Friday, September 8, 2017

Two Weeks in Tyalgum, New South Wales / NYC Professional Development Workshops

Two weeks in Tyalgum, New South Wales, Australia

I’ve found most people willing to share stories about themselves – if you ask them and truly listen. Many people in Tyalgum (Pop. 300) told me their stories.  While a lot of them had good ‘endings’ (although they’re still in the prime of their lives) there were many painful stories – of difficult family situations growing up, of disappointment, and of traveling around the world (or portions thereof) looking for the place that they want to call home – they have found that in Tyalgum.  I had a great time there, too!

As you can see from the photos below, it’s a very special geography and landscape. Every day started around 6:30am (as the sky just started showing light) when I walked, listening to the unbelievable birds, some talking to each other, some talking to me, some singing and one particular type sounding like it was laughing at me (or at the world in general).  Some of my new friends took me on day trips – one to Byron Beach and another to the regional art gallery. 

Tyalgum is about 45 minutes from the Gold Coast – this resort haven and lengthy beach (everything in Australia is big!) attracts folks on day trips to have lunch at Flutterbies Café.  There was a baby grand piano in one of the rooms at The Little Shop Next Door to the café, which they allowed me to play – playing piano has always been a great outlet for me.

While I’m not a huge morning coffee drinker (when I'm up I’m up - which is annoying for anyone around me that takes a while to rev up their engines), my morning ritual included a ‘Flat White’ at the Tyalgum General Store. While invented in NZ (Thanks John!) Flat White is a really popular beverage in Australia.  It’s something between a cappuccino and a latte and a nice way to start my day, sipping the coffee, sitting either inside or outside the store and writing in my journal.  It was terrific getting to meet and chat with some of the 7am regulars who stopped in for milk or the daily newspaper.  The stories I heard…

One fellow in particular I met on my first morning and got friendly with.  Curly, his nickname due to him being completely bald, seemed to do odd jobs around The General Store. He invited me one day to see where he lived.  We jumped in his pickup, with his giant puppy dog in the bed of the truck, and headed up a dirt road that I hadn’t discovered before.  On the way up he told me about the property and the history.  Then we got to his place and opened the gate – not the kind of electronic gate that movie stars and mafia people have protecting their homes – a simple metal gate (with no lock).  The property was terrific –with wonderful views.  The house, which Curly had built himself, was simple but rather elegant.  He took such pride, as he should, in telling me about how he built it and showed me the work in progress – a beautiful master bathroom with big windows looking out on the mountains. 

As a real estate guy, I was thinking about his property which is one of 21 ‘lots’ (each one being a good number of acres) in sort of a community (they share responsibility for the dirt road).  I asked Curly if there were any properties still available thinking that it might be great to own something there and one day build – but there was nothing available.  I learned that in the past four years, property prices have skyrocketed in Tyalgum and adjoining ‘towns.’  Some people have bought or built houses that are mostly vacation rentals (I don’t think Air BnB exists there!).

On the way down the hill back to town, he told me he wrote poetry and recited two or them to me…I’m shaking my head now with the emotion of remembering how beautiful they were – tears came to my eyes as I listened.  He shared with me that he had just turned 68 (we are both born in July) and that he only leaned to read and write when he was 51! A wonderfully special guy.

The music festival in Tyalgum, the genesis of my trip, was really terrific.  Most of the performers were solo guitar acts with a few bands interspersed.  The Heart Collectors, the band I met last year in the U.S. just by coincidence (are there ever any coincidences in life?), were the headline act.  One solo performer that I got to know pretty well is called Famous Will.  I loved the guy from the get-go.  He was on the TV Show The Voice in Australia and got pretty far along in the competition.

My whole experience in Australia was memorable and reminded me of how lucky I’ve been, to have traveled a bunch and meet people face2face in different countries and cultures.  While I used to feel that there could be world peace in my lifetime, I no longer have that belief – sadly.  However, we can continue to understand each other better – not through the Internet or social media or whatever – but by talking with those that are different from us, even if we aren’t able to physically visit their countries.  Only that way will we understand that we’re all just human beings - all with our own stories and simply trying our best.

Felix / Weiner Professional Development Workshops – New York City

On the topic of shameless self-promotion, Liz and I are excited to be kicking off our fall Professional Development Open-Enrollment Workshops in New York City.

Sept 25: Behavioral Presentation CoachingWorkshop / 1-5pm (Limit 6 participants). 

This multi-dimensional, interactive group workshop is specifically designed for professionals at all levels in the commercial / institutional real estate community who present:

… new business development pitches
... at internal meetings
... to existing clients
... on conference calls / webinars, etc.
… to investment committees
… at industry & networking events
… on teams with colleagues
... at annual investor conferences

Click here to register.

Sept 26: Women’s Leadership Workshop – exclusively for women in the commercial / institutional real estate industry / 12:30 – 4:30pm (wine and cheese networking immediately following the workshop)
Developing and enhancing the professional presence of women in the commercial / institutional real estate industry is the foundation of our 4-hour interactive program.

Women from more than 100 firms have already attended over 30 of our programs across the U.S. and in London.

Our dynamic, interactive sessions help you get noticed and stand out - for the right reasons. You will acquire presentation, communication and leadership skills to take you to the next level in your career - and beyond.
Through engaging exercises and thoughtful group discussions, new awareness will be raised of behavioral traits that may be detracting from your professional presence – you will leave the session with tips to avoid these pitfalls and with tools for continual self-development.
Click here to register.
Thanks for spreading the word about our workshops.
Liz and I sincerely appreciate your support!

Early morning

Flutterbies Cafe

Coolman Avenue

Famous Will

The Heart Collectors

Cafe Festival Stage

Incredible Pastries

The General Store 

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