This chess set started me thinking about patience.
This is a time of great opportunity… perhaps the greatest in 40 years…yet not without the bravery to accept risk… and several other qualities…. patience… flexibility… resilience… tenacity… acceptance and a bird’s eye view to see the big picture.
In a moment… we’ll look at some Ecuador real estate and see how patience works there. First a true and recent story… about patience and chess.
Having lived a wandering life… I have not accumulated a lot of stuff in the years I was moving around. In fact only one material thing survived my decades in Hong Kong and Europe… this ivory chess set.
I am not even sure why I lugged the wooden, silk lined box through so many countries. For years I did not even play… but I kept the set and now it’s a treasure to me.
The set is a little battered. Our five children each had a go at it one time or another. A couple of the rooks are minus their ears.
Overall however this is a lovely set… 4 inch, pure ivory… no longer possible to import. I love its feel.
Our friend and farm manager, Richard Goebel, and I have a continual, running game. The board sits in our hallway and as Richard or I pass through we stop for a moment… study and make a move.
Sometimes when Merri and I are traveling we are weeks between moves… but a game is always on the board. Richard and I are pretty evenly matched. Usually there is no winner… just a loser… the one who made the most current stupid error.
Recently it was my turn at stupidity, (aghhhh). Early in the game, I gave up my queen.
Carelessness… pure and simple. I can offer nothing more.
I was instantly discouraged. We both had nearly a full board but I was already missing my queen! “How can I possibly win” I thought, “with such a disadvantage?”
I was about to give up when some quiet voice said, “No, keep playing.”
A few days later Richard stupidly gave up his queen as well. That game dragged on for days but in the end the match was mine because of… patience.
This started me thinking about these seven qualities that can unlock enormous business and investing opportunity now:
#1: Bravery to accept risk
#6: Bird’s eye view
Thinking about patience reminded me of John Milton’s poem “On His Blindness.”
Milton is acclaimed to be one of the greatest English poets and I am not sure he was always patient. Resilient yes… he was kicked out of university, lost wives and was imprisoned for his political views and went blind… yet managed to keep creating his incredible prose.
However I believe that Milton understood patience… perhaps from his blindness because he ended his poem “On His Blindness” (see the entire poem below) with this powerful reminder, “They also serve who only stand and wait.”
The Chinese have an even more ancient saying: “Sit on the river bank long enough and you see the bodies of all your enemies float by”.
Patience is important when buying real estate in Ecuador or anywhere.
Merri and I spent seven years tromping up and down mountains to buy our first hacienda (Rosaspamba) in Ecuador.
Here Merri and I are building our first hut at our Ecuador hacienda… Rosaspamba.
We negotiated nearly a year to buy this building… that was a mess.
fixed it looks like this…
and is getting better because we are patiently fixing one floor at a time.
If a person spends time in Ecuador and stays alert, he’ll see many incredible fixer upper bargains.
Just over a year ago, Merri and I bought the four story office building shown above. We began cleaning it up and converting two floors into condos.
If one is not in a hurry, construction costs are low.
This was the third floor kitchen… another mess.
Here is the third floor now.
This if fully furnished with…
one bedroom and …
office/den (or second bedroom) and…
balcony. The kitchen now…
looks great. The hardwood cabinets had not been installed when I took this shot but are in place now.
We did not start fixing this floor until we dealt with the 4th floor… an even worse mess. Patience, patience!
This is a loft studio with…
great light and an open feel with…
full dining area and…
These floors are among the highest points in the village and views from both units are the best around. Mornings give…
the sunrise over Mt. Imbabura.
Evenings offer sunset in the east on Mt. Cotacachi.
Views are great at night with the village alight.
and you can see the entire village…
and both mountains during the day.
Where we had huge walls we said…”How about windows with a view instead?” The builder figured out what height was needed to see Mt. Cotacachi and simply knocked the window openings in the walls. Then he built hardwood window surrounds that frame this view.
The bathroom includes a full tiled bathtub and spa shower like this.
The king size sleeping nook has this view also and is fully curtained…
with full hardwood closets.
These units are available for rental on a three, six or 12 month lease, by the way. Send me a note at email@example.com
Anyone can have a nice place like this but to get one with great value requires patience.
Patiently fixing up this property will provide us with some nice extra profit with good value because we were patient… in buying… in fixing.
We did all this slowly… from cash flow… patiently so we developed value.
I have been using patience to look for real estate in Florida as well. After months of scouring the state… looking at hundreds of listings we made our first offer… at about half the already reduced asking price.
This is where patience and the never ending quest for value comes into play.
Value is really hard to understand in the real estate and equity market now because the bubble of 2007 created many false illusions.
The values of a house are twofold… the value of a roof overhead and the value of whatever price it can be resold.
These are unpredictable times. Basing a potential resale on previous inflated bubble prices can be a great error.
Tomorrow we’ll see how, after months of searching Merri and I are using patience to make our first offer for property in Florida.
Join us at a course our tour in 2009 in Ecuador or North Carolina. Here is our future 2009 courses
June 12-14 Shamanic Mingo Tour
June 16-17 Imbabura Real Estate Tour
June 18-21 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour
July 3-6 Ecuador Import Export Expedition
July 8-9 Imbabura Real Estate Tour
July 10-13 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour
July 24-26 IBEZ North Carolina
Sept. 17-21 Ecuador Spanish Course
Sept. 23-24 Imbabura Real Estate Tour
Sept. 25-28 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour
Oct. 9-11 IBEZ North Carolina
Oct. 21-24 Ecuador Import Export Expedition
Nov. 6-8 IBEZ Ecuador
Nov. 9-10 Imbabura Real Estate Tour
Nov. 11-14 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour
Attend any two Ecuador courses or tours in a calendar month…$949 for one. $1,349 for two.
Attend any three Ecuador courses or tours in a calendar month…$1,199 for one. $1,799 for two
These are great reminders that at times, patience is a most important quality in investing, business and all of life.
On His Blindness
When I consider how my light is spent
Ere half my days, in this dark world and wide,
And that one talent which is death to hide
Lodged with me useless, though my soul more bent
To serve therewith my Maker, and present
My true account, lest He returning chide,—
Doth God exact day-labour, light denied?
I fondly ask:—But Patience, to prevent
That murmur, soon replies: God doth not need
Either man’s work, or His own gifts, who best
Bear His mild yoke, they serve Him best. His state
Is kingly; thousands at His bidding speed
And post o’er land and ocean without rest:—
They also serve who only stand and wait.