I am loyal to a fault. It is a quality of being a Leo. I’m not sure where else I may have learned this quality, maybe my dad’s pencil business. I don’t know. But one would think loyalty is a good thing but it can definitely screw you as I will share.
It was Frank McKinney, one of my real estate mentors, who helped me start to un-learn this quality. Or, rather learn to know when to be loyal and when to move on. Frank is super cool. He builds $100M spec houses, looks like David Lee Roth and performs fun stunts like motorcycle jumps over fire at his house unveilings. I am blessed to have made his acquaintance. I once took a bus ride with him from Las Vegas to San Francisco when I donated money to his charity in Haiti as part of his book tour. I sat on the bus reading Saint Germain I AM Discourses as he said my real estate knowledge was pretty solid. I think people come into our lives who we initially think know more than us for us to gauge where our knowledge level is really at. So, for me, it was a good validation that I kinda knew what I was doing. The only other memory that stands out is how I told him I was like a teenage girl when it comes to boys getting giddy and nervous, etc,. and had a hard time reconciling that with being a solid business person. He told me not to lose that quality, that is was cute. I followed his advice there too and can definitely be a silly teenage girl not knowing how to behave when it comes to guys whether or not it is apparent to the ones I meet. LOL.
Anyway, on my house projects in the past, I would continually hire the same people out of loyalty. Then I started to notice how they would take longer than usual, start to get sassy, raise their prices, etc. It wasn’t an option for me to let them go for the longest time until I met Frank. He shared how he is loyal too with his contractors but only to the point of giving them the first bids on a project. And if they did not come through with a reasonable price or timeline, then NEXT…
That simple thing right there was something I was not doing. I did eventually learn to implement it and slowly started to change contractors needing to be changed. It was super hard to let Carlos, the gardener go, as well as Jay, the lawn guy, but they were slacking and not doing as I asked. Of course, I felt guilty by not being “loyal” but they really weren’t being loyal to me either. I was also a little concerned whether I’d find equally as good people and then Moises appeared who was the two guys in one and then some – score!
It has come up yet again. Roy, my newer heating guy, is now working on house #3 for me. The first two being million dollar houses. This new project was supposed to be maybe a $2,500 project and has turned into a $12,500 project on which he is fully paid. Well, now that I need him to come out and make the brand new heater he installed work, he is starting to give some attitude. It’s mind boggling to me. So, I guess it’s time for me to pull project #4 – a new air conditioning installation – from his plate. It’s still hard for me to do because I like being loyal and working with the same people. But, he’s not being loyal to me.
To end on a positive note, however, I have used the same lumber supply company located in a ghetto neighborhood since 2005. I drive down there frequently and the neighborhood residents are often hanging out on their porches yelling out to me in my Porsche. It’s cute though, they love the car, never see such a thing in their neighborhood and is all positive. I smile and wave. So, these lumber guys are great – two brothers and their 85 year old mom running the business. It brings me joy to continue to support them after all these years. As I write this, my new kitchen bought at their place for a great price is now being delivered up the driveway.