Sunday, September 27, 2009

Asking for help, a new concept.

I have decided to ask for help. It’s something that I am not comfortable in doing. I’m single with no children. I’m fiercely independent and moved from Kansas to Florida when I was 23 with no job and $500 to my name. Everything I have was grown from a College degree and a lot of work. Now I stand watching everything fall apart. My life investments were piled into 2 wonderful houses I bought at the high point. I dived in and helped renovate them myself. I was determined to not be a slum lord but rent homes that I would want to live in. This would be my 5-10 year exit plan as Florida Real Estate was sky rocketing as was the rest of the country. But now, no math works. They are bad investments. They have terrible mortgages that an overly enthusiastic friend/mortgage broker had pieced together. Later I would find out this person had a cocaine problem.
I would ask everyone I knew if they could give me advice.
I called my friend Brad. Wanting to be direct I had my speech prepared: “He had investment property experience, I needed advice, can we get together”...but what came out was a babble of sobs and words and embarrassment that was as unexpected as it was barely decipherable.
The next day, Brad and girlfriend Katie took me out on their boat to a sandbar in the river the locals have fondly named Disappearing Island. We discussed the idea of me moving overseas and letting the job and real estate go. Brad has been self employed and owned multiple properties and has experience at several levels. Katie has a unique energy and as an Australian, has traveled the world. They helped me put my situation in perspective. There is a Big Wide World out there. Between the vodka and conversation, my tears rolled freely and I knew if I did this, there would be the monumental us task of unraveling 25 years of life in this beach town. It all seemed too overwhelming.

Then there it was, the Biblical symbol for hope: a Rainbow. Across the Ocean and over the Light House. I decided it was especially for me that September day.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Plan B, just a negotiation technique?

I’m in the stairwell on the 7th floor of my building. The only private place I could find on short notice. I am leaving in a few minutes to drive to Orlando to give the Company an altermatim. I need to close my business on Oct. 1 unless something is done to help stop the financial bleeding. But I have studied negotiations, I am in a very bad spot: I have all my eggs in the same basket and could look desperate. I need an option and I need it fast. Something that I can have in the back of my mind, for my future, if I close my business. Like a “Plan B.” So I call my friend. I have sailed with her and her husband, many times and I know he had planned and executed a 2 year plan to sail the Mediterranean and Caribbean homeschooling their 2 boys while she pursued her career and flew to Ports meeting them along the way. The boat was 5 months into the trip. Surprisingly she answers her cell having been caught between her many meetings. Between sobs, I explain that I need a backup plan in case I need to quit my job. I ask “Could I crew for the rest of the trip?” The answer came quick, “Can we fly you there next week?” she responds excitedly.

And now, I’m ready for my meeting.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

My Blog: going from 6 figures to nearly 4, chosing to sail the Med and Caribbean for 1-1/2 years.

BLOG PREFACE: Everyone has a story. My story, and my opinions in this blog are only that, mine. Not better or worse, just mine.