Sunday, April 7, 2013

FOLLOWING ADVICE IS NOT ALWAYS A GOOD THING

Sometimes it is not a good idea to follow advice -it may not be the right one.

For the longest time I have lived to regret certain things and although I have few regrets overall about how my life has turned out; I have come to realize that the things I do regret were not of my own doing, they were done because I followed somebody's bad advice.

Case in point: when I graduated from college and went to work I had what I thought was a wonderful opportunity to make an investment in real estate. The property was a piece of undeveloped land 2.5 acres west of the Palmetto Expressway in Miami. Sure the land had no water nor electricity and you could get to it through a dirt road that was littered with old couches and discarded televisions...a few burned out cars.

The asking price was $27,000. Yes, you've heard the saying: “If you believe that, I have some land in the Everglades I want to sell you”

My father thought I was nuts and we even had a very unpleasant argument about it and as he was so adamantly opposed, I decided against buying it.

Five years later, after there was water, electricity and a paved road the land sold for 1.5 million. There is a shopping center there now and my bank account is empty.

My ex-wife refused to live in any house that was old or needed repairs. I wanted to buy houses, fix them up and sell them. Flipping houses was profitable in those days.

After I got a divorce I did just that. I began to buy houses and I would live in them for a year or less, make the necessary repairs and improvements (lots of elbow grease) and sold them realizing an average profit of $50,000 per year.

The way I figure it, I was married for 24 years and if we had flipped houses, (one or more each year) from the time we bought our first one I could have made 1.2 million dollars.

I could always paint, from the time I was a child I had that “gift”. It is a talent you are born with I believe. I followed everyone's advice and didn't become a painter...Everyone used to say “you'll starve to death as an artist” which was one of the things my ex-wife would say to me.

Once free from that marriage, I began to paint again and since my first painting period resulted in a couple of awards, my return to the endeavor was in my opinion much more rewarding since I was twice as prolific as before and my grasp of techniques and over-all style had improved. My first painting sold for $2,000. I had a wonderful gallery representing me and they were very fair...unlike most galleries, they were fund-raisers who gave 1/3 to the charity, I/3 to the artist and kept the rest. I thought that was more than a fair exchange. Of course, when the economy went south they closed their doors and I stopped painting. But I realize now that it was possible for me to make a living as an artist which was what I always wanted to do.

My advice to you is: don't follow anybody's advice, including mine, do what you think is right.

2 comments:

  1. My family had the opportunity to invest heavily in Orlando way b/4 Disneyworld and
    my father convinced everyone not to take the 'risk'. 'nuf said'.

    HOWEVER, coulda, woulda, shoulda is a waste of energy. I'll just have to keep working until I die and so what? sigh

    ReplyDelete