What To Do Now… Part III


“Steve…” my new friend said, “I started flipping houses a couple years ago when the market was good, and I’ve been able to keep doing it even now that the economy’s really tight… I love it, I love everything about it, but…”

Uh-oh… here it comes… but what? I tend to cringe whenever I hear it… you know:

I’d like to do that, but…
I planned on being there, but…
I wanted to take care of that for you, but…
I appreciate what you did, but…
I really do love you, but…


That one little word, “but”… usually changes the entire message. In fact, most often, it erases EVERYTHING that came before it!

Now, back to my friend’s comments.

“I love flipping houses, it gives me a bit of control and an element of freedom I don’t have in my career, BUT… I can only do a couple transactions per year.”


“Please continue,” I said, “I really want to hear more about your passion.”


He went on to explain that though he was good at it, though he loved it, though he’d found a process to move houses even in a tough market, it was too time consuming and therefore his income potential was limited.

He still needed to keep his job, he said… a job which he admitted he didn’t like, in which he did not feel appreciated, and which had recently begun to bring stress at levels that were now raising health concerns.

In light of those revelations, I asked him about pursuing his dream full time.

“At this point, I can probably top out with an extra $45,000 a year. It buys some nice toys… BUT… it really just has to stay a hobby right now.

There it is again… “but”.

He continued, “The ONLY other thing I could do is hire someone to help manage the projects, BUT… then there goes the profit.”

Are you seeing the same pattern here that I am?

Yes, that pesky little word just keeps “butting” in (sorry), though now I must admit, his last sentence brought with it an EVEN MORE troubling idea… a real success stopper.

Hmm… I’m wondering if you caught that one too, and now I really am curious.

What would your advice be to this gentleman? How could he proceed? And what opportunities and options seem to be totally missing in his own evaluation of his situation right now?

I’d love to hear your insights… and I’ll share my thoughts with you next time.


Photo Credit:

Kevin Dooley