“We’re always on the verge of adversity.” ~ Wayland W.
You’ll recall that October’s theme is opportunity.
I’ve been talking with folks who have used the existing disruption to chart new courses for themselves, their careers, their businesses and I’ll be profiling some of them through the month.
Today it’s Wayland W.
First, full disclosure: I’ve known Wayland for about 17 years. In fact, he’s my wife’s son. We even lived with him in Colorado, the year before we moved to Maine. He now lives in the redwoods of northern California with his wife and two young sons.
Ever since I’ve known Wayland he’s wanted to achieve financial independence. His primary job has been car sales. And while he’s done quite well, regularly achieving six-figure incomes, he’s wanted to pursue entrepreneurial endeavors.
The Side Hustle
About 18 months ago, Wayland bought property in rural northern California that contained a number of buildings, all in a state of disrepair. His long-standing goal was to convert the buildings into residential and commercial use for rental income to support his family.
He didn’t have the resources to hire out for the necessary work, so for nine months, nights and weekends were spent renovating the main building for his family residence and a rental apartment downstairs. This was no small feat. Laundry facilities had to be installed, as well as a kitchen in the apartment. All while he continued his day job.
In April, the dealership — like many non-essential businesses in California — went into lockdown and he was furloughed. Fortunately, he had some savings, and the sale of some land in Colorado provided a cushion. But, essentially, he had no income.
Being furloughed provided the opportunity to work on the property full-time.
“I’ve Never Worked This Hard”
Wayland has attributed his success to his ability to adapt. His love of the outdoors — trail-running, camping, sailing — prepared him for adapting to unforeseen circumstances; along with his natural curiosity and his strong belief in himself.
Once he had completed renovations on the main building and rented it to a young family, he tackled the other buildings. He also rented a small parcel to a woman who moved a trailer to live on the site.
In spite of his ambition and his strengths, which included knowledge and skills in construction, he felt very alone in his endeavor. His biggest challenge was doing it all by himself while processing the loss of his sales job. He had become very comfortable with a regular income and daily routine. He fought loneliness, despair, and depression. He questioned his self-worth as his income dried up.
He persevered and found a commercial renter who was interested in a long-term lease of one of the larger structures on the site. However, the building required extensive renovations before the tenant could use it. Wayland took the building to its studs and rebuilt it to the potential tenant’s specifications.
He now has all the buildings rented and the rental income covers his living expenses, accelerating his goal toward financial freedom.
Lessons Learned (Wayland)
Perhaps the biggest lesson learned has been learning that he could do the work himself in spite of the lack of support from skilled experts. He has one more project to complete on the property, and he wants to do this again. But not before obtaining another sales opportunity which will help him pay down some of the debt he’s incurred in his current effort. He’s had to defer mortgage payments, as well as credit card payments used to finance his renovations.
Another lesson was to appreciate the surprises that emerged along the way. No matter how carefully he planned, unexpected challenges popped up that threatened his progress and had to be worked around.
A third lesson learned is that opportunity + hard work = real luck. And hard work = grit + perseverance.
A Cyclical Entrepreneur
Wayland sees himself as a cyclical entrepreneur; not a serial entrepreneur. A serial entrepreneur goes from project to project. While Wayland wants more entrepreneurial experiences, he wants to rebuild his financial reservoir to clear his debt and finance his next project.
He’s taken advantage of the disruption brought by the COVID pandemic to bring his side hustle to fruition; clearly creating opportunity from disruption.
Lessons Learned (You)
How does Wayland’s opportunity resonate with you, [FNAME]? Do you have a side hustle that you can start converting to an opportunity you can bring to fruition?
If so, what strengths do you bring that will help you achieve your goals? What challenges do you face? Where will you need help? And who can you reach out to for that help?
While we’re all feeling the tremendous burdens of this disruption, this could be an opportunity to find a path that takes you to a better place in your career, your business, your life. What does that opportunity look like for you?
Send me an email at email@example.com and let me know. I’d love to know your thoughts.
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