Friday, February 27, 2009

Good 'Ol Joe

Proverbs 27:12
The prudent see danger and take refuge,
but the simple keep going and suffer for it.

Sometimes I think I should’ve gotten out when Joe did. Joe was the broker that owned the mortgage company down the hall from mines. At least once a week, I’d bump into Joe in the parking structure and with his skinny cigarette dangling out the corner of his mouth, he'd mumble something random and rather pessimistic about the real estate industry.

One day I drove up to the office and noticed that the maintenance guy was painting over Joe’s company name on all of his reserved parking stalls. I couldn’t believe Joe had moved out without saying goodbye. I wondered what happened to all of his staff. The week before, everyone looked fine – no sadness at all that I could detect.

Less than a month later the lender that we funded most of our deals with had folded. We had two deals literally at the brink of closing and with one e-mail and hardly any explanation, the deals were dead and finding a bank to revive them seemed impossible. With a full pipeline of loans, we thought surely something would change, so we just kept plugging along. And things did change: banks continued to tank and so did home values. The market that had made me a very well off young entrepreneur directly out of college, began to suck everything I had worked for completely dry.

When I think back to all of my random encounters with Joe, he was always talking about what the paper said and what information he had gotten from one place or another. He was a member of tons of industry organizations – even the ones that no one had ever heard of. He knew his industry and sought the wisdom that was necessary to know when to stay and when to go. Had I only listened to good ‘ol Joe, I may have closed my doors sooner than I did and had tens of thousands to show for being prudent and taking refuge instead of being simple and suffering for it.

The good thing is that I’m forever humbled by the experience. Two years have passed, but I will forever choose to . . . .

Seek Wisdom, Find Wealth & Be Blessed!

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