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Wednesday, February 26, 2020

A typical Friday in the Catskills -

I, Charles Petersheim, have a really good sense of where I need to be when, if only for a minute, during our build processes.  Take a few pictures, send them back via FB private page to the office, tagged about what I’m seeing, though many times the issue I’m pointing out is abundantly clear from the snapshot – especially if it’s the 19th time that year I’ve taken the same picture. Change comes slow.

In an environment where help is in short supply and production schedules are being delayed and disrupted by lack of qualified help, we are in an enviable position, with long term dedicated help, and a few recent strategic additions.  We are fully staffed, adding or competing in the marketplace or scouting or hunting most effectively.

Friday started in Milford, then to Saugerties, then to across the Mighty Hudson to East Chatham, then to Hudson for dinner with friends, then late night back to my new homes in Kerhonkson, where I spent the night in a nearly finished brand new home with my dog and air mattress.  The dog kept trying to nudge her way onto the air mattress.  She loves luxe and comfort.

Waking in the morning.  It's always enlightening and fun to spend a night in a new home, empty, with my dog.

Many times, as a small businessperson, you don’t get what you want.  You get a lot of what you want, but many times it’s a zero-sum game (I think I’m using that phrase right).   You take from one place to give to another, and that’s no more true with time, the scarcest of commodities, especially when divvied up against trip to Stowe, Miami, Big Sky, etc….  No just kidding, back to the point – if Amanda and I spend time on an ad or ad campaign, that’s a job that’s not being pushed forward, product not being ordered, building permits not being filed.  We scouted, vetted and hired 3 new carpenters in the last year -not an easy feat and probably invested $10k in a wide-ranging scouting effort, and adding Kacy in the office, to take the pressure off of Amanda and Breanna regarding the marketing.

But as a creative, that means I’m left with 40 ideas a week that never get acted on, just pent up inside while I manage the operational side.  And that can drive a guy crazy, except it can’t since you have to do what you have to do.  And then there is the question of how is this inability to market impacting the business, with the easy answer as, ‘not much’, since we are, and have been, fully sold out for awhile, though we are going to challenge that with 8+ spec homes coming to market.  As someone who knows his business, a lot of my time is allocated in a circular fashion – employees, banking, land search, operational, marketing, repeat.

As a guy who spent a lot of time working with people I didn’t like just for the sake of the business, and throttling and bottling up most of my creative energies in a trade off of operational necessity, I feel almost ecstatic (I don’t really get ecstatic but if I did it would be of Dionysus type, mad, hungry, freddy mercury out of control ecstatic (for those who are familiar with his ‘don’t stop by now’ ditty)) for our current place of fully operational and staffed across the company that enables me to have some fun, Richard Branson style -  It’s a true reward of the priority setting, patience and self-sacrifice small business entails for many long days and nights, with no real expectation that it will all work out just fine in the end.

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