Thursday, January 25, 2007

What's Happening . . .

What does the photograph above represent to you:
  • Blue skies and a winged symbol of freedom or
  • A nasty, noisy bird about to crap on your head?
I have been somewhat preoccupied lately, with my Panamanian enterprise, and haven't had as much time to comment on other blogs. I still visit and read the posts, but it has been sort of a hit and run situation. Soon, I hope things will be a little more relaxed and I will be able to leave annoying and irrelevant comments again.

There are some very interesting and exciting developments at the Roca Milagro project which I am not yet at liberty to discuss. My partners and I are thrilled at the progress we are making, and things look very good indeed.

Here in London, Ontario, I am interviewing builders and getting quotes for a building I want to put up on a piece of property I bought last year. If I decide to go ahead, it will likely be used as an office for my companies, with a special loft-style, separate area where I can sit and dream up new ventures and read blog posts. Perhaps I'll have some additional square footage available that can be leased to others. We'll see how this all goes. Cash is in short supply right now, because of my investments in Panama, and I don't want to create a lot of debt for myself.

The situation in Panama is unique for me. The Roca Milagro project is too large for me to handle alone, given that I also have other things on the go, so I have two partners currently, another about to come on board with us, and we have invited several other investors to join us in the enterprise. The Roca Milagro project arose out of a 5-minute conversation I had on a hotel patio, with an engineer from Colorado, in November of 2005. Now, a bit over a year later, we have a beautiful property to develop, he has moved to Panama permanently, and he and I and the original owner of the property are all partners in the development.

I make business and decisions based on people, not on business plans, engaging in interminable discussions, suffering emotional drama, or agonizing over every conceivable thing that might or might not happen.

Not everyone is like that, though.

And maybe that is a good thing. A cousin of mine, also a businessman, listened to me gripe once, decades ago, about how inconsistent and tentative people are when they have to make decisions or commitments, and I still remember his response today: "What are you complaining about, Sieg, that simply means that there is more opportunity for you and me."

He was right then, and is right today. Because of the difficulty we initially had getting people to come on board with us at Roca Milagro, one of my partners and I each took a larger share of the company than we had originally intended. With the developments that are happening with our project now, we don't need as many shareholders, and are cutting back on the number of shares we will be selling to others. That enhances our individual holdings and future profitability even further. All's well that ends well, right?

The property I am going to build on in London came about in much the same way. I was at a property auction, wanting to purchase one particular commercial building lot. Someone else had bid for all three lots that were for sale at the auction, meaning I would have had to go home empty-handed. I looked at the guy beside me who had also been trying to buy one individual lot. He was a clean-cut guy, soft-spoken, seemingly of Mediterranean or mid-Eastern heritage, and I said to him: "Do you have the cash to pay for the lot you want?" He looked at me, guessing immediately what I might be proposing, and countered with: "Yes. Do you?"

We both did, so I proposed buying all lots together, then titling the ones we wanted individually, and owning the third jointly. He agreed. When we both signed the purchase agreements, I had known him for a grand total of only a few minutes. He turned out to be a great chap, with strong work and business ethics, a perfect business partner.

Does it always pay to things so impulsively? Maybe not. But how would anyone know, without ever taking a chance? Nothing ventured, nothing gained, right? Life is what happens while you are trying to make up your mind whether to spread jam or marmalade on your toast, whether to turn left or right, whether to trust someone you just met, or whether to trust in yourself enough to allow yourself to make decisions and act on them.

I am sometimes frustrated, disappointed, disillusioned, just like everyone else on the planet. It never lasts long with me, though. I shrug the situation off and say: "Next!" Then life goes on, the sun comes out, birds sing, and beautiful women frolic in the meadows. Ooops, I guess I'm mixing a little fantasy with reality again.

That's OK, though, isn't it? After all, I am a dreamer by nature.


  1. " in yourself enough to allow yourself to make decisions and act on them."

    I have been struggling with that of late in areas of my life totally unrelated to business.

    I have lost track of my train here.

    The national debt boggles my mind and I have held the same opinion as your young son in his letter of 1990.How did it get so out of control?And why aren't more people screaming from the rafters.

    OK. I have started to leave comments on other of your posts and not posted them because I guess I wasn't trusting myself!

  2. Nice to have you drop in, luckyzmom. We all have to trust ourselves at some point, but still recognize that we don't have all the answers. That's why it is nice to get comments from people who read our blog posts. It helps give us balance and perspective.