Monday, June 30, 2014

Under Promise, Over Deliver

I'm a gigantic sports radio fan (see Appreciation For The Radio).  I enjoy all the sports talkers, but for years Erik Kuselias of NBC Sports Radio has been my favorite.  A few weeks ago before the US National Soccer Team took on Ghana, EK shared his view that it's prudent to "under promise and over deliver."  At the time, he was vocally supporting Coach Jürgen Klinsmann who wasn't very optimistic about our team's chances of getting out of the 2014 World Cup 'Group of Death.'  Coach Klinsmann explained that he was looking four years down the road and people were less than excited about his seemingly unenthusiastic cynicism.  But Erik loved the coach's approach and passed it on to listeners like myself as good advice for life:  'Under promise.  Over deliver.'

Days later, the Miami Heat lost to the San Antonio Spurs in the NBA Finals and that had me thinking of Erik's explanation.  The Heat have been dominant the last 4 seasons since LeBron James hit South Beach; four conference titles and two league championships.  Not bad.  Pretty great really.  However, LeBron, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh had promised a lot more.  Not one championships, not two,... eight.  Lead by LeBron at a 2010 pep rally in Miami, they'd pumped up the crowd with a bold prediction of a historic run that would clearly be a sports dynasty.  The day after they lost to the Spurs, folks started piling on and Dan Patrick pointed out on his show that people had enormous expectations because they'd loudly shouted, "Not one, not two, ... not seven."  They over promised.

So back to the Erik Kuselius' advice/point;  under promise and over deliver.  I totally get this.  It's pragmatic.  It makes sense.  As a rule I don't make a lot of brash predictions about the impact my renovations will have.  I hold off on saying, "This condemned house is going to be transformed from the least valuable home on the street to the most valuable."  I have high personal expectations, but I don't shout them from the rooftop.  I just enjoy my newest challenge as I start making things better.  I simply love the process, making the most of what's there and dealing with the deficiencies.  I'm able to accentuate the property's assets and correct the issues/liabilities.    Outlandish promises can be a major distraction and over delivering is practical.

So consider Erik's point as exemplified by Coach Klinsmann and all this excitement about the USA Soccer team in the World Cup.  Set your goals high and really get after them, but under promise and then... hit it out of the park. 


Monday, June 2, 2014

Memories of Rugby

Playing rugby for
The Univ. of  Cincinnati
in the 90's
As I've mentioned before, the radio has always held some significance on my job-sites when I'm working alone.  (See Appreciation For The Radio.)  Every Monday, sports radio host Dan Patrick invites listeners to phone in to share their best and worst of the weekend.  Although I didn't call, it got me thinking and the best for me was the Collegiate Sevens Championships on Sat. and Sun.  It was great stuff; well produced, good commentary, beautiful to watch, expansive views of the plays developing from above mixed in with seamless angles from the field level.  I got lost in it for a couple hours and wanted more when it was over!  Thank you NBC. 

Like rehabbing an abandoned or condemned property,
playing rugby can look rougher than it actually is.
Anyway, I played 4 years of college rugby. The sport is the link between soccer and football so it shares traits with each; non-stop action like soccer, full-on contact like football (without the protective equipment.)  Playing college rugby was way beyond fun, but because it's so violent, it was sometimes hard for my friends and family to watch the games.  Each season I'd try to help them worry less by saying, "It's not as bad as it looks."  I understood why they had concerns because when I watched it, I saw what made them cringe.  It's intense, looks even worse than rough, and appears vicious much of the time.  However, when I was in there, it didn't feel so dangerous and I loved it.  And that intense craziness added to the thrill and there was nothing like emerging from that chaos with the ball and scoring some points for my teammates. 

I want You to save an old house
that no one else wants.
Renovating an extremely run-down house is comparable in that it looks harder than it seems for me as I'm working my way through each phase of the project.   And even being condemned or abandoned properties, it's not that bad.  It's not as impossible as it sometimes seems to the people in my life and oftentimes the folks in the neighborhood where I'm working.  Getting past the fact that nobody else wants these properties may be a big part of it, but just because they've been overlooked doesn't mean they're lost causes.  And the thing is, for me it's something that I totally enjoy with a passion that compares to the feelings/attitude that I had during my college rugby days.  When I'm there dirty, tired, (and maybe a little bloody), I feel at home.  And when I make it to the end, I feel that same sort of relieved satisfaction.

Finally, I need to realize that just like playing rugby, maybe renovating a Pig's Ear is not for everyone either.  However, if you have that rehabbing dream, don't let those overly concerned friends/loved ones or episodes of Renovation Realities scare you.  Hear them out and learn from the mistakes shared on that show, do your homework, and if you want to renovate a house, I'm here as always to encourage you to go for it.   And... if you want to play rugby, it's an awesome sport, so find a club near you, lace em' up, and give that a try too.