Have you ever had a burning question that rolls around your mind, often popping up least when you expect it, and waiting like a crouched cat to pounce and devour the answer? I have. It’s a question that has been troubling me all year and is simply this – “WHY do I do what I do”? Is it coincidence that I fell into this property lark? Or is there a greater design at work here? Is there something unique and ‘me-like’ that I bring to the industry which makes it fit like a glove with my preferences and lifestyle? Or is it just that as an entrepreneur I wasn’t entrepreneurial enough, failing to innovate, create or design a inventive enough solution to another great worldly problem, which meant that I had to tread a well-worn path instead? So property investing was an easy enough strategy to follow and with the right mindset and skillset enabled me to make enough money to live on and have a great lifestyle. Is that the REAL WHY though? And actually does it matter?
My background is in early years – a passion I still hold close to my heart, believing as I do in the innate value of children and the opportunity for learning and growing that is presented to us all in their very existence. However, I am no longer making my presence felt in that domain. Despite the passion and the intrinsic purpose which I feel for the subject. I had worked in the domain of education for many years and as a sideline invested in property.
My life pivoted two years ago, when, my DH and I had a choice – whether to accelerate our property portfolio or to continue in our (well paid but very mundane and quite stressful) jobs. There was no debate. What would you do? Turning right rather than left at that T-junction enabled us to leave our jobs (and the rat race), spend time with our growing sons, increase our giving and participating, and still expand our portfolio. Looking back I can see that the last two years have been an amazing journey, allowing me to express my greatest value – FREEDOM! It has also plunged me into the most incredible world of mentoring which I LOVE with a passion!
Admittedly I haven’t been as consistently passionate about property. I can’t deny that the extra cashflow and the pride of a growing business feels good. But when I pare away my ego and stare at myself hard and long (like a Paddington hard stare) I realise that even that is actually not enough to persist with it. In fact after a while I find it becomes a little boring and empty just pushing for more money, when there’s no clear purpose driving me forward.
So I’ve started to examine my motives more transparently and challenge myself to find the truth behind why I do what I do and whether it constitutes enough significance to continue. Another T-junction you might assume. I have wondered that myself. But then I BELIEVE that this is the right place for me, the right industry for me, the right path for me. So that wasn’t meant to be a veiled intention to stop investing in property. In fact I don’t think I could stop now! I love finding great deals, helping people out of sticky situations, making money for investors, helping people find great places to live, looking after our tenants and creating a slick and profitable venture.
Oh – HOLD ON! I think I’ve stumbled across the answer to my question.
So why am I still struggling with WHY? Well because I have lost touch with those very things that rev me up and get me going in the morning! I actually do love viewing dirty, smelly, horrible properties but which offer SO much potential! I LOVE meeting investors and creating a win-win which meets all our needs and desires! I love having a team of people who I work with and who are specialists in their own right. There’s much in fact that I DO love but which now other people do for me. Maybe that’s the reason I’ve lost the WHY.
You may have experienced the same thing! You started something with a clear WHY but it has become lost under layers of activity which don’t nourish your inner being – your vision – your real WHY. As our business has grown, I have become involved in so many things which are not really ‘ME’. That’s why I find mentoring to be so thrilling. The relationship interplay which enables another person to learn and grow and which is so akin to my early years background and so ‘ME’! Mentoring is aligned with my vision, passion and purpose explicitly and implicitly. In property I seem to have lost tough with that connection and perhaps that is causing this internal questioning. Maybe then, my next steps on this thrilling yet challenging journey, need to be about re-visiting WHAT I love to do in property, for in so doing, I wonder whether the muddy puddle of my mind will be stilled enough to allow my WHY to appear.