Flip/Life/?? Update

Hey all,  Sorry for the lack of posts for the past month.  It’s been a crazy month since my last post.



Here’s a quick recap:

May 5, Meet with my friend who just graduated from the local MBA program
May 8, PSU re-opens the application process for Fall 2014; open period closes June 1
May 5-15, Consult with my significant other regarding going back to school in 2015
May 15, I learn about the MBA opening
May 15, (After learning of the opening) consult significant other regarding starting school in 2014
May 20, Sign up for GMATs on May 25
May 20 – May 24, Cram for GMATs
May 25, Take GMATs, Receive 660, 10 pts higher than average entering student’s GMATs (Minor party in my head)
May 29, Submit final application
June 1, Wait to hear about my application
June 1 (afternoon), Feel like I’ve come off a two week bender
June 2, Receive an invitation for an interview on June 6th
June 2-5, Panic realizing that I had sent my last white collared shirt to Goodwill.
June 5, Purchase ‘business’ clothes and ask to borrow Brother-in-Law’s shoes and tie (See below)

Yes, I didn't recognize myself

Yes, I didn’t recognize myself either

June 6, Interview; Told to expect to hear something “Definitely by June 30, maybe within two weeks.  First contact will be by email.”
June 7, Send a ‘Thank-you’ note for the interview, admitting I was nervous.
June  8, Wonder what I said wrong during the interview, remind myself that I could wait until June 30, so continue the nose-to-the-grindstone routine
June 10, Decide to go for a run in my favorite place in PA (Rothrock).  Upon returning to my car, see that I missed a phone call…call was from a University extension number.  I listened to the message.  It was from my interviewer advising that I “check my email as early as possible.”
June 10, 30 minutes past last entry, Check email using Sheetz free internet connection.  I received an invitation to attend school in the fall


June 10, 1 minute past previous entry, Hoot and holler (to no one as my car windows are closed).  Decide to splurge and get two milkshakes (one for myself, one for my wife).  Drive home to deliver good news to her.
June 11, Inform day-job that I’ve been accepted; promptly told that my entire division would be shut down
June 12, Informed that my division wouldn’t be shut down but rather put on 12-months notice: Generate significant revenue or else…
June 13, Received an email from my investors to schedule a visit to the site (mild panic); Scheduled for June 21
June 14 – June 20, Try to pack as many hours at the flip as possible
June 21, Investors arrive to view the flip.

This takes us up to the present.  I was incredibly concerned/nervous/scared about the investor visit today.  I have done my best to pack my days with as many hours at the flip as possible.  We started the day with lunch.  We discussed business, my daughter, business, and more business.

I had scheduled a tour of some area homes that may fit a profile for the investors.  After touring five homes, none really stoked the investor’s interests, so we headed to the flip.

To prolong my agony, the investors asked that we look at some additional potential flip-able homes.  I obliged.  We came up with a list of five properties to pursue and see what kind of business we can drum up.  I did my best to prolong this period of time before heading to the flip.

After driving through town for as long as possible, I had to head to the flip.  We’re behind schedule (original schedule had us relisting on May 1), we’re over budget (but not too bad…I think????), and I’m hoping to keep the investors happy.  We showed up at the flip, turned off the car, and headed for the door.  Once inside, I immediately began to point out the flaws in the house.  I figured that I should show what’s wrong with it and let them jump on me.  We walked through the entire home, tested the new bathrooms, discussed paint colors (apparently I have a California sense of style as the entire house isn’t beige) and I laid out the schedule until the house would be back on market.

We discussed my successes (good purchase price, locating good contractors), and my failures (timing to get back on market, insistence to handle as much of the project as I’ve decided to handle (too much), the hiring of my first contractor).  I was expecting to be told that my investors were finished with this experiment, that they had bigger fish to fry and that I was small fry (pun intended).

As I expected, we discussed my failures to quickly turn this flip.  My labor savings have eliminated the return of a quick sale.  My investors did admit that they’re not happy with the length of time the flip has taken.  I was OK with that assessment.

I was unprepared for the next statement from the investors:

“We’re really happy with how you’ve handled this investment and we’re happy that you’ve learned from your mistakes.  We expected mistakes and it seems that you’re aware of the mistakes you’ve made.  We want to move forward with additional investments with you.  We’ve got $X to move forward with you.”

[I had to pick up my jaw from the floor; both for the size of the investment as well as the fact that they didn’t immediately end our agreement because of the timing if the flip.]

Needless to say, it’s been a crazy month: I’m getting ready to leave my day job to head back to school; I’m in the middle of a house flip; my investors aren’t angry, they want to do more work with me; probably the craziest thing is that I feel good about all the changes, I’m not fearful of the future at all.  I’m not even six full months into 2014 and I’ve blown all of my goals out of the water.  Yet I’m OK with that.  I sincerely feel that I’ll come out in a better place now than when I originally set those goals.

This past month has shown me that these next two years will be incredibly crazy, but will be worth it.  I know I can design, frame, wire, plumb, insulate and paint homes.  Even if I fall flat on my face after these next two years, I can still fall back on these hard skills that I have.  Even if the ‘business’ world doesn’t see my abilities, I know I can attract investors, I can deliver on my promises (maybe a few days late..), and I have the drive to see the craziest ideas through to their culmination.  However, I plan to use the next two years to learn the hard ‘business’ skills to allow me to skillfully lead any company in the future.

Warren Buffett, Elon Musk, Ashish Thakkar, Jeff Bezos, Richard Branson…here I come.  Who’s along for the ride?


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