Credibility killed the Cat (or there lack of)

Recently a close friend of mine came across a killer condo in Yaletown. This place was serious pimp (opposite of ‘falsely pimp’ where the pimp-in-question tries too hard whereas ‘serious pimp’ is au natural and just…flows) with views of False Creek marina to the South and Downtown core to the North. Spacious and bright with an artful decor in a tasteful red, white and black motif, this place had everything a perfect bachelor pad should have; even down to the Heineken Beer-Tender Krups B95. Unfortunately it was short lived. The landlord decided to move back in after less than 2 months tenancy and was ‘evicting’ my friend. Now normally this wouldn’t  have been able to happen according to the BCREA, but there were extenuating circumstances which would be best left to another posting on its own.

 

He found another place in short notice though. This new place was 2 buildings down and was higher and larger. It was leasing for a great rate so there were multiple applicants for the condo. Being a landlord, when multiple people apply to rent your condo, you want to look for several differentiating factors such as: will they pay you on time? Will they trash your place? Will they stay for the term of the lease and not bail early? Applying for a place to rent (or buy) is like applying for a job. You put your best foot forward and hope the interviewer/landlord/mortgage broker likes what they see and deem you better than the rest. As a landlord and manager though, one thing I rely on more so than what the applicant tells me is what their references and experiences tell me. People will often lie for themselves, but other people are less prone to lie for other people.

 

My friend had 3 references on his application. The first reference was his company which he owned. It’s a franchise company and he’s been very successful at building and growing the business to a thriving, self-sustained enterprise. The 2nd reference was a friend whom he’d grown up with who was now an RCMP and his 3rd reference was me. Needless to say, the landlord never made it to calling me as a global company with franchises worldwide and a police officer was good enough. He had enough credibility to beat out the competition and he’d spent a lifetime building that credibility. On the opposite spectrum, I had a friend who wanted to purchase a condo this past month with his girlfriend and was turned down because his credit was horrible; because he didn’t do what he said he would do and pay back the money loaned out to him by the banks. Now, 7 years later like that little Italian kid you used to pick on, it’s come back larger and stronger and kicked his ass.

When you tell your friends that you’ll do something, do they believe you? Do you come through? What about if there is a deadline at work? Do you deliver? Your ability to say what you mean and do what you say. Personally I always do what I say, otherwise I wouldn’t say it. If I’m unsure if I can deliver, I’ll say nothing first until I’m sure. Everybody has that friend who says “I’m going to start a business!” or “I’m going to do this or that!” and never end up doing it. Like the boy who cried wolf, people will eventually tune you out like the bathroom fan that stays running all day. It’s a simple enough principle and one that has been drilled into our heads since we were young but why is it that it’s such a hard concept for some people? I notice that a lot of monkeys will say what they say in the heat of the moment and worry about the consequences later. The thing with credibility though, is that it takes a lifetime to build. Each and every action that we take and every word that we speaks increases our cred meter, both personally and professionally. All we have is our reputation and once that is tainted it takes a long time to build it back so be good with your actions and words, you never know what references you’ll need in the future.

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No Regrets

Every Monday the majority of us smash our alarm clocks on average about 3 times, snoozing in a good 20-30 minutes after we’re supposed to wake up. If you’re smart, you’ve set your alarm for 20 minutes earlier the night before, but usually what that does for me is I then end up hitting the snooze 5 times, making me really late anyways. The alarm clock, a daily reminder that we are controlled by someone else, something else, that forces us out of what we want to be doing (sleeping) and what we have to be doing (working). If we all ran by our own clocks, there wouldn’t be a need for the alarm.

We go to work and do our thing. Some of us flip burgers, others sell software. Some lead other people, others are managed. My friends are roofers, IT guys, public relations managers, teachers, sales guys, realtors, delivery drivers, etc. Some of them work 20 hours a week and others work 60 but most of us work for our money. Of course, living in Vancouver, we all know our fair share of DD’s (and if you think I mean designated drivers, I applaud you for your innocence).

One thing that we can get lost in is our work. We immerse ourselves in what we do to better our careers, to get that big bonus or close that big deal. We put in extra hours after work or on weekends, often neglecting our personal lives. We sit in coffee shops at 9pm putting that final touch on the proposal or tweaking the graphics on your clients website so it’s just perfect. Two of my best friends even moved across the continent to a different country to pursue a ‘higher work status’. All this, in hopes to gain credibility and eventually higher paying jobs or more contracts. In the end, what we are doing essentially is simply trading our time (limited) for money (unlimited).

If you look at all the best moments in your life, they are rarely when you are by yourself. All of the best memories you will ever have, will be with other people.

Time is a limited commodity. In our lives, time is the most non-renewable resource and is the most valuable thing that we could share with another person. As young adults, we don’t really see beyond 5-10 years of our lives and sometimes we take for granted how short a time we’re here to make an impact on other people, on matters and on the world. I once had a conversation with a World War 2 veteran while sitting at the mall. He was probably in his 80’s, tall and carried a pretty big frame on him and we were both waiting for our significant others while they shopped (yes age has no buffers when it comes to accompanying your wife/gf to the mall). When we finished our conversation, he leaned heavily on his cane to stand up and said to me “Enjoy your youth while you still have it son.” I looked at him and thought of him in his younger days. Probably a healthy, active guy, physically and mentally able to do whatever his mind wished him to. Fast forward 40-50 years and all you have is memories of what you did and thoughts of what you could have done.

I’m hoping to have more memories of what I’ve done than thoughts of what I could have, should have, would have… but didn’t do.

It’s easy to get caught up in work and the need to succeed financially. But don’t lose sight of why we work to begin with; to have more freedom to spend time with our circle of people, doing the things we enjoy. I mean, isn’t it all of our goals to make more money so we can have more free time? Don’t let work control you or define who you are, but rather, see it as a means to an end, something that will help enhance your life and not be your life. My job title is Account Executive of Corporate Software Sales. It’s not who I am, but what I do sometimes. I am also a Son, Brother, Friend, Boyfriend, Hockey player, Realtor, Rider, BBQ’er, Writer, Blogger, and the list goes on. The more I can add to that list, the more people I touch in my life. Can you add to your list? Your call.