What I am focused on: I have been focused on building our own property technology (“Prop Tech”) platform wholly and exclusively for our community. When I say “I”, it is not so much me building it as an amazing tech team but I have in my mind’s eye what our community wants and needs. We have always had other data providers contribute to our user experience and each one comes with its own strengths and weaknesses for our purposes. I decided there was no ideal solution or magic bullet so we would have to build something ourselves to cater to our unique needs. I was really excited at first and I thought it would be easy as we had all the raw data ready to go – how wrong I was – so many moving parts! Anyway, it’s nearly finished – our own “Goldilocks” solution – not too complicated, not too facile – just right! Watch this space for the big launch!
What I Have Been Reading – “Reasons Not To Worry – How to Be Stoic In Chaotic Times” by Brigid Delaney. The Stoics were Greek and Roman philosophers whose teachings go back thousands of years but are just as relevant today (or even moreso) because of the chaos and uncertainty of the time we are living through (not unlike the Ancient Stoics) with floods, wars, pandemics (or plagues) and financial woes. Seneca, a great Stoic once said that the more value we assign to things we cannot control, the less control we will actually have. The Stoic solution is to focus on what you can do and accept things beyond your control as the outcome is in the laps of the gods. All you can do is control your response to things you are powerless to change. Stoic thinking tends to enjoy a resurgence of popularity in trying times. I love the approach World War 1 soldiers had in relation to worrying about their circumstances:
“Don’t worry. When you are a soldier you can be in one of two places: A dangerous place or a safe place. If you’re in a safe place … don’t worry. If you’re in a dangerous place you can be one of two things: One is wounded and the other is not. If you’re not wounded … don’t worry. If you are wounded it can be dangerous or slight: If it’s slight … don’t worry. If it’s dangerous then one of two things will happen: You’ll die or you’ll recover. If you recover … don’t worry. If you die … you can’t worry. In these circumstances a soldier never worries.”
Now that’s Stoic thinking!
What I Have Been Watching – I am keeping a close eye on how things are playing out in the global economy at the moment – not good it seems! Inflation is still out of control and many countries have had their credit ratings downgraded. The US continues to raise rates which is affecting exchange rates globally and thus impacting global growth forecasts – with most countries lowering their expectations for growth and some predicting recessions as they are forced to continue to raise rates higher than expected. The AFR shared this graph a couple of weeks which pretty much sums it all up:Treasurer Jim Chalmers had this to say:
“These challenges are intensifying, not dissipating, and Australia is not spared from this darker and more dangerous global outlook”
Sounds ominous …. It will either end well or not. If it ends well, don’t worry, if it ends poorly, you will either be spared or not, if you are spared don’t worry, if not, you will either take a minor hit or suffer a catastrophic loss – if it is minor don’t worry, if it is catastrophic, you won’t have time to worry, you will be too busy dealing with the fallout and then rebuilding your fallen empire – is that Stoic thinking or what! Control what you can now.
What I Have Been Studying – Strategy. If we have to control what we can, I figure I need a plan. Another good book I picked up at Brisbane airport last weekend is “The Crux: How Leaders Become Strategists” by Richard Rumelt. Unless someone shakes the snow globe and mixes things up a bit we tend to form a bit of a habit loop. Same old same old and nothing changes so nothing changes. Times of uncertainty and upheaval means we have to dig deep and pull out all the stops with adaptive strategising. Playing small and tactically won’t cut it. We need to be three steps ahead like a master chess player and have the ability to cut to the crux of any problem, acting boldly and decisively. I don’t have a problem with being decisive but sometimes that is the problem. As Mark Twain once said ““It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.” I think I need to learn to become more circumspect – less “fire, ready, aim” where my weapon of choice is a machine gun more
“measure twice, cut once”. At least that’s the strategy … watch this space!
Thoughts, suggestions, feedback?
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Till next week,
PS: We caught up with Property Lover Graham recently to discuss the incredible property empire he is building for himself, you can check out the full conversation here.