I read an article describing our current condition being our generation’s greatest test. Though every generation has a significant test to overcome, we are currently in a battle with an invisible foe. For me, the outcome of our test will not be whether the virus takes hold of my body, but how I persevere through the trials and tribulations coming.
The virus is no trivial foe, and I do have sincere respect for the older population who may feel differently. My heart grieves for those we lost who succumb to the virus. We will come out on the other side as the victor, but the question is how we handle the casualties of the battle.
The stock market is in turmoil, many businesses are closing, and many may lose their job. Our casualties will be severe and may linger for many years. The question is, how will you write your story?
The not-so-great recession
The recession from 2007 to 2009 was a difficult time for me and continued into 2012 as I cleaned up the mess of that battle. We learned a great deal as a country, but I learned even more about myself.
This battle gave me the words to write a significant part of my story. Debt can be a dangerous tool. The Bible is very clear that the borrower is the slave to the lender. I have learned to use debt wisely.
This chapter of my story continues with the value I placed upon the accumulation of things. Whether it is real estate or a particular lifestyle, these things are fleeting and can disappear in a moment. We are only stewards of those things we possess.
When one door closes, a window soon opens
In an earlier chapter, my story in real estate started in 1992; shortly after I got married. Before this time, I was working in Silicon Valley as an engineer in the semiconductor manufacturing industry. I had a fantastic career in an amazing field but felt the entrepreneurial spirit continue its pull in me.
Leaving the tech job brought me to starting my own tech company in consumer electronics. Moving forward, I sold that company and attempted to go back to college. Being older than most of the student body in a major I discovered was not for me; I soon found myself considering alternatives.
The lousy house deal that gave me a career
It was when my wife and I purchased our home that I discovered my new career. Buying a home directly from the seller without an agent proved a mistake. The seller’s misrepresentations almost cost us thousands of dollars. Vowing never to allow this to happen to me again, I took real estate classes, got my real estate license, and started selling real estate.
You may look at these times as an inconvenience; some may look at it as an economic hatchet about to drop. Others may be in fear of dying. My perspective today is as a forced rest. Take this time to contemplate where you have been and write the next chapter of your story. You are in control, make sure fear is not a part of your story as fear is our enemy and robs us of a great deal.
Burt M. Polson is the CEO of ACRESinfo.com, a commercial real estate brokerage company and CEO of StoneMarkerInvestments.com, a private equity real estate fund. Call him at (707) 254-8000 or email [email protected] and [email protected]