Box Bend is made up of a crew. There is the husband and wife team that started this thing. There are the handful of people that make it work consistently and work hard to ensure that it is successful; the Contractor, the Realtor, the Attorney and the various people behind the scenes are absolutely crucial for success. And then there are the people that either buy the real estate, rent the real estate, or sell the real estate to Box Bend. In short, we are blessed to have this support team -both direct and indirect.
However, if we go back a few years (like say 9+ years ago) our world was completely different. The husband on the crew (the guy writing this blog) was a project architect for a small firm in the Midwest. Our approach to life was simply to work. We worked three jobs. More truthfully, I worked three jobs. "I" being the husband. (Side note; we use the word "we" because Box Bend is not simply one person. As noted in the first paragraph, it is a team.) Our thoughts back then were that we could work ourselves out of our problems. And, more truth, we still believe that. HARD WORK.
So, back then, I would wake up early in order to deliver newspapers to farmers and ranchers on a route that was over 60 miles long back in the day when people actually read newspapers. I would then go home and shower and then go to work. At night I would freelance for other people or firms. People used to laugh about the "architect paperboy," but I did not care. The pay was the same as I earned for 40 hours a week as a project architect on a chain of 200+ retail stores. (We also worked on a couple of small dining gigs, a hotel, etc.) The freelancing was also good, and for some reason felt very necessary. LOOK FOOLISH
Our conversations back then were centered around our growing family, and our want and need. We spent hours talking about our debt and about how we would need to get out of debt to get ahead. We worked and worked and worked and worked to the point that I would steal fifteen minute naps on my lunch hour and spend most of Sunday afternoon in bed. Finally, after a healthy raise, I jettisoned the paper route.
And then our focus shifted. We took a job in a related industry with the idea that more doors may open if we venture beyond the tried and true. We also started to look at life not as a world of scarcity, but as a world of abundance. We moved from the Midwest to North Carolina. The job paid exactly the same as the old gig as project architect. We took an apartment and life became easier. Nothing had changed other than location and job. As a matter of fact, living in North Carolina was slightly more expensive than living in the Midwest -even though the real estate was comparable, or even slightly less in Raleigh. The point being that our whole focus shifted. We actually had less money because I was not moonlighting.
I said to my wife one day, "Isn't this great? We are doing much better."
"Yes, but we actually have less money," she replied. Up until then, even though I knew it, I didn't know it. So what changed? Only our perspective and focus. FOCUS
We then started hanging out with different people. Our experience of investing in two lake lots in Minnesota continued our tradition of scouring the classifieds (and now the web) for opportunities. We hooked up with a family member and made our first dent in flipping a house. OPPORTUNITY AND PARTNERSHIPS
Today, after a couple of years of ups and downs we are moving forward with Box Bend and are waiting on the outcome of two projects: The subdividing and auction of the 73+ acres that we call "Moncure," and the latest remodel and renovation of a two bed, one bath home into a three bed, two bath home that we call "Moreland." We are sitting on three empty lots. We are bidding on one additional property -a house. We are finally closing on "State Street" -and that is slated for tomorrow. And we are moving forward with some new plans. ACTION
So, allow the following digression for a moment. Being a professional in the day gig, and having received two degrees from North Dakota State University, the outlook around the ranch is always one of continued improvement and education. Jim Rohn once said, "Formal education will make you a living; self-education will make you a fortune." back in those halcyon paper route days, all one normally heard on the radio was Jim Rohn, Zig Ziglar, Autobiographies and religious programs. There was, and still is, a conscientious effort to feed the mind and the heart continuously. The purpose of this blog is not to convert you with spiritual belief structures. Only to say that education and improvement has been, and still is, a continual effort on our part. SELF EDUCATION
So, with that being said, we have the tendency around the Box Bend office to read, listen and read some more. If we are driving around looking at real estate, which we do almost every weekend, we are listening either to podcasts, or to an audible book. This past week found us in New York City. We were searching for some Pace Picante Sauce. (Sorry. Bad, and rather old, joke.) In the bag was a book on design fundamentals (old habits die hard), a book on the civil war and George Washington, and a phone full of audible books including the current self-improvement and business one - The 10X Rule by Grant Cardone. I will provide links to this stuff in a moment. The takeaway here is that there are more than one way to fill one's mind with good information. I love the audible version of books simply because I can multitask on planes and in cars. Like I can drive and "read." Or I can enjoy a beverage, close my eyes, sit back in the seat on the plane, and "read."
We took the subscription plan of $14.95 per month for one credit once we blew through our free trial. We found it to be worth it, and we now use it for self-help, business, children books for those long drives, etc. I am not trying to sell you on doing it, per se -even though, full disclosure, we are Amazon Associates. I am trying to sell you on the idea of changing your perspective by filling your mind with different thoughts and possible some new people.
The Grant Cardone book (link below) is good so far. He is a little rough around the edges and is an almost rabid cheerleader from time to time, but his book has hit the right notes so far, and has inspired us to go back 9+ years and look at our blueprints. Of course, that is meant figuratively and not literally. Grant has made us stop for a second and evaluate our plans and our efforts. Currently, without being all the way through the book just yet, we can recommend the book to you. Even if the second half sucks, the first half was worth the price of admission. EVALUATE YOUR PLANS
Grant stresses action. We couldn't agree more. We know far too many people who talk about things but never act. Action is the only thing that will separate the dreamers from the doers. A goal without action is merely a dream. This isn't a dress rehearsal, and this isn't the lottery. We all have talents and ability, but it is up to us to use them. I am including the book link for those that like to physically read, and the Free Trial link for Audible below the book link. The plan that we are on is below the free trial.
A smart way to do this is to get the Audible version for free with the free trial. If you like the book enough, you can always go back and get the print version. If you like the audible version you can decide on a subscription or not. Just a suggestion that will cost you nothing out of pocket. CONSERVE YOUR RESOURCES
It is time for a new blueprint for Box Bend. We need to move off the dime and decide which directions make the most sense for us now. How do we move from a half a million in revenue to a million? How do we move from where we are at to the point where we feel that the day gig is not necessary -even if it is enjoyable and we don't want to leave it behind? How do we position ourselves for zero gravity? Cordone has us questioning that and is reinforcing a few good lessons. EVALUATE
It is time to move. ACTION
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