Good morning on this overcast, superbowl eve of Friday,
There's a neighborhood watch email address I have and every time I get a notification, that particular email has a door knock... and when it does knock, Chas, being the playful ass-dork she can be, she one-eyed squints, points, snickers, and says:
that's opportunity knocking! ah-ha-HA!
I can't help but roll my eyes at the nerdiness of it... but, she knows exactly what I'm looking at.
In the stretch of self discovery these past 10 years of my life have been nothing short trying to to cultivate opportunities. Through the struggle of doubt, exhaustion, effort and growth she would later send a motivational meme that I kept above my desk for years:
Just the mention of the quotes I'm pulled way back to my early adulthood when I graduated college. I was a nobody wanting to do everything that interested me. Thankfully all those who have been close to me in my life supported every one of those efforts. On a simple sticky note from my GP, rip, he left me his own thoughts.
Whether it be a quote he heard on his own I'm not sure, but for me, this was the first time I heard these words and have not forgotten them since:
When preparation meets opportunity, you create your own luck.
Like Bambi and the story of Babar the Elephant, that crucial person in their life was taken too soon. My GP helped water the seeds of opportunity awareness, however today, only watches from above as I navigate the vulnerable struggles of weeding through opportunities without his wisdom.
For a lifetime I had been unconsciously preparing for some-thing, however the door wasn't knocking; nothing was obvious. Instead, the metaphoric knocks were really random mailings that would slip through the mail slot from the door. Slowing down, I recalled my GP's famous words of preparation and opportunity. Through this I realized I needed read the mail.. only then could I see the opportunities.
In late 2018 I was smoked from a $9M sales year in real estate. We had closed 33 transactions. 25 of them were before July... Despite it being the single best real estate year of my career, I was stressed, quietly unhappy, and needed something/different/more to do.
Through a chance opportunity serving a friend I detoured and drove by that chicken coop. Days later my life changed when I created the GÜD Hand life.
On January 1, 2019 I pulled up to a house in my unmarked, silver 2004 dodge ram, wearing jeans and a solid grey t-shirt. I had racks in the back, tools collected from every spot in my garage, all haphazardly stuffed into a toolbox. Ready for work, I vulnerably walked to the front door and confidently knocked.
There's a famous quote by Milton Berle:
If opportunity doesn't knock, build a door.
I was prepared on the surface... I just didn't realize what lied beneath.
Dwayne Johnson told me:
When you walk up to opportunity's door, don't knock on it.
Kick that bitch in, smile, and introduce yourself
Spin the globe two more times around the sun, January 29, 2021; I did exactly that. Through an effort of 1,520 billable hours I crossed the threshold of 200 customers... this was a huge milestone.
Unexpectedly... about 10 months time later, extreme burnout would start to manifest... another three months more I was hella lost, stressed out again, tires were all but gone.. I was smoked to the core. I would ultimately take the summer of 2022 and 2023 off to collect my bearings.
Until now, the GÜD Life was a hobby.. It was like a weekend car that was unexpectedly fast, desired by many, hard to control when accelerating, and more exhausting than awesome after long use. Amongst all kinds of fear, I put it in park and wandered away to do something else.
Growth can only happen when you can realize what's working and not working. The last thing anyone wants to have happen is to strip the screw head, or sheer the bolt clean off. Learning to know when too much torque is applied comes from experience. Such as a bird not not ready to fly.. you have to jump, be pushed, threatened, be encouraged... either way, the next step comes from doing.... and with that comes wisdom on what works and what does NOT work... the key is that you do not stop and you learn from your mistakes before hitting the ground... or, shearing the bolt head off.
As much as I needed the distance from the GÜD life, not until it was gone did I understand how happy it truly made me feel. Like happiness at my visceral core, at my soul in the most genuine level. Throughout my life, much of my creations evolved by happenstance... V8Mentality, Mobile-CAD, Brilliant Water Features, Orange Permit Services, Real Estate, Goall Agency... (good lord man!!) hahah
All of them were motivated from, "hey! I can do that. Lets go!"
So I went...
But the GÜD life...
The GÜD life was created out of a need! There was opportunity within that mail on the doorstep... having opened it, all I did was read it...
Since January 1, 2019 I have been intentional AND deliberate with my GÜD life.. I don't think the success it has grown to would be here without being so... NOT to mention all of my past clients. All that aside however, what's been missing is my purpose.
Now, five years, 792 jobs, 3,696 billable hours later, do I "understand" it.
Yesterday, February 8, 2024, I pulled up to a house in my wrapped 2018 dodge ram. The truck was loaded with tools to tackle ANY job.. including two different ladders, three kinds of levels AND four different cordless drills. Include a battery of tape measures, fasteners, specialty tools, and misc parts. Each meticulously organized and categorized within ten toolboxes/tool bags done so in a way I could be blindfolded and know exactly where each tool is located.
I was wearing my 12th pair of hiking boots and had tan work cargos with twelve pockets. My pants were clean - but, had stains and snags from jobs before that like a scar, each told their own stories. My t-shirt and hoodie matched famously with each other like a love for a sports team... all which also looked like it was ordered from my website.
In hand, a magnetic business card and brag card that synchronized with my uniform like a beautiful truck hitched to a harmonized looking boat... or work trailer. Having already texted my customer with a 20min heads up and a collage picture of who I am and what truck I was driving, I confidently walked to the door and happily knocked on the door.
Greeted by happy smiles, they welcomed me inside; at which I humbly stepped across the threshold of my 400th customer. :)
Wearing my tools, building, fixing, and installing stuff is my happy place... it is my kind of GÜD life and no amount of money could tell me otherwise.
I close with the famous words of Charles Dickens:
The whole difference between construction and creation is exactly this: that a thing constructed can only be loved after it is built; but a thing created is loved before it exists
and I love this shit!
If you're trying to fly out of the nest yourself and need a wingman, we're here if you need a safe place to be yourself!
Have a grateful weekend! :)