“On this day 6/8/96, I married my best friend.”
That is the inscription on my wedding band. It may be a little worn today, but it’s still there and it’s still true.
Patricia is, by far, the best human being I’ve ever known. She is a loving, strong, empathetic, courageous, loyal, honest, super-intelligent, perceptive and beautiful person. She makes me a better man. I’m unbelievably, seriously, ridiculously, immeasurably grateful to have her in my life.
When I got married, I had no idea about the enormity of our undertaking. I just knew I met someone I loved completely and madly. I dove in headfirst, without hesitation. OK, I was a little nervous, but I did it anyway.
Over the years, we’ve had our ups (way up) and our downs (not too many). We’ve raised two amazing daughters, three dogs, and approximately 397 fish. Over the past 25 years, I’ve learned so much…about life, about love, and about myself from Patricia.
Of all the things we’ve learned from each other, these are the ones that come to mind as we contemplate our next 25 years together:
We have no secrets, and we always tell each other the truth. That honesty is the basis for all our present and future plans as well as for solving all of the challenges life throws at us. We can tell each other anything and we do. We know we’ll always get the truth from each other and that is an amazing place to be in a relationship.
We know, no matter what happens, we have each other’s back. We know we’ll get through life’s curveballs together and nothing could ever change that.
We do our best to take in situations with the other person’s perspective in mind. It’s probably why we don’t really argue that much. We have such a deep understanding that we can usually guess how the other will react in most (if not all) circumstances.
Stress is a part of life. But we know to give each other the time and space to work through things, sometimes together and sometimes apart. Either way, we know when to push and when to slow our roll, most of the time. ;-)
When I screw up, I own it (See what I did there?). Seriously, we never point fingers and we always hold each other to our commitments, except for all the projects I have around the house. Those, I start and…well…not so much. Fortunately, Patricia is also very forgiving.
Just like in my marriage, those life lessons ring true in my business.
This is a foundation upon which we built Clark St. We make commitments to our sellers, buyers, partners, vendors, lenders, and investors and we keep them, 100% of the time. No matter what happens. We also tell them the truth, every time. That way, we don’t have to remember what we told them. The truth is easy to remember.
When the business throws us a curveball, as every project does, we work the problem and figure it out, as a team. Nothing stops us. Ever.
When we’re working with a seller or a partner or anyone else, we try to come at the situation from their perspective. Our objective is to figure out where that person is in their journey, where they are trying to go, and, then, help them get there.
No one is perfect. Making mistakes is simply part of doing business. We know no one intends to screw up. We do our best to focus on working the issue and identifying the cause, so we can all learn from it. As I like to say, “Well, we now know how to fix that.”
We never point fingers. As a team, we’re in this game together. Our mantra is “Forward Together”. This helps keep our team cohesive and committed to the objectives of the day/month/year. Office politics is a non-issue here.
I am completely obsessed with real estate and the good things we do for people. We solve seller’s financial problems. We restore forgotten and unloved properties to help raise up the surrounding neighborhoods. We proudly provide people nice, clean, and safe places to live.
Patricia, my daughters, and the rest of our family give me the love, courage, and support I need to go out and slay all those real estate dragons. I love my family more than I could adequately express.
As I often tell people, I married really, really well. With Patricia by my side, everything is possible.