I’m changing. At least I think I am. Or maybe I’m just becoming a more authentic version of who I’ve always been. Sometimes I’m not exactly sure which, but it’s been 5 months since I changed things around and went from spending 60+ hours a week on my real estate businesses to spending 30-40 hours a month on them. In the space I’ve been creating a lot of content on various social platforms aiming to add value to the leadership and entrepreneurism space. I’ve also been speaking, writing, and started coaching some entrepreneurs. I’m not exactly sure what to call this phase I’m in, though I sense it’s a metamorphosis. It’s a deep space. One with a lot of reflection and appreciation. And it’s a time for preparation, integration, alignment, and repositioning.
To move forward though I found myself taking a look at my past to try to make sense of what I was seeing. For as long as I can remember I’ve known I was different. I saw and experienced things from a different perspective. Early on I realized I was interested in different things than most boys. Namely not girls. And certainly not sports. As I got older the differences became more pronounced, though I also started to meet other people that seemed similar. Sports never did become my thing, but music did, and I eventually found my group in high school.
As time went on that group wanted to go to college, get married, have kids, get good jobs, and settle down. I didn’t want those things. I saw a different path but wasn’t very clear on what that was.
Fast forward to 1999 and I moved to Baltimore to answer deep questions about who I was, and what I wanted to do. I eventually landed in real estate in DC in 2001 and found it to be a nice intersection of people, impact, and financial reward and that kept me very focused for many years.
Now it’s 2018 and I’ve had 5 months to reflect on all of this. Here are 4 insights I’ve had with a little bit of perspective.
- My life in DC has been a diverse mix of roles, companies, peer groups, successes and failures as I built my businesses and built my life. I’ve often felt awkward about how many different elements of my life there seem to be, particularly in trying to figure out how to stay in touch with people. I see now the diversity of that group and the connections I’ve made is unique and special. Going forward, I’m paying far less attention to what makes those groups different, and more attention to what we have in common and being far more purposeful about adding value into the network of people I know.
- I spent time being patient and impatient with the wrong things. Let me explain. There have been times in my life I’ve been impatient with people, letting my ambition get the best of me, and not taking time to see the person for who they are and respect and understand the journey they are on. At the same time, I’ve been too patient in keeping people around me, or maintaining inauthentic conversations or relationships long after my life and theirs would have been better served by moving on. I forgive myself for that, and I feel much more confident in how to navigate that now. I’ve also been too impatient with things that actually take time to curate. Health and wealth being two that come to mind. And I’ve been too patient with my daily and weekly routine, often fooling myself that it will just come together later.
- It’s really true, we are 1-2 relationships away from anyone and anything we want. I haven’t always been as curious as I could have been in my interactions with people. When I stop long enough to really listen, I’m amazed how rich and exciting the people around me are, and how available they are to help when I ask with clarity. I don’t know why I didn’t see it like that before.
- Finally, I’ll say, I’m learning what it means to just be; undefined by role or responsibility. There is a calm in this space and as it turns out, tremendous power. When I realized I wasn’t defined by anything or anyone anymore, I first recognized, I never was – that was just an illusion. Second, I realized everything is an illusion of our own making, and since I make the illusion, I might as well make the one I want.
And so now begins the making. I know exactly what I want and what I’m called to do. Stay tuned. This next chapter is going to be very exciting!