My wife Sip told me she’d found an ideal property to become the new Business Changing HQ. As her taste is impeccable (especially in husbands!), I was excited to see what gem she had found for us. I was disappointed. Sorely.
A rundown former mechanic’s garage. No street appeal. Opposite a railway track. Out of central Auckland, on a ghostly quiet road. It leaked, it smelled and old oil stains continued to seep up through the concrete. Half of the windows wouldn’t open and the bathrooms were — well, let’s not go there. There was what looked like a tombstone perched on the far right of the parking area. I wanted to turn the car around immediately. But one thing I know about my wife is that she has vision.
It’s a trait that sets the best business owners apart from the rest — their ability to see potential in things/offerings/niches that others don’t. And then being courageous enough to do something about it.
If you think about the most successful business people of our time, they’ve all spotted potential in something that others haven’t and then been brave enough to go ahead and implement it. Steve Jobs with Apple, Elon Musk with Tesla, Jeff Bezos with Amazon etc… Your vision doesn’t have to be as big as electric cars or a global e-commerce site – it just has to be different to what everyone else sees or is doing. I have vision when it comes to businesses; Sip has vision when it comes to businesses AND property.
With Sip’s vision and a few months of renovation, we now have an incredible custom-built space to work in and hold meetings and workshops at. With Japanese-sliding doors separating spaces (a TradeMe find), warm colours, high-end furniture, and two new bathrooms, it’s unrecognisable from that cold, dirty, rundown space I first saw. In fact, the things that I first saw as negatives (quiet road, out of central Auckland, no market demand for a run-down garage) are now positives (plenty of on-road parking for clients, room for a courtyard garden, immediate increase in property value).
So here’s the lesson: don’t take things at face value, look for the potential, be brave enough to follow through with your vision – and always listen to your wife.