My forced digital detox
June sent me several blessings in disguise in the form of tech trouble.
First, I dropped my phone in the pool. While the newer iPhones are water-resistant, that doesn’t apply if you drop them, frequently, as I do. So after several days in rice, I accepted that my phone was no more, and filed an insurance claim for a new one.
All told, I spent about 4 days phone-less, and I have to say I have not been that relaxed in years.
This section got way too long, but I still think the content is worthwhile for anyone who is interested in how to live your life with less screen time. So if you're interested, read on here.
Getting Zen in the Airport
I started this newsletter from the Austin airport when I wasn't sure if we'd ever actually make it to our destination.
Spoiler alert, we did!
I’m headed to San Miguel de Allende for a yoga retreat from the 23rd to the 28th. The plan was to arrive in San Miguel mid-day Sunday, and have several days of relaxation. But things don’t always go according to plan. And when things don’t go according to plan, that’s when being in a good headspace really matters.
Airport delays tends to make people pretty wacky. It’s easy to feel helpless, which usually leads to stress, which then leads to either anger or panic, or both. I’ve been watching the stress levels rise all around me all morning.
But at some point this morning, I decided it would be absolutely ridiculous to get all into a tizzy about how I’m going to be late for a yoga retreat. “Screw you, United Airlines! You’re delaying me from this retreat, where I’m going to learn to be more accepting, live in the moment, be unattached and tap into my unwavering inner strength! How am I supposed to do that while stuck in an airport??? Oh, wait.”
And I’m not being on my high horse over here. I get it. The only reason I can make fun of myself for this silly thought process is because, I had it.
So instead, I decided to just be cheerful, and be nice to airline employees. Because Lord knows they’re getting plenty of grief for things they have no control over.
And to be grateful. For the fact that there are two other women on the retreat who are also delayed, and we’ve gotten to spend several hours getting to know each other. That one of their husbands is kind enough to take time out of his day to drive us to Houston, since it’s starting to look like that flight might never take off. That airlines hold to their standards and don’t put us into the air on unsafe airplanes, no matter how much grief we passengers give them. And that I have the time and the means to go to San Miguel for a yoga retreat, period.
GIF: Actual footage of me coping with spending 17 hours traveling.
As I was explaining my predicament by text to my friend Cheryl, she helpfully replied “So you found some fellow yogi strangers to take your hippy ass down to Houston just in time to meditate away the new accumulated stress of trying to get to the place where you originally planned to meditate?”
I'll post more about my trip to San Miguel and what I learned about agriculture in Central Mexico (surprisingly similar to agriculture in Austin!) when I get the time.
My favorite picture from the trip because me and these dogs are all making the exact same face.
What I'm Reading Right Now
On the recommendation of a friend, I picked up this book recently. She told me it was called "How to Succeed as a Hunter in a Farmer's World" and was a must read for small business owners like us. She recently left her job to start her own business doing rehab for adults with brain injuries. When I went to find the book, I was surprised to learn that the title actually included the words "Adult ADHD." Being someone who does not fit an ADHD diagnosis, I paused before buying it. But I trust Ali, and she spoke so highly of it. So I bought it.
I'm so glad I did, because this book is fascinating for anyone who has a "hunter" personality type, or has a person like this in their life. The basic premise is this... every person sits somewhere on the spectrum from "I can focus on a chest game for 10 hours" to "I am too distracted to get through the day." The extremes are, well, extreme. And on the extreme end of distractible, we diagnose people with something called ADHD. Most entrepreneurs sit on the distractible/hyperactive side of average. And the author argues that it's a predisposition easily explained by our evolutionary history. Basically, these distractible people have the same characteristics that would have been very useful when we survived by hunting.
I myself would never say I'm ADHD. I had none of the classic issues growing up. I did well in school. I can sit still (sort of). I can focus when I need to. But on the other hand, I am easily bored. I prefer change over constancy. I am always coming up with new ideas, 99% of which never come to fruition, because I'm too distracted by the next idea to follow through. I hate details.
If any of these sound like you, or someone you care ab0ut, check out this book. It will help you understand yourself, or that person in your life, better.
I keep waiting for the market to hit a summer lull, but I haven’t seen it yet. I just had some of my buyers write an offer on a home in East Austin asking $425,000. The listing agent said they had 25 offers. We were not the one that was picked. When I asked if ours was strong enough to consider a back up, he said “The offer we picked had a 5 in front of it.”
That’s new, I think, in that price range. Roughly $100,000 over asking. Maybe more, I haven’t seen the final closing number yet.
The good news is those buyers found another home they liked, were one of only two offers, and won it.
That leaves just one group of serious buyers on my list that I need to place in Central Austin. Since I started with like 10, I feel pretty good about that!
So I decided to get proactive about hunting down a place for them, and I've been sending out letters that link back to this video. We'll see how it goes! Keep your fingers crossed for us uncovering an adorable historic home in Austin for them.
Over time I’ve accepted that I really shouldn’t be shy about doing things like taking dance lessons or paying for nutrition coaching or sales coaching or really anything that involves me paying someone money to make me better at things. Because almost every time I do, it results in business that pays for the service, plus I got a good result, plus I met a cool person. It’s like a win-win-win-win-win.
And this listing is one of those stories. My nutrition coach, Heather McConochie, is incredible at what she does. She helped me get into better shape today at the age of 30 than I was at the age of 17. She taught me not only how to get there, but how to stay there. Now, she’s pursuing her dream of moving to Kauai, and as a result, she’s ready to sell her condo.
Update! 3 days on market and we're under contract!
When I say I consider any person I talk to about real estate to be on a 3 year timeline, here’s the kind of delightful situation I’m talking about. Pete reached out to me way back almost 5 years ago when Chris and I were new to Austin. He found me on Zillow. We met and looked at a few houses, but he and his family ultimately bought a home in Bastrop. Being new to Austin, I had to google where Bastrop was.
Fast forward to 4 years later, and we’ve stayed in touch. We’ve gotten coffee a few times, talked on the phone occasionally. We like each other personally, and we weren’t sure if we’d ever get to do any business together, but we all figured, why not just stay in touch? Maybe something will come of it.
Then one day Pete calls me and says they’re ready to sell their home in Bastrop, and wants my help. While I was excited to finally get to work together, I knew that I didn’t know Bastrop well enough to do the stellar job I wanted to do for them. So I asked their permission to pull in another agent, familiar with Bastrop. They agreed, and that’s how I found myself co-listing his home in Bastrop with Karen Derr, an expert in historic homes in Bastrop.
3 bed, 2 bath
Built in 1895, we think, maybe earlier
Just listed! Contact us for tours and more info.