Optimism vanished quickly for me

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Photo by Adeolu Eletu on Unsplash

When I started commercial real estate brokerage, my mentor told me I had entered the “big leagues.” At the time, I thought he was talking about the breadth of knowledge required to do the job: marketing, sales, finance, etc. Years later I discovered what he actually meant: that you better know what you’re doing or prepare to get ripped apart.

There were days when I felt ripped apart. Boneheaded mistakes and sleepless nights. Experiences that not only made me lose confidence in myself, but sometimes in the entirety of American capitalism.

But for every heartbreak, there were breakthroughs and, eventually, triumphs. …


The answer comes down to a preference

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Photo by Victoriano Izquierdo on Unsplash

Are we actually talking about this? Unfortunately, we must. I’ve partaken in too many drunken arguments about the merits of socialism and capitalism, and I’m over it.

I don’t think I’m alone here — people are curious about the economic opinions of millennials. We are the next generation of leaders, after all.

Look, I don’t have a problem with curiosity. I just have a problem with people attacking my thoughts. I’m not sure I’ve lived long enough to work out an opinion that holds any water!

The curiosity comes from all sides: friends, coworkers, parents, bosses. What should be a friendly conversation turns into that bar scene from Good Will Hunting — a battle of the wits bundling in morals, political views, and, on some occasions, masculinity? …


They’re your peak hours, don’t waste them on affirmations

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Photo by alan KO on Unsplash

The morning routine cult needs to end.

Does this article title look familiar? The Perfect Science-Backed Morning Routine to Increase Happiness and 4x Your Income.

5:00 am: Wake up, make bed

5:10 am: Yoga 20 minutes

5:30 am: 25 pushups

5:45 am: Cold Shower

6:00 am: Mediate

6:30 am: Affirmation Journal

7:00 am: Read for 30 minutes

7:30 am: Anxiety attack before work

I shouldn’t criticize. I used to be a morning routine snob myself. I was ready to publish a Pulitzer prize-winning article about its brilliance in fact. My intention was to shove my morning checklist down your throat until you felt guilty about the first 60 minutes of your daily consciousness, “You mean you wake up at 7:30 am and don’t write affirmations? …


We could all be more proactive

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Photo by JESHOOTS.COM on Unsplash

Everyone aspires to be a mentor in commercial real estate. Like rush week at Sigma Chi, the industry breeds big brother, little brother relationships.

Typically, the mentor propositions the mentee with a Dale Carnegie book, a meme of Jordan Belfort on a yacht, or a YouTube link to Al Pacino’s Any Given Sunday speech.

I was not so lucky.

One morning, I found a 4-disk CD set on my keyboard titled The Art of Selling. The plastic case barely encapsulated its contents — the packaging company clearly started with 8-track cassette tapes but didn’t have time to change designs before the technological revolution of the CD-ROM. …


“God only knows where half of these people come from…”

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Photo by Daniel Jensen on Unsplash

Self-help fatigue is real.

I run a newsletter that reviews popular self-help and business books for young professionals; My way of giving back to millennials. I’ve reviewed a book a week for the past three months and have one piece of advice to share with you: proceed with caution.

Listen, bright psychologists, academics, and leaders wrote these books, but, after a while, their messages blend — Like different windows all peering into the same TV room.

· What’s your why?

· How to not give a f***.

· Build upon small habits.


It’s time we call Elon Musk a leader

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From marssociety.org

I was taught from a young age that leadership is about people, and the skills inherent or learned that allow one to lead people. Skills including communication, empathy, and cool-headedness.

Elon Musk is decidedly not those things. He’s robotic, abrasive, and mercurial — even to the people closest to him. He’s more likely to call you an idiot in front of your peers than coach you through a process.

But if I were teaching a leadership class, I would be doing my students a disservice if Elon was not the focus of at least one chapter. …


A story about self-awareness

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Photo by Marco Xu on Unsplash

More content, more brand.

I once hosted an Instagram Live morning show for my commercial real estate business. Each Friday, while the rest of the office enjoyed a jeans day, I showed up to work in a blue suit and tie, reserved a conference room, and recorded myself regurgitating real estate news.

“Nationwide Insurance moved into their new 400,000 square foot headquarters, and office rent prices rose to all-time highs”

This was before COVID, office space was actually leasing then.

Optimistically, I wanted to be the Jimmy Fallon of commercial real estate, but sounded more like a professor addressing students cramming for a final. …


Scratch your own itch, write about what excites you

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Photo by Jonas Verstuyft on Unsplash

When I was eight, my friends and I would lower the rim on our neighbor’s basketball hoop and dunk. Shooting wasn’t cool yet, and we couldn’t make a free throw without hurling our entire body at the target like a shotput. We would spend hours pretending we were LeBron James, throwing alley-oops to each other, and come home each night with bruised forearms.

Our neighbor was furious, not that we might break the backboard, but because he felt we didn’t appreciate the game of basketball. …


There’s an unexpected reason to the madness

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Steve Jurvetson Flickr

I recently read Ashlee’s Vance’s biography on Elon Musk, and Like Alexander Hamilton must have grabbed Lin Manuel Miranda, Elon’s life hit home with me.

But when I compare my twenties to Elon’s, I can’t help but feel envious. Not because he sold his first company and purchased a McLaren at age 27, but because I never had his energy, passion, or grit for work.

“He had boundless energy,” said Bruce Leak, a former lead engineer at Apple who hired Musk as an intern. “Kids these days have no idea about hardware or how stuff works, but he had a PC hacker background and was not afraid to just go and figure things out.” …


A review of Originals

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Photo by Alex Blăjan on Unsplash

About Adam Grant

Grant’s written works follow a pattern of academics who have taken a Gladwellian approach to thought leadership. What I mean is, they recognize the status quo, see their limitations, and think bigger. And honestly, who better than Adam Grant, a Wharton School of Business professor, a former junior Olympic springboard diver, and a magician — can’t forget magician. When it comes to range and understanding the campestral of society, I’m not sure Malcolm Gladwell can compete.

His Originals explores how innovators break the shackles of humanmade structures and create things truly beautiful. I was skeptical at first, another book about how Mozart, Elon Musk, and Tiger Woods have the genius gene and you… well, you so don’t. But that’s not our author’s style. Contrary to many academics, Grant is an eternal optimist. Through his experiences consulting for groups like Disney, UN, NFL, and Goldman Sachs, he has concluded that there is no reason why we can’t all be originals. …

About

Cal Axe

Commercial real estate broker, blogger, and researcher. 27 years old. And here’s my newsletter https://yoprolibrary.substack.com/

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