These past few weeks have been personally gratifying as many friends and business acquaintances have congratulated me on receiving the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce Lifetime Achievement Award. While I am thankful and humbled by the recognition, it has also prompted me to reflect back on my 45 years in real estate and to contemplate what may or may not lie yet ahead. Does a “lifetime achievement” award mean that it’s time to place my career on a shelf to collect dust? Should I retire and just bequeath my experience and expertise to the next generation? If so, then why do I still feel so alive and ready to take on the next challenge with equal enthusiasm and energy that I felt decades prior when just starting out?
A Friend asked me last week how I stay enthusiastic and passionate. The question is, how does anyone manage to keep passion alive in business and in life?
Throughout my years in commercial real estate I have endured relentless economic swings including four major market corrections (Read: Recession); any one of which could easily take the wind out of the most buoyant businessman’s sails. Brokering, developing, and marketing commercial and investment real estate projects with all of the pitfalls that go along with it (including capricious politicians, business sharks and snakes!) can be demoralizing to say the least. The truth is that I do get down at times, especially when I put my heart and soul into a project that I believe is the best for the community, but then politics gets in the way or there is an economic jolt that no one could have predicted.
It is in those times that I remind myself how I have also had the great privilege of creating our multi-family and mixed-use projects that live up to the Allen Morris Company’s Mission to ‘Inspire people with the beauty of our projects, Impress them with the quality of our services, and Improve the lives of everyone we touch.’ The realization that our company has impacted the world around us for the betterment of the community through our projects and civic commitment lifts my spirits and fuels my passion.
I believe that when our passion and focus is directed outward so that our calling in life is more about serving others than ourselves, then keeping our passion in business and in life alive is a no-brainer. It’s not something we have to work at; it just happens. The most successful people I know have continued to re-invent and re-ignite themselves through the years by raising their vision to an increasingly higher calling. I regularly challenge myself as I review and re-write my annual life plan, to be a more creative and visionary developer, to be a better business leader, mentor to others, and a more intentional husband, father, and grandfather.
In the same way that tastes, expectations, and technology change for our office tenants and apartment residents, so do the needs of running a business and, in light of Father’s Day this month, so do the requirements of being an effective father to my adult children and an expanding family. For me, adjusting my professional and personal mission statement over time to be increasingly about others and less about me is how I want to live out the remainder of my career and life. This is my kindling wood for keeping the fire of passion alive in business and in life.
Watch our latest video on W. Allen Morris’ lifelong passion for the real estate industry. Recently honored with the 2019 Lifetime Achievement Award by the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce during the Chamber’s Real Estate Summit and R.E.A.L Awards, the award recognizes an outstanding individual each year that exemplifies personal and professional qualities, leadership and excellence throughout the real estate industry and in the community.