Come on people now, smile on your brother …
… everybody get together and try to love one another right now.
In case you didn’t notice, that’s the chorus from The Youngbloods’ classic hit, “Get Together”. You can listen to it at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PoXYBxprAIQ.
So why am I reminded of this song? Two words … Hurricane Ike.
He was only here for about 12 hours, but boy, was it memorable. Such power and force as is rarely seen here in Houston. And things haven’t been nearly the same since he left. He changed everything, and not in such a good way either.
He caused billions of dollars in damage and left roughly five million people without electricity. Many of those people had no water either. And those who did have water saw more of a trickle than a flow. He ripped off roofs, whipped fencing around like it was a six foot tall ribbon, and left traffic signals out of commission with many signal lights dangling drunkenly from a wire over intersections they were meant to protect.
Closer to the Gulf Coast, it removed homes and beach houses from Galveston, Bolivar Peninsula, Surfside, Freeport and other coastal towns like they were little matchboxes. Gone. People’s homes were not just destroyed, they were obliterated. Removed from the land like they were never there.
Inside the city, people waited in long lines at places called PODs (points of distribution) for water and ice, and became familiar with strange things called MRE meals. We practiced an activity called gas-turbation; endlessly driving around looking for gasoline so we could drive around and look for ice, or food, or milk for the children.
We lived in homes lit by candles and sweltered in 80+ degree heat. The cityscape looked eerie without lights at night, and during the day driving became a challenge as everyone had to wait their turn and treat all corners as four way stops. Yards were filled with majestic old oak and pine trees laying on their sides or on people’s houses like gigantic mortally wounded creatures who had pulled up to die.
People lived in their homes for days on end like they were living in caves. No lights, no power, no A/C, no television, no refrigerator, no radio, no CD player, none of the things we have become accustomed to. People got cranky and they got over it. Neighbors came out to bar-b-cue the contents of the refrigerators and freezers that had grown warm. They met each other, talked to each other, helped each other and provided for each other as best they could. It was a shared experience of devastation, and it bonded people together. Neighbors who had never met were suddenly the best of friends.
There’s something about sharing a common experience with other people that makes both the experience and the bonding unique. Women who have had babies, men who have fought in combat together, law students who have completed the grind and passed the bar. Sharing uncommon experiences links us in a special way. But it doesn’t have to be a hurricane or a war. It doesn’t mean you have to have a baby or graduate law school to share this grounding experience.
Actually, we connect to each other in many ways in our day to day life. If you are on this website, you share an experience with many other people. They are all part of the myhousedeals.com community and the real estate community in general. And they’re in pursuit of the same thing, financial independence.
We benefit from this connection in that we can turn to each other for help when we are in a jamb. We don’t have to be brothers in arms slugging it out with the Hun in order to reap the benefits of shared resources. We can just help each other. We don’t need a hurricane to bring us together, we can just do it. By our networking and being in contact with other investors, we have the benefits of synergy. The whole is greater that the sum of the parts.
So don’t wait for devastation before you reach out to other investors in the community. Share what resources you have, like this website. Share Realtors, inspectors, contractors, attorneys, title companies, etc. Let them know what you are trying to do and ask what they are trying to do with their investments. There’s no sense standing alone when there’s so much help available. It doesn’t matter if you are a process engineer or a cotton farmer, you need a network to rely on. Like grandpa said; “No matter what business you’re in, the best tool you’ll ever have is a big fat Rolodex full of names and phone numbers”.
Until next time, happy (and profitable) investing!