Lessons during a Flip

The house

The house

If you’ve been following my blog, you know that I’m in the middle of a house flip.  It’s my first flip, so I’m trying to run a very tight ship.  So far, I’ve posted about the good and the ugly.  On the good side, I have the potential to make my investors close to $7,000 and I have a chance to split $7,000 with my partner, which is awesome considering I only have to put in some time on the project.  How’s that song go — “Money for nothing and chicks for free”?  (On the really cool side, I might even have to buy a pneumatic paint sprayer…how cool would that be?)

Beyond the financial aspect of this project, this flip presents an incredible growth experience if I’m willing to grow with the project.  I will have to deal with other contractors (one has already been fired…not the best start), time constraints, financial constraints, outside investors, a partner, and the real estate market to name just a few potential issues.  Given these constraints it is easy to see how some business owners can become micromanagers.

I can easily see how people simply get fed up with seeming incompetence and insist on having their hands in every aspect of a project.  The fear of screwing up can be so great that only the original brains behind the project is capable of making the correct decisions.  It’s very easy to fall into this management trap.  Since working with my first contractor, I feel the micromanagement tug almost daily.

On this flip, I wanted to give my contractor friend a shot at the project.  I needed him to keep on task and execute the plan as given, not to think about other plans that may or may not be reasonable.  After my experience with my original contractor, there is a large part of me that simply wants to shut the door and keep my opportunities for myself.  Say “To hell with the world, I can do it better”.

If I were to do that, how much would I actually accomplish?  Probably not too much.

I work at least 40 hours per week, manage a few rentals, have an extremely active 16 month old, a couple of dogs (cats, one rabbit and multiple chickens) and a wife at home.  There isn’t too much time available to manage the project, let alone work on the project.  I need to be able to delegate responsibilities to others so I can get this project executed.

Since working with the first contractor, I want to turn off the phone and simply muscle through the work, completing it all on my own.  But I’ve done that already.  I know how that goes.  It’s not bad, actually kind of fun, but there are other things I want and need to do.  I have to grow to be able to happily delegate a significant portion of the work on this project.

I didn’t expect this flip to present me with the opportunity to learn some new leadership/management skills.  Part of me feels burned by the first contractor, though part of me also knew that firing the contractor was a distinct possibility when I hired him.  I was taking a risk by hiring the contractor, but I wanted to give him a shot.  My risk didn’t pan out, so I need to move on.  However, I need to move on while still remaining open to sharing this awesome opportunity (the flip).

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