Monday, June 16, 2008

I wrote this at work Friday, and emailed it to myself because, well, you know, blogging at work would be uncool...

1:08 PM 6/13/2008
I was in the men's room when a colleague walked in and, out of the blue, asked me what I did before coming to the PG. I asked him how much time he had, then began rattling off the list - tax preparer, bank teller, cab driver, delivery person for a chocolate factory, three years in the Army, associate minister of a Baptist church...he asked if my current job paid better than those other things and I said yes.

"Why, do you want to sell me some investments?"

No, he said, he had just been thinking about what other work he might be able to do. He has been a journalist his entire working life, since college. Then he said something that didn't even sink in until later.

"I have no transferable skills."

Because it didn't really sink in when he said it, I didn't give much of a response. Only later did I think, "Are you kidding? You know how to dig out facts, you know how to think your way past B.S., and you know how to write! Dude, you can write your own ticket!"

Just seconds before that encounter, on my way to the men's room, I was thinking about using something called a small corporation offering registration to capitalize a new company, Homewood Development Corporation, to do real estate development in Homewood. After the encounter, it struck me that this type of thinking is habitual with me. During my checkered job history, I spent so much time asking, "What else can I do now?" and "What can I do next?" that those questions became second nature to me. The encounter with my colleague made me realize that in today's environment, that is an advantage. While he, an absolute slambang journalist, apparently has no idea of what else he could do with his life, I have such a long list of other things I could do that my biggest challenge may be deciding where to start.

None of the things that I tried to do in addition to my jobs ever quite worked, but now I am in a much stronger position than I've ever been in before to make them work. If my biggest challenge is deciding where to start, my second biggest challenge is sticking with a non-job activity long enough to get it well established.

Robert T. Kiyosaki makes an acronym of "FOCUS" - "follow one course until successful." I am already following at least two: real estate investing and filmmaking. I take some comfort in being able to view them both as activities of a single entity, and thereby to count that entity's development as the "one course."

In any case, real estate has taken what feels like a disproportionate amount of my time lately, but I tell myself that I'll be able to pull back greatly once I've acquired an investment property and placed it under professional management. Then I can focus more on filmmaking, to which I'm only giving minimal time right now.

Meanwhile, part of my brain will continue to churn Homewood Development Corporation, the entity that could build a movie studio in Homewood.
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