Shake what your mama gave you

Stress is a strange concept. In and of itself, stress is meaningless. It is simply the first layer of one’s relationship with a situation that puts into question our perception of the world. What I’m trying to say is that there is such a thing as good stress. Plenty in fact.

As in the romantic analogies that you are probably already thinking of, I was struck by visions of a complete life experience when the owner of a prospective building answered my call by asking how much I would be willing to pay.

“If you send me your revenue and expense figures I’ll run it by our accountant and get back to you with a ballpark number.”

It means nothing. He has two other partners anyway and the building is on the small side. There’s no reason to believe it could be viable. I would need to run it by the bankers and there’s just a whole lot to figure out. But I can’t sleep because I’m in love: the place is right next to the park and the pool, there’s ample room to build the community center, and it’s next to a coop.

So I’m stressed. What if they don’t want to sell? What if the place is in ruins? What if they’re getting offers left and right from developers looking to renovate and turn the residents over? How can we compete with them? Our costs are too high. We have no equity. We have no exit strategy. We have no experience. We have no institutional backing. We have nothing. We’re in WAY OVER OUR HEADS.

Faiz, stop. Remember what you learned from your friends at the “vanguards” conference: who are the owners? Who are you speaking to? Where are they coming from? What is their objective? What do you want to communicate and how are you going to make yourself understood to the people you are speaking to? If you want their attention, you gotta be smart an you gotta work it.

Shake what your mama gave you!

Our consultants at the "vanguards" competition this summer

Our consultants at the "vanguards" competition this summer