Friday, January 4, 2013

Celebrations / Sponsor a Liberian Child / The Alchemist / Unclutter Your Life

There is always something to celebrate.  Most of the time, I find myself celebrating the small things.  For example, this evening, after Interviewing Skills Improvement coaching session with a client, I'm going to celebrate the fact that yesterday I got a New York City cell phone number.  Why?  What's the big deal? Well, changing that number severed my final tie to my years living in California.  Yes, it's strictly symbolic but it has meaning for me.  It's another step down the yellow brick road.  

While it's always more fun to celebrate with others, I've had a good time toasting when I'm alone.  Many times, before I take the first sip of a Kettle One, straight up with a twist, thank you very much, I'll close my eyes and think about my mother or my father.  Sometimes I'll close my eyes and just think about how lucky I am.  But, regardless, there are some places, particularly in Manhattan where they know me (no, it's not Cheers!).  In one place, sometimes the manager will let me sit and play the piano.  To me that's always a celebration.  And, while I am aware that there is an audience there it's really special when a friend is there with you to share your joy.  I don't know about you but I think the world needs more celebrating of little things and what's great is that you can just do it, anytime, anywhere because celebrating comes from your heart.

Sponsor a Liberian Child
The fascinating thing about traveling by air is that you get in a plane in, say, Monrovia, Liberia and then after flying for a while, you're back in New York.  But life in Liberia is just the same as when you were there.  It's your life that took a side trip to experience another place, another culture and another people.  There is no substitute for first-hand experiences.  But, even if you can't go visit the children at The MCF Academy, you can make a difference.  I am going to sponsor a young man named George Beyan (see photo below).  It costs $300 a year.  I'm not going to get on my high horse here and tell you that you should do it too.  That's totally up to you.  What I can tell you is that if you do choose to sponsor a child at the MCF Academy, you will feel good.  I guarantee it and, as we all know, there are very few (any?) things in life that are guaranteed.  So, really, just do it.  Go to this website and sponsor a child in Liberia for just $300 per year.  It's a wonderful way to begin a new year. 

George and Steve

New York Real Estate Breakfast
In our industry, perhaps especially in New York, there are a few places that, if you go for breakfast, you are almost guaranteed to run into someone you know.  Yesterday, for example, I met someone at Cucina in the Met Life Building on the 45th Street side and while sitting there, sure enough, my good and great friend, Ed LaGrassa of Chilton Realty walked in.  That spot, along with Naples 45 in the same building are two popular commercial real estate breakfast haunts.  One more, right across 42nd Street from Grand Central Terminal, under Park Avenue, is Pershing Square.  Make a reservation there for breakfast (they don't take lunch reservations and it's sometimes a madhouse).  Of course, if you're looking to see really, really big shot real estate people you can have breakfast at the The Loews Regency Hotel at Park Avenue and 61st Street.  So, remember, networking opportunities exist all the time, not just at industry events or networking events. 

Photo of Grand Central Terminal and the Met Life Building I took this morning 

The Alchemist
Have you ever started a book, perhaps one that someone recommended to you, and weren't able to get into it? Or even if you finished reading it you didn't really find that it resonated with you?  About 10 years ago I first read "The Alchemist" by Paul Coelho.  I thought it was a cute story but that was about it.  Then, the other day, while looking for the next book I'd buy on my Kindle, I came upon that book and decided to buy it.  It's a quick read.  But this time, something was different.  It was me.  Here are a few sentences that struck a nerve with me:

• It is the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting.
• It is the simple things in life that are the most extraordinary.
• People are capable, at any time in their lives, of doing what they dream of.
• We have to take advantage when luck is on our side, and do as much to help it as it's doing to help us.
• You must always know what it is that you want.
• When a person really desires something, all the universe conspires to help that person to realize his dream
• Remember that wherever your heart is, there you will find your treasure.

"What's Still on Your Back Burner?"
On New Year's Day a friend took me along to a seminar at the JCC on the Upper West Side called, "What's Still on Your Back Burner?  Unclutter, Get Clear, Get it Done."  The program was led by Jennifer Zwiebel and it was fascinating.  Jennifer offers one-on-one coaching and, based on the number of people hovering around her at the end of the session, she found some new clients.  Here are a few things that Jennifer turned me on to:
  • Three kinds of clutter:  Space, Time, Mind
  • Anything you want to do is achievable.  It won't be easy.  You have to want the results more than you want it to be comfortable
  • Jennifer's Favorite Quote (from her website):  "We must be willing to get rid of the life we've planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us."  Joseph Campbell

On the road…

Jan. 7-9:  Dallas to conduct my one-day "How to…" Workshops for a client.  
These workshops include:  
  • How To Network
  • How To Get The Most Out Of Attending An Industry Event
  • How To Leverage Your Trade Association Membership
  • How To Build Your Personal Brand
  • How To Be A Memorable Panelist
  • How To Be An Effective Moderator
  • How To Get Meetings With People Who Don't Know You.  
Basically, I am teaching people what I know how to do and what works!

Jan. 21-26:  Los Angeles and Laguna Beach, CA for client meetings and to attend the IMN Winter Forum on Opportunity and Private Fund Investing at The Montage in Laguna Beach.

Feb. 27-Mar. 1:  Phoenix, AZ to attend the NCREIF (National Association of Real Estate Investment Fiduciaries) Winter Conference.

Mar. 12-15:  Cannes, France to attend MIPIM (Tentative).

Apr. 28-May 1:  New York to attend the CRE (Counselors of Real Estate) Mid-Year Meetings and possibly have a jam session with the CRE Band, Sound Counsel.

June 4-5:  London to attend the PERE Summit-Europe. 

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