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Catskills - Sullivan County - Ulster County Real Estate -- Catskill Farms Journal

Old School Real estate blog in the Catskills. Journeys, trial, tribulations, observations and projects of Catskill Farms Founder Chuck Petersheim. Since 2002, Catskill Farms has designed, built, and sold over 250 homes in the Hills, investing over $100m and introducing thousands to the areas we serve. Farms, Barns, Moderns, Cottages and Minis - a design portfolio which has something for everyone.

June 5, 2024

Back from france and back in the saddle

Ok, I was probably a little hard on American Airlines.  In fact, I’m probably a little hard on everyone, but everyone’s hard on me, so what’s good for the goose….

Getting ready for the beach.

I only mention the AA reevaluation since the flight home was so perfect, probably a mindset and reset after a fabulous time away as much as anything.  I’m starting to get a glimpse of a lost personality that was just overwhelmed with work and responsibilities going on 4 years now.  I guess ‘overwhelmed’ is the wrong word - being a word person - overwhelmed infers ultimately defeated, and that didn’t happen here.  But I was fully employed to say the least, fully engaged, tested stressed and taxed every moment of every day for years.  Starting to emerge from that test.  I passed.   But I was tested.

I saw something once, and then again recently, and it’s true.  If you are a motherfucker who won’t quit - seriously won’t quit, just won’t do it- that’s a serious person as a friend or adversary.  I’m that guy.  I heard someone calling it ‘callousing your mind’, meaning you get used to doing things you don’t want to - be waking early, a Saturday or Sunday meeting, a late night, a long drive, a tough conversation and a hundred other examples - just as tradesman develops callouses that protects his hands, a calloused mind enables to you just get in there and get it done.  Lots of softies out there - a hard working calloused mind is a serious thing.

Seven hours into an eight hour flight.  Went pretty fast.  I’ve been eating a lot of sweets, will have to tip the scales and see the damage done when I get back.  If I could get back to Riviera next year too, that would be a win for sure.

Have to pick up the poor dog who’s been kenneled for 2 weeks and then on Friday drive to Penn State to watch my son’s QB varsity career get started with a 7x7 at one of the Penn State facilities on Friday.  Got weekend client meetings, a baseball game on Sunday.  Hitting the ground running but it’s in a decelerating fashion - if I’m doing a 1/3 of the business next year this time I’m doing now I’ll be surprised.  My run is over and now the 24 year cash flow grind is settling and not being re-deployed immediately and rashly.  Will be interesting to see what that looks like come December.  The decision to hang it up, not to be putting up the most homes in the Hudson Valley at the greatest value for a large number of homeowners, didn’t come easy, but I tried for 16 months to build a team around me that could scale, and I failed.   I tried, and we mixed it up a few different ways, and built some great homes and worked with some good people, but in the end, I got left continuing to do the heavy lift.  In fact heavier, since now I had a more human resource bullshit to deal with.  People! People have been the story of this whole journey of course - and the relationships therein have been amazing, but I'm not a natural people person, and especially not a natural under the stress and strain I put everyone around my under as we always push the boundaries of what is possible with enough strategic thinking and attention to peak efficiency.

I definitely see how the company I want to have should be organized, I just failed to find the people to do it with.  Probably mostly my fault - I just didn’t have the ability to manage the intense nature of the operations, and the tedious nature of personnel management, at the same time- the techniques and methods for resolving each were too different and I was unable to summon the disparate hats needed to pull it off.  I mentor, and have mentored, in life changing ways - dozens if not hundreds of people but the failure to build an office staff stemmed from the whiplash nature of people, their needs, idiosyncrasies, problems, quirks, talents, deficiencies, etc…. Just too much and the sand in the hour glass ran out before I got it figured out, got rested up and got recharged.

It’s fine.  I couldn’t be more relieved.   Feels good to decrease the RPM’s on our race car.  Vrrromm, vrrrooom.  Now I get to see how it feels to hop off the hamster wheel of building and selling, rinse and repeat.   I guess the values of our existing homes go even higher with an even greater scarcity.  

Above, the church steps I decided to sit on at 11:30pm on night and check in with 20 members, one by one, of the team - since it was 5:30, just after work back home. I didn't work a lot, but I did check in and I'm a morning checker-iner - so I had to refrain till mid-afternoon to check in for their morning. That was interesting.

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