Success usually requires many forms of assistance.
I was reminded of this when a reader asked this question.
Hi Gary…your article here lists the many properties you have bought, fixed up and sold. Very intriguing. Since you are so busy running your publishing business, it is hard to see where you find the time. How do you set it up so you can get the fix-up done the way you want it without lots of “hands-on” time spent at the property making day-by-day decisions?
This is a good question and I have to say that at the moment we are stressed on this point. Our business has sort of exploded upwards in the past several years so we have had to create an organization and delegate more than ever before.
We have our publishing business… sales have doubled since the beginning of 2007. We have added 11 rental properties in Ecuador and we went crazy and bought a hotel… which was empty and in pretty bad shape but is now pretty full most of the time and looking very good… more hot water… the best beds in the country and great food.
Plus an incredible staff.
Now we are working on our Florida project also… plus of course keeping our North Carolina farm going.
Here are three tricks I am learning to use as we grow.
First… I personally stick to my priorities… publishing… getting good messages out to our readers…. building our list of readers.
Second… I find good people and leave them alone to do their job… and keep things small, diversified and simple so errors are not fatal.
Here for example is our staff at the hotel.
Our hound Ma provides security and keeps cats away.
Eduardo and Consuelo serve the food better than I ever could.
Here is Franklin… the boss man at Meson de las Flores. He has forgotten more about how to run the hotel than I will ever know. Whenever I have a hair brained scheme, I always check with Franklin first.
Our two Rositas are the …
mothers at Meson. They clean. They launder. They fix the flowers. They care.
I could never stand the pressure like our two chefs Alberto and Santiago… so I stay out of the kitchen!
Mauritio speaks five languages, looks after the hotel at night and helps Alberto Verdezoto guide our real estate tours.
Here is Mauritio and Alberto (left) at International Living’s last Ultimate Event and…
guiding a recent coastal real estate tour.
Our business has grown so quickly that when we added Christian to help at the hotel but have not taken his picture yet.
Bonnie Keough looks after our Ecuador export tours and all our tour coordination. Here she is with Consuelo at Meson.
Plus Richard Goebel…
keeps the office going and oversees all of our construction work in the US.
Lester Pennington and Dempsy keep things shipshape at the farm and help with our selective logging. Right now they are shoveling snow just to keep the horse fed.
None of this would accomplish much without the carrier of all that we share.. our websites. For these we depend totally on our webmaster David Cross and some Ecuadorian programmers. Here is David with our daughter Cinda… his wife… a serendipity that blossomed from the business. David was our webmaster first!
Finally I have to mentioned the countless friends and contacts… attorneys… bankers…accountants… business people… butchers… bakers and candlestick makers who are on hand to answer questions, provide advise and throw in a helping hand as a subcontractor when required.
All have skills in their areas that are way beyond mine and I let them use them. Nor are they limited to just one job. Merri and I try to give an overall picture so we all move towards a common goal. In this group we have accounting, secretarial, electrical, plumbing carpentry, marketing and each is willing to do what is required towards that goal.. so in a day any one of us might process credit cards, do some computer work or fix a plugged toilet.
My major rule in working with everyone… is that in any and every transaction I look for ways that everyone is rewarded for their help. If I ask a question, I try to figure out how the answer can help the provider of the knowledge… as well as the recipient, The reward is not always immediate… but somehow favors are always returned. One way I do this is by knowing what I do best and accepting pay only for this… providing information and contacts. We do not try to make anything on business we send to banks, hotels, real estate brokers, products, travel agents, cruises or whatever and we send people a lot of business. This means they are happier to assist.
Third, as just mentioned, I try to maintain a vision for all.
How to do that?
Yesterday’s message Ecuador & Electric looked at investing potential in the company Kyocera.
“Kazuo Inamori, founder of Kyocera, fine tunes a point on creating vision in a new book.
Inamori is now 78-years old and is showing no signs of slowing down! I chose to quote him because he is such a great example of creating and sticking to a vision.
Inamori was born in Japan and at age 27, he started Kyocera. His company is now a high-tech multinational maker of cellphones, office document equipment, solar power products and ceramic components that employs 66,000. He founded KDDI in 1984, which is now Japan’s second-largest telecom network. He is an ordained Zen Buddhist monk. His priest name Dai-wa, means “great harmony.”
Here is an excerpt from a CNBC article,”One CEO’s Story: Do The Right Thing, Always” by Gloria McDonough-Taub that helps show how to reate and stick to a vision.
As Japan Airlines, Asia’s behemoth airline, flies closer to bankruptcy we’re learning more and more about the man tasked with leading the company during the restructuring. Taking control now is Kazuo Inamori who the WSJ hailed as one of Japan’s “most revered entrepreneurs and management gurus… a man whose biography and style offer a stark contrast to the hidebound managers who have led the troubled airline in the past.”
Mr. Inamori, turns 78 years old next week and has no experience in the airline industry – BUT is considered a national treasure. His is a rags to riches story – one that includes the founding of two blue-chip Japanese companies: electronics component maker Kyocera Corp. and the No. 2 telecommunications carrier KDDI Corp.
He’s also the author of “A Compass to Fulfillment: Passion and Spirituality in Life and Business,” which was a bestseller in Japan. McGraw-Hill has just published the English-language edition of the book.
In the book he shares his management philosophy weaving together his Buddhist faith and personal experience to create a life/business philosophy based on the simplest but most profound of human concepts: do the right thing, always.
In “A Compass to Fulfillment,” Inamori tries to help you develop your own personal philosophy for success by:
• Recognizing your deepest desires and using them to create a better reality
• Informing all decisions with simple truths and principles
• Elevating your mind and practicing humility
• Living your life steered by an attitude of selfless service
• Controlling the trajectory of your life by accepting the “will of the universe”
“A Compass to Fulfillment” is about strategic thinking, but not in the sense of business and management technicalities. It is about, first, understanding yourself, and then using that knowledge to get to the point you want to be— in your career, in your business, and in your life.
I could not have said it better. Success requires many forms of assistance and anyone creating a vision who uses the principles above is likely to easily find that many want to help.
Join Merri and me March 11-14 for Super Thinking + Spanish Course, Mt. Dora, Fl.
March 15 Travel with our staff to Quito
March 16 Travel Quito Cotacachi
March 17-18 North Andes, Imbabura & Cotacachi Real Estate Tour
March 19-20 Cotacachi Shamanic Tour
March 21 Travel Cotacachi to Manta
March 22-23 Manta & Mid Coast Real Estate Tour
March 24 Travel Manta to Cuenca
March 25-26 Cuenca Real Estate Tour
March 27 Travel Cuenca to Salinas
Mar. 28-29 Salinas & South Coast Real Estate Tour
Even Better. Greater Savings. Our 2010 International Club membership allows you and a guest to attend as many of the 51 courses and tours we’ll sponsor and conduct in 2010 (fees would be $40,947 for all these courses individually) is only $3,500.
International Club Three Monthly Payments of $1,190
Our Spring 2010 schedule starts:
Apr. 12-15 Ecuador Export Tour ($499 or couple $749)
Apr. 17-18 Imbabura Real Estate Tour ($499 or couple $749)
Apr. 20-21 Coastal Mid Coast Real Estate Tour ($499 or couple $749)
Apr. 23-24 Quito & Mindo Real Estate Tour ($499 or couple $749)
Apr. 26-27 Cuenca Real Estate Tour ($499 or couple $749)
The multi tour discounts remain effective for the April tours.