). They are just going as fast as they are comfortable going and no highway sign will tell them differently. It’s their natural rhythm.
Others turn it into a race every single time. Fast is never fast enough. A quick run to Target for garbage bags can take on a whole new meaning for these folks. Each traffic light, each car, each opportunity to merge… is an obstacle that must be encountered and then conquered. They would rather stab themselves in the eyeball with a hot fork than sit behind Mr. 52 MPH. Anything other than 70 feels painful. Really, really, really, really painful.
The funny thing is, if we think about it, the same phenomenon occurs within our lives. Each of us has a preferred pace. A preferred comfort zone. A “normal”. And we’re loathe to give it up.
I attended a meeting with a group of real estate investors a few days ago. I tend to be blunt, so I’ll just say it... Real estate investors are not exactly typical people. Overall, they are out of the box thinkers. They tend to have a higher tolerance for risk and more comfort with ambiguity than the average person. They also tend to be fiercely independent. It’s probably the only audience (other than a start-up incubator) where you can say you just quit your job and everyone breaks into spontaneous applause.
At the meeting, there were about 25 or so real estate investors and financers. Lots of very interesting, very smart people. And we all introduced ourselves. And what happened next was fascinating. Four of them were pilots (and one was the daughter of a pilot). Think about it. Pilots represent roughly 0.5% of the American population (according to the source of all knowledge- Wikipedia). Yet, in this group of real estate investors, they represented 16% of the room. Let me say that again. SIXTEEN PERCENT of the audience was pilots. That’s crazy. And although I know it’s just one group, it is fascinating to find a group of people that is 32 times more likely to be a pilot than a typical person.
And it kind of makes sense if you think about it. Both real estate investing and being a pilot are high risk, high reward activities. They require hard work, commitment, and generally appeal to those that want to be independent and go fast. And they require guts. You know what I bet? I bet a lot of them don’t do 52 in a 55.
I’ve always been told my pace is FAST. And I think that’s accurate. I want to move, move, move and I don’t rest easy. I get bored. Always ready to learn the next thing, challenge things, go places. That’s what made me choose to start my own firm. I couldn’t wait anymore for the real estate industry to catch up to what customers really want... It just was too painful, too uncomfortable, too hard, to keep waiting for an industry that just doesn't operate at the same pace. Not good for them and not good for me.
Now I’m going 80. And it feels great. And the funny thing is, maybe once my company is running smoothly, I might try to get my pilot’s license. It sure sounds like a lot of fun.