If you’re reading this blog, you likely already know me and you likely already know about the challenges, failures and successes of the project I’m here to write about… as it has been the backdrop of my life for six+ years.
This project likely should have failed in the first six months, let alone the first six years, for reasons stretching from lack of experience to the economy meltdown to a relationship so heart crushing it brought me to the edge of suicide. I began without partners, without money, without connections or resources of any kind. All I had was an immense desire to see the vision of this unbuilt house, complete.
A desire that inspired me to press on, no matter how difficult the challenge before me. There were more times than I care to recall where I literally didn’t know how I was gonna eat or pay my rent, let alone pay the mortgage on the house. There were moments that seemed so ridiculously surreal that I can literally recall laughing out loud at myself and my situation. Like when I was sitting on the floor of a nearly empty apartment (eviction notice on the door), eating spices and tea for a meal, having sold nearly everything i owned in a attempt to get “just one more month” of potential out of the project.
But bit by bit the successes (and failures) added up. Bit by bit I found the resources and investors I needed to keep moving forward and bit by bit this house transformed from a crumbling 4 bedroom apartment back into a beautifully re-built historic single family home… or at least the shell of a home. Yes that’s the bittersweet part here. The shell of a home is as far as I made it on my own as I just signed off on the sale that ensures an ending, at least in process, that can never be as I had intended.
I could argue that the challenge was too great or the recession was too severe or that my relationship pain was too deep or simply that I wore too many hats… Owner, architect, designer, builder, framer, investor, project manager, capital manager, general contractor, entrepreneur, go-fer and everything in-between. But I think the truth is, after six+ years scrambling for funding, half of it in a disastrously decimated real-estate & investment market, six+ years of living on the edge of poverty (despite facilitating over a million in bank and investor funds), six+ years with no time to focus on pursuits beyond this project, six+ years wondering how, if, or when I would ever finish this house, I finally, sometime this past spring, burned out. I lost heart. Not in voice, not in desire but in action.
It was a difficult moment to face but I finally made the conscious decision to put the house up for sale and I accepted a ridiculously undervalued short-sale option from the bank and sold the house to a new owner. In fact I just walked out of the closing moments ago (12/7/11). It was hard not to break into tears at the closing table despite the fact I was selling it to an enthusiastic young couple who has already retained me as the architect to finish the project’s design. Yes the story doesn’t end as intended, but it also doesn’t end on an arbitrary or dismal note.
Six+ years is a long time to work on anything. There are children in the 1st grade that weren’t even conceived when I began this project and there may be some in college by the time I pay off all my investors. But if “failure is the tuition you pay for success” then I just completed a PhD in a brilliant future. I’ve learned so much about what NOT to do through this project it’s astonishing. I’ve learned so much about myself, personally, professionally, emotionally, financially. I’ve learned where I am absolutely brilliant and where I utterly fall short. I’ve learned that passion, persistence, determination and action can accomplish nearly anything but that a lot more clarity, focus and consistency will serve me well in the future.
This truly is a bittersweet moment for me but I’m still really proud of all I’ve accomplished, learned and become through this project and I look forward to sharing the final outcome of the house with you all in the future.
Much Love ~ x
Posted via Christopher Spiewak’s Wordpress Blog