Photo by Valentín Betancur on Unsplash
In 1853, Elisha Otis made history at the New York World’s Fair by demonstrating the safety of his invention: the passenger elevator. Before Otis’s innovation, elevators were considered dangerous and unreliable, as they were powered by hoists and operated by manual labor.
Some Risk is Different
Otis’s elevator, however, was different. It featured a system of pulleys and cables that allowed it to move smoothly and safely between floors. To prove the reliability of his invention, Otis famously cut the rope holding the elevator he was standing in, demonstrating that the safety mechanism he had designed would prevent it from plummeting to the ground.
This bold move, now referred to as the “Otis Elevator Incident,” showed the world that elevators could be trusted and paved the way for widespread adoption in buildings around the globe.
But what does this demonstration have to do with risk? Well, Otis’s decision to cut the rope was a calculated risk. He knew that the safety mechanism he had designed would prevent the elevator from falling, but he also knew that there was a chance it might not work as intended. In taking this risk, Otis was able to demonstrate the reliability of his invention and make a lasting impact on the world of architecture and engineering.
Risk-taking is an inherent part of innovation and progress. With it, we may have the courage to try something new or to push the boundaries of what is possible. Of course, this doesn’t mean that we should take unnecessary or reckless risks, but it does mean that we should be willing to take calculated risks that have the potential to yield great rewards.
The story of Elisha Otis and his elevator demonstrates the importance of taking calculated risks in pursuing progress and innovation. It reminds us that the most remarkable achievements sometimes come from stepping out of our comfort zone and embracing the unknown.
The ego can be tricky. It can provide confidence and drive, pushing us to pursue goals and dreams in the multifamily space. It can also get in the way of growth and development, especially when hearing and accepting constructive criticism.
The Downside of Ego
When our ego is strong, we may find it difficult to hear feedback challenging our beliefs or actions. We might see criticism as a personal attack or threat to our sense of self. This can lead to several problems, including:
- Difficulty learning from mistakes: If we can’t accept criticism, we may struggle to learn from our mistakes. We might continue to repeat the same errors rather than take the opportunity to improve and grow.
- Poor relationships: Ego can also cause tension and conflict in our relationships. If we can’t handle criticism gracefully, we may come across as arrogant or inflexible, damaging our connections with others.
- Limited personal growth: The biggest downside of ego when hearing constructive criticism is that it can limit our growth. If we can accept feedback and use it to learn and improve, we’ll be able to reach our full potential.
Embracing the Ego
So how can we overcome the ego and embrace constructive criticism? Here are a few tips:
- Practice gratitude: When we receive criticism, it’s natural to feel defensive or upset. Instead of reacting negatively, try to shift your focus to gratitude. Please recognize that the person offering the criticism cares enough about you to take the time to provide their perspective.
- Seek feedback regularly: The more we practice hearing and accepting criticism, the easier it becomes. Make a habit of regularly seeking feedback from trusted sources, whether a mentor, friend or colleague.
- Reflect on the feedback: After receiving criticism, take some time to think about it. What can you learn from the feedback? Is there truth to it? How can you use the criticism to improve?
Success in the multifamily property management industry can bring a sense of accomplishment and pride. It can also bring financial benefits, such as increased income and opportunities for advancement. However, success in this field can also bring feelings of guilt, especially when it comes at the expense of others or involves sacrifices that may have negative consequences.
One reason property managers may feel guilty about their success is that they believe they have benefited unfairly at the expense of others. This can be particularly true when success is seen as a zero-sum game, where one person’s gain is perceived as another person’s loss. For example, if a property manager can secure a new contract for their company, they may feel guilty about taking the opportunity away from a competitor.
Another reason property managers may feel guilty about their success is that they had to make sacrifices to achieve it. These sacrifices may have had negative consequences for themselves or others. For example, a property manager who works long hours to meet the demands of their job may feel guilty about the time they cannot spend with their family or friends. Similarly, a property manager who takes on additional responsibilities to grow their business may feel guilty about the additional stress and workload they are placing on themselves and their coworkers.
Not A Zero Sum Game
It’s essential to recognize that feelings of guilt about success in the multifamily property management industry are natural and normal. However, it’s also important to remember that success is not always a zero-sum game and that the sacrifices we make to achieve it may ultimately be worth it. It’s okay to celebrate your success and the hard work that got you there as long as you are mindful of the impact your actions may have on others and take steps to mitigate any negative consequences.
At the same time, it’s important to be aware of the privileges and advantages that may have contributed to your success. Acknowledging and being grateful for these privileges can help alleviate guilt. It’s also important to remember that success is not the only measure of worth or happiness and to focus on finding balance and fulfillment in all aspects of your life.
I’m a big fan of the bible as an SOP for life. Not a day goes by without some time spent reading this ancient text. And today, I was particularly struck by the following:
“Then I considered all that my hands had done, and the toil I had spent in doing it, and behold, all was vanity and a striving after wind, and there was nothing to be gained under the sun” – this passage from the book of Ecclesiastes in the Bible speaks to the inherent futility of human endeavors. It suggests that no matter how hard we work or how much we achieve, it will ultimately be for naught.
But why is this the case? According to the writer of Ecclesiastes, it is because we are constantly striving after fleeting and intangible things – “a striving after wind.” We work hard for recognition, success, and material possessions, but these things are temporary and do not bring lasting satisfaction.
This passage serves as a reminder to stay caught up in pursuing these ephemeral goals. We should instead focus on what truly matters, such as our relationships and values.
But it’s not just material possessions and career success that are fleeting. Even our bodies and lives are temporary. As the writer of Ecclesiastes says, “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die.”
In light of this passage, it’s essential to make the most of our time and prioritize the things that will bring us lasting joy and fulfillment.
What Is Most Important
This surely means spending time with loved ones, volunteering, or pursuing our passions.
Ultimately, the message of this passage is one of perspective. It reminds us that our endeavors and achievements are small and insignificant in the grand scheme. By keeping this in mind, we can let go of our pride and focus on what truly matters.
M. Scott Peck’s story about learning how to fix things at the age of thirty-seven is a powerful reminder of the importance of patience in our lives. As Peck explains, before this experience, they had always struggled with minor repairs and felt frustrated and confused by them. But a chance encounter with a neighbor who told them, “That’s because you don’t take the time,” changed their perspective.
This experience highlights the power of patience in problem-solving. When we are in a rush or feeling overwhelmed, it can be tempting to give up or try to find a quick fix. But taking the time to focus and approach a problem with patience can lead to a deeper understanding and, ultimately, a solution. By taking the time to make themselves comfortable and slowly study the situation, Peck was able to solve a problem that they had previously thought was beyond their capabilities.
Peck’s story reminds us that patience is an important virtue to cultivate in our lives. It allows us to approach challenges with a sense of calm and focus rather than feeling defeated or overwhelmed. When we are patient, we give ourselves the time and space to fully engage with a problem and find a solution.
So the next time you face a challenge, try approaching it with patience. Take a deep breath, make yourself comfortable, and take the time to study the situation. You will be surprised at what you can do when you give yourself the time and space to focus.