"The Man, The Mission, The Passion" Husband, Father, Attorney, CPA, Steward Leader, Entrepreneur, MBA, Author, Builder, HBS OPM 25 Class, Mentor, Teacher

Mentor’s Reply to Young Entrepreneur’s Questions (Part XV)

mentor

Hello, Mr. Collier,

I hope all is well with you!

As always I want to express my sincere gratitude for you taking the time to answer my questions.

How would you explain Principled Profit?

Start with what Principled Profit is not: Wall Street charging huge fees to knowingly create toxic financial instruments that rip everyone off and end up dragging the good name of American capitalism through the dirt. Principled Profit is when you keep the interest of ALL Stakeholders in mind; when you honor the Social Contract, when you honestly try to create true, real, sustainable long term real value through hard work that benefits your Customers, your Investors, your Team Members, and society as a whole.

How do you discern fake or false confidence in a person?

Wow! That is a toughie! The most dangerous person is the “Confident Incompetent” who sometimes doesn’t even realize it themselves! Street Smarts (ability to get things done efficiently and effectively without breaking any Red Rules) trumps Book Smarts any day (Hard work beats brains when brains don’t work hard) and EQ and common sense usually beat raw IQ hands down. Short answer is that track record/results speak for themselves BUT it takes a while to be able separate out true ability from rising tide, luck, and Team effort. However, I’ve seen folks with mediocre individual ability be able to assemble, motivate, and lead a team to terrific outcomes. Go figure. If it were easy, everyone would do it.

Who developed the systems in your business early on?

Me! I built an Excel spreadsheet with mega macros, would even calculate late rent and print out late notices and 3-day evicts!  I took a database program and created a Service Request module with drop down menus for common Service Requests that tracked our speed of response. I ran the books on Quicken for many years and this before they created a specialized property management module. But this was back in the dark ages, now there are many off-the-shelf programs available.    

What professional would you consider your most trusted advisor?

My Senior Management Team. No one person, I solicit input from many sources including books. In early years I found conferences an excellent way to get out and see how the rest of the world did things.

Do you keep up with the Forbes 400 annual richest Americans list?

Not really; there are many other measures of success/greatness.

What do you think of 1 bedroom/1 bathroom units with no washer and dryer inside?

No in-unit washer/dryer means you have to have a laundry room, higher end expect at least stacked W/D. I would never build without W/D though I do own a fair amount built that way in times past (dinosaurs roamed?).

How crucial is it when buying older communities that do not have washer and dryers inside or even hookups?

We’ve added W/D frequently when we could find the interior space without crowding other rooms AND the electrical load to the building could handle all the 220 volt dryers. It’s all in the rent structure and how you wish to position/brand your community!

As always, I share what I most want/need to learn. – Nathan S. Collier

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A BLOG ON PERSONAL LEADERSHIP BY THE FOUNDER OF THE COLLIER COMPANIES
LARGEST PRIVATE PROVIDER OF STUDENT HOUSING