Tips for Success

by | Dec 30, 2007 | Archives


Tips for success come from a life that is full of surprises. The nice ones are delights which is why research and writing are so much fun.

Life is full of surprises. The nice ones are delights which is why research and writing are so much fun.

Recently I stumbled across a delightful surprise while researching the Oregon Pacific coast.

This is one of my favorite places…so rough and tumble…so many grandiose views. I grew up visiting here. The first holiday I ever recall was in the 1950s and worked down the Oregon coast Tillamook… Astoria … Newport … Florence …all the way to Redwood City California . There was excitement on that trip. Some convict had escaped from somewhere and the State police kept stopping our car and looking inside….spooky stuff for a nine year old kid.

The family often took weekend trips…grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins to Cape Lookout State Park south of Tillamook where we would camp and play in the surf until we turned blue. Even then we protested when forced to out of the water. Sun burns and blistered shoulders were common. Once I recall so many mosquito bites that my head swelled like a ripe melon. Yet we loved those trips to Oregon ’s coast as kids.

Then there was church summer Camp at Twin Rocks, hiking along the railroad lines to a salt water swimming pool.

Later as teens, our visits moved north to Seaside where the amusement parks meant action and girls.

Later, as our family grew, more visits took us with our children to Salishan, which at that time was a new and upcoming coastal, golf resort.

So when Merri and I flew with our daughter Francesca and her husband Sam to my Mom’s place for this Christmas, it was natural that we took everyone for a few nights stay on the Oregon beach at Lincoln City . The house where we stayed had a great ocean view….first seen when I arose at 4 am to enjoy some writing before the family woke.

This was the solstice and a full moon was glimmering off the surf.

A storm was raging, the house trembling in fast winds, the fireplace whipped into a cozy frenzy. Then came the dawn.

The gloom suggested a violent surf and heaving horizon.

The pleasant surprise came as I researched coastal real estate prices here. The house next to where we stayed was for sale. I checked it out. “$214,000” the flyer boldly proclaimed. “What a bargain” I thought, “let’s buy it!” Then I realized this was for a 1/7th interval ownership. Yuck!

This makes the house I am building on this same ocean (except in Ecuador where there is ever so much more sun) for around $79,000 for the entire house and the land seemed quite a deal.

More on that tomorrow…this was not the delightful surprise.

As I started pulling up web pages about Oregon real estate prices I stumbled across some ads placed by one of the Agora publishers…a big publishing group I work with often. I am working with them on a project so from there I followed a link that took me to another story about real estate.

This was the delightful surprise was a story that provided many valuable lessons.

The story was about Roger Pollock, the largest home builder in Oregon , who recently sold 141 homes for a total of $65 million in one of the largest real estate sell-offs in Oregon history.

This builder had advertised more than 240 homes to sell at auction when his home sales turned to a trickle. Rather than pay interest on his construction loans for a year or more until the homes sold, Pollock opted for the auction. The articles I read mentioned that the sales also generated about $250,000 for charity.

I dug a bit deeper because Pollock, was named by Inc. magazine back in 1999 one of the nation’s leading entrepreneurs under the age of 40 yet this auction seemed to have brewed up quite a storm of discontent.

One writer at some weekly rag hammered this builder and said: “Imagine getting a letter from Roger Pollock telling you they have decided to auction the remaining homes in your cul-d-sac and the starting bid is going to be $189k less than what you just paid 6 months ago. WTF!!! Is there no shame from these predatory builders? How do they ignore customer service, relationships with past clients, further driving prices down and exacerbate the home bubble mentality in an already bleeding market?”

This sounds like shooting the messenger. What fairer way is there to find the real market than at auction? Would it be better to let property stand empty and let people fool themselves about what their homes are worth?

Obviously this developer and the auction were controversial. I’m pro Pollock’s idea but have to admit to prejudice. In a moment I explain why.

Another web page tells a different interesting story and says:

“Roger Pollock started his first business a bit younger than most – by age 10, he could boast sole proprietorship of a successful three-year-old company. Spending summers in Salishan on the Oregon coast, Roger made a business of retrieving lost golf balls from along the resort’s golf course, cleaning them and then reselling them. See Rule #1. ‘Keep it simple’ indeed.”

That site then went on to list Pollock’s 20 rules of success.

#1: Keep it simple.

#2: Be aggressive.

#3: Ignore naysayers.

#4: Work smart, not hard.

#5: Don’t rely heavily on outside experts.

#6: Become a student of your industry.

#7: Don’t be an innovator; study what works and do it better.

#8: Emulate the best in your field, but with your own spin.

#9: Write down and track your goals.

#10: Stay focused.

#11: Know all the parts of your product.

#12: Practice delegation every day.

#13: Avoid extensive meetings.

#14: Make decisions quickly.

#15: Follow through.

#16: Get up early.

#17: Be friendly but not friends with competitors.

#18: Keep your hours consistent.

#19: Write everything down.

#20: Don’t be afraid to make mistakes.

These seemed such good rules that I felt they needed to be shared.

This is what makes writing and research so interesting…surprises so delightful.

I began this morning’s writing looking for stories about real estate. Instead I ended up seeing and sharing some really great ideas for business and investing success.

There is even more delightful about this. I know these ideas work as I heard most of them before many years ago. This builder and I shared a mentor…Roger’s dad…who was my brother in law.

When I enjoyed my coastal trips to Salishan so many years ago I often baby sat for two little boys, a red head (Mike) and his younger tow headed brother Roger, who I had to watch carefully as he was always chasing off to look for golf balls.

I have pretty well lost touch with that side of the family. They stayed in Portland and I left…but I am glad that Roger listened to his dad…believe me his dad had coached me in many of these rules long before Roger was old enough to know…and they helped me become a success as well…so I could be reminded to share these simple secrets with you.

How delightful!

Do not miss tomorrow’s message which shares a Wall Street Journal article that shows why Roger was smart to auction his property in Oregon and develop in Mexico at the same time.

Until then, may your surprises all be delights as well.


Join Merri, me to discover delightful surprises this winter in Ecuador .

Jan. 18 – 23 Ecuador Spanish Course

Jan. 24-25 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

Jan. 18-23 Spanish Course & RE Tour and Jan. 24-25 2008 Imbabura Real Estate Tour and save up to $349.

Feb. 18-23 Ecuador Import Export Course

Visit markets such as the carpet market.

Mar. 7-9 International Investing and Business Made EZ Ecuador

Mar. 10-11 Imbabura Real Estate tour

See Village plazas and Cathedrals like this one next to our hotel.

Mar. 12-14 Coastal Real Estate Tour

See the coast. Here are scenes from Manta to nearby empty beaches which we will view on our real estate tour.

Most delegates in March will join us for all three courses as there is a sizable savings.

If you attend all three courses separately the fees are $1,847. Sign up for all three at only $1,499 here. Save $348. Three course savings

Three courses for tow separately are $2,597. Two on our three course adventure is only $1,999. Save $598. Three courses savings for two