I’ve been reading Unshakeable by Tony Robbins (so good, right?) and it has encouraged some new and “big” thoughts. Not all to do with financial planning, but also regarding the bigger picture in general. I’m fascinated by Tony and the following he has amassed, as well as his mission and goal to teach all. Like many, he had a tough past but has turned it around to motivate and inspire others. He is also incredibly good at what he does. Early in the book there is a section that references the concept of “reverting to the mean” which is an investment theory that suggests prices and returns eventually move back toward the mean or average. While I’m not expecting to build any homes for pricing last seen in 1954, I believe this concept to also be true of people. We are made up of characteristics and abilities which create specialized skill sets that allow us to excel in some arenas, while conversely doing poorly in others. Education and experience will help shape and perfect what we are good at but ultimately our strengths shine and guide us towards success. I am a big believer in the 10,000 hours of skill mastery concept but with a caveat – the skill should be something one is “good” at and willing to master. For instance, I am a terrible cook. It’s no secret in my circle and once in awhile I imagine trying to turn this around, but in the end I would be neither willing nor able to devote 10,000 hours in the kitchen. As Kristin van Ogtrop gracefully puts it, this is simply “not on the menu” for me. Yes, there are other areas where I showcase less than stellar performance (although I won’t lay them out here!) but it’s the tasks I am especially proficient at that continue to call me back; this is my interpretation of reverting to the mean. I am working on becoming a better visualizer or “big picture thinker” but when it comes to small details, I nail them. Particular details, exacting standards, the types of tasks that most people run from – those are in my wheelhouse. When I started this latest venture, I imagined focusing on large-scale, cosmetic improvements (I call them “the pretty”) such as the images here:
Lately though, most of my calls have been from homeowners with water penetration issues due to poor/nonexistent window flashing. These issues can be tough and the stakes are high. Many times they have had other tradespeople attempt to fix the issue only to see it return. These have not been simple jobs where the roof - or easier yet – the window itself is the culprit. These jobs have necessitated brick removal and replacement, a scary concept for many homeowners. I’ve found myself in old brick yards with grass up to my thighs (and no, I don’t even want to think about the snakes…) digging through pallets of loose bricks to find the right match for the job. These projects, once completed successfully, have become a point of pride for me and the masons I am fortunate to work with. While those beautiful, glossy closet islands are calling my name, I think my true calling has to do with getting the details right and doing hard things. Doing Hard Things has become a “thing” in my home after the immigration troubles our family faced last year and I have chosen to focus on this with my kids as a result. I have come across too many who either can’t or won’t do hard things - lucky for them if they haven’t had to. I encourage my kids to accept challenges directly and get down to brass tacks, as my grandfather used to say.
If you haven’t already, it’s my hope that you focus on what you are good at and allow success to follow. We are bombarded by messages that we can do anything, making it difficult to determine what we should be doing. By zeroing in on what you are naturally good at or tasks that come easily to you, you will revert brazenly to your own mean.
If you are experiencing an issue in your home that sounds like what I’ve described above, please reach out for a consultation - this issue can feel enormous but the fix is less painful than you might imagine, and you’ll feel immeasurably better once it’s taken care of. Stunning cabinetry projects are welcome as well…