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

Leave Space Between Everything

positive thinking

Even in my 7th decade, I’m as task-directed, goal-focused, and achievement-oriented as they come. Yet with the passing of the years, I’ve learned to leave little breathing spaces in my schedule throughout the day even if I have to create them by force of will (want?).

I’ve learned that the true constraint is not time but energy and that when I conserve my energy by taking and enjoying refreshing breaks when the opportunity presents, I frequently have more motivation. Also, many moments, many human “touch opportunities”, are fleeting and must be enjoyed while they are present, before they vanish in the stream of time. I liken them to viewing sunrises and sunsets on the beach: you take the occasion when it is there, the timing is not yours to dictate!

Yes, at times I’m in flow and I choose to stay there and yes, my social breaks tend to be shorter than most but yes, I leave more space in my days than in days past.

Closing Quotes:

“Half our life is spent trying to find something to do with the time we have rushed through life trying to save.” – Will Rogers, 1879-1935

“It’s never about time. Just commitment. The question becomes how to stay committed in the face of life with all its madness.” – Emma Wright, Feel Good Friday

“No time? Switch off the TV. Television is our biggest enemy.” – Josie Cluney, Finding Purpose

“Without energy, all the time you spend doing other things would be with low energy and unproductive compared to taking the time to fill yourself.” – Tsang Lindsay, Live Free: Re-Write Your Story

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




Morning Mr. Collier,

I hope all is well with you. When you get a moment could you please answer the below questions? Thank you for your time.

When referring to business which is more important, Capital or human capital?
Which is more important, the chicken or the egg? Whichever you have the least of at the moment! Personally, I’d go with human capital by a mile. It takes a while to build a team, find good people, and create a dynamic culture. Money is fungible, if there is a difference it is in the goals and personality of the humans behind it (Easy to work with? Realistic goals?).

How does one know when they are ready to hire their first employee?
When you can profitably leverage your time; when you have higher order things to do with your energy and someone else can do the tasks you are delegating for less capital than you can earn with the time you free up.

How much reserves should be in the bank before the first employee is hired?
See it more as a Cash Flow issue: Are they accretive to earnings? Will they create meaningfully more value/cash flow than they consume/cost? Will they contribute significantly more to the bottom line than they detract? Create more income than cost? Remember that the future earnings created is a variable, a projection, a future hope; the salary and related overhead is present given, a hard fact to be faced every payroll Friday i.e. there is risk.

How long were you in business before you took on your first partner?
And why did you when you did? And did you want or need to take on that partner?
The first one was a private individual who came to me with land to be developed and wanted to stay in the deal. The second one was decades later and was a Blue Chip Institution we sought out to buy a $50M+ community that required 30% down and we lacked the resources to do on our own.

What is your thinking behind needing team members/employees? Would you say you need your employees?
YES! I rely upon the TCC Team! Couldn’t do what I do without them! They are a tremendous source of support, energy, and ideas! I look forward to seeing them every day. We have a Team Member Wall in our lobby that folks’ pictures go up on after approx. 9 months of service; I get emotional looking at that wall and the quality of folks that have chosen to work with me, their dedication and commitment.
Or do you need a certain function fulfilled?

Hire an Outside Vendor/Independent Contractor in this case.

Is it true that passive income is taxed less than active income?
Tax is complicated and there is currently an effort to make major changes however capital gains (investment held over a year) are generally taxed at a lower rate than interest/dividends/salary and if you are in Real Estate full-time you are allowed to use losses from passive investments (RE depreciation) to shelter active income, otherwise limited.

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

Are You a Stairs Person or an Elevator Person?

running up stairs

I was bounding up three flights of stairs the other day and my young son asked me why we weren’t taking the elevator like some other folks we passed in the lobby. My spontaneous response was “Because we are ‘stairs people’ not ‘elevator people’.”

Later I thought about what that meant. It meant that exercise was an integral part of our lives, that we enjoyed moving, so much so that we looked for small opportunities throughout our days to use our bodies, to keep them in motion, to keep the blood circulating, to keep the muscles active. Not so much because it burned calories (weight management is 80% portion control and nutrition awareness, only 20% or so exercise) but because our bodies are built to move, because it just feels good.

Numerous studies exist on the vital importance of exercise to both physical and mental health both in terms of 1) cardio and strength training AND 2) simple movement; the importance of getting up from your desk every hour or so and moving around for a few minutes.

Closing Quotes:

“Movement energizes.” – Mary Anne Radmacher

“Movement is the song of the body.” – Vanda Scaravelli

“To move is to live. To live is to move.” – Toni Sorenson

“We see in order to move; we move in order to see.” – William Gibson

“To me, if life boils down to one thing, it’s movement. To live is to keep moving.” – Jerry Seinfeld

“Movement is medicine for creating change in a person’s physical, emotional, and mental state.” – Carol Welch

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