How to Maintain Your Enthusiasm and Revenue Stream During a Plague (LA 1293)

How to Maintain Your Enthusiasm and Revenue Stream During a Plague (LA 1293)

Transcript:

Steven Butala:
Steve and Jill here.

Jill DeWit:
Happy Friday.

Steven Butala:
Welcome to the Land Academy Show, entertaining land investment talk. I’m Steven Jack Butala.

Jill DeWit:
I’m Jill DeWit, broadcasting from sunny, Southern California.

Steven Butala:
Today, Jill and I talk about how to maintain your enthusiasm and your revenue stream during a plague. This is a fun show for me, maybe not so much for Jill.

Jill DeWit:
Why do you say that?

Steven Butala:
Here’s the thing, here’s the thing: we’ve been kind of life interrupted now for, what, five months, six months? It’s hard to maintain your enthusiasm, let alone your revenue stream during a pandemic. There’s a lot of stuff. Here’s really what the juice of what we’re going to talk about today: if you own your own company and you’re an entrepreneurial spirit and you just don’t know any other way, you’re very used to adapting and overcoming whatever comes into your field of vision or whatever you need to overcome.

Steven Butala:
So, this year for a lot of us, I include myself and Jill in this, it’s an adapt and overcome to a pandemic. So, maintaining my enthusiasm and our revenue stream has not been that much of a challenge. It’s had its moments, but I think for some people, and this is really who this show is for, it just destroys their mindset. It’s a lot to deal with.

Steven Butala:
Before we get into it, let’s take a question posted by one of our members on the landinvestors.com online community. It’s free.

Jill DeWit:
Austin wrote, “Hello. I have been quoted $200 for a two-document mobile notary signing in New York City. The notary said that it was higher priced due to COVID. What has your experience been as far as pricing a notary as post-pandemic? Also, is there a big geographical difference as well, such as a hundred dollars for Los Angeles and $50 Maricopa? Thanks, Austin.” I have not experienced this. I’m wondering if it’s a particular notary.

Steven Butala:
I think this is more of a New York problem, New York City problem than anything else.

Jill DeWit:
That’s what I think. I have an in-house notary here in our office, we’re in Los Angeles area, or I can still go, and they never closed, to my local UPS shop where you can drop a package and for the same $15, get a signature notarized. It never changed. I could walk in, I have to have a mask on, big deal.

Steven Butala:
The bigger question here is for me, and this question is very appropriate for the topic today, reading way below this question and what this is really about is how the world has changed because of this pandemic/plague that we’re in and why people feel like it’s okay to double their prices on stuff.

Jill DeWit:
That’s kind of not nice.

Steven Butala:
What?

Jill DeWit:
It’s kind of funny. No, you’re right. You’re not wrong.

Steven Butala:
It’s not just pricing. It weans its way-

Jill DeWit:
Could you imagine?

Steven Butala:
It trickles its way and weans its way into everything. I mean, I have never walked through a Home Depot in my entire life and been told where to stand and that I’m not doing it right. It’s like-

Jill DeWit:
Could you imagine?

Steven Butala:
… in one week, the people that maitre des or servers and stuff have just been allowed to, and this is never going to change. This is my theory: I think it’s here to stay, have been given some power to treat-

Jill DeWit:
Oh, like TSA.

Steven Butala:
Yes, like TSA, perfect example.

Jill DeWit:
TSA-

Steven Butala:
Well, TSA, those people-

Jill DeWit:
People that couldn’t get jobs anywhere else got TSA jobs.

Steven Butala:
That’s right.

Jill DeWit:
That’s kind of saying this, a lot of it.

Steven Butala:
Let’s say it. Say it. They have some, and boy do they use it.

Jill DeWit:
They can’t carry a weapon or anything, they can just say, “Stop, go back through the metal thing,” but whatever. Oh, that’s kind of funny.

Steven Butala:
That’s what this is about. This is person, whoever they chose for whatever reason, chose to be a mobile notary and they’re getting affirmation all over the television and from everybody in their life to double their prices.

Jill DeWit:
That this is okay. That’s ridiculous.

Steven Butala:
Because this is what they’re being told, and this is the root of everything. You’re at risk, you’re putting yourself online to serve this table today. So, I want you to make sure that you’re safe.

Jill DeWit:
Could you imagine?

Steven Butala:
Your safety is in your own hands, and you matter. So, I want you to do whatever and say whatever you need to say to the customers to make sure that that’s okay.

Jill DeWit:
This is funny. What if Domino’s all of a sudden doubled their costs and said, “Look, you’re lucky you’re getting a pizza.”

Steven Butala:
Yeah.

Jill DeWit:
$40 or nothing. Yeah, you know that $5.99? Nope, now it’s $40.

Steven Butala:
Yep, yep. That’s the attitude. Just like nine, if you’re old enough to remember 9/11 and the changes that are now forever changed, how we fly has so dramatically changed since pre-9/11. If you’re young enough and you don’t even remember, this is how it used to go. You’re always late going to the airport, you’re running through the airport, there’s no baggage.

Jill DeWit:
There’s no security.

Steven Butala:
There’s nothing, there’s no security at all. You park your car, you walk-

Jill DeWit:
It’s like running into a mall.

Steven Butala:
You walk right to the gate, you put your credit card into a vending machine, type in your code, and you get a ticket for that flight. If you’re like me, you’re the last one on the flight, and everybody’s laughing and having fun. Then overnight, it became like you have to get to the airport two hours early now.

Jill DeWit:
You used to be able to, I remember this, and stating it, and you could walk up to the ticket counter, “What’s your name?” “John Smith.” “Okay,” and then you just pay cash and buy a one-way ticket.

Steven Butala:
Right. “Buy a one-way?” Yeah.

Jill DeWit:
Sure.

Steven Butala:
Then I’ll go, “John Smith,” they don’t care who’s on the plane.

Jill DeWit:
Yeah, they don’t care.

Steven Butala:
I remember that too, Jill.

Jill DeWit:
What’s your name? Whatever, we don’t need an ID. It doesn’t matter.

Steven Butala:
It was fun.

Jill DeWit:
Yeah.

Steven Butala:
The flight attendants were having fun, the captains are laughing, everybody on the flights having a blast. Everybody’s ordering two or three drinks at a time. It was fun and it was like, how do I say it, because you’ve been in this industry? It was a treat and you felt special and catered to and separated from everyone.

Jill DeWit:
Oh, you felt special. You used to dress up, it used to be a dress up event too. I remember that. Wow, because not everybody could afford to fly.

Steven Butala:
Yeah. Right.

Jill DeWit:
It was kind of a big deal.

Steven Butala:
You’re getting out of that.

Jill DeWit:
When I was a kid, it was like, yeah, you really dressed and it was special.

Steven Butala:
So now, you walk into the airport and you’re immediately a suspect or you’re barked at, whoever’s talking over the PA system’s yelling at you.

Jill DeWit:
Yeah.

Steven Butala:
You’re told where to stand, how long to stand there, put your arms up, like You’re getting arrested now with that machine.

Jill DeWit:
That’s right. Your bags over here, no shoes, yes shoes, whatever.

Steven Butala:
What fun is that?

Jill DeWit:
I know.

Steven Butala:
It took all the fun out of it for security. Jill and I, since everything’s sort of reopening now, have been going out, and I’m sure you’re having some experience like this too. It’s like it takes all the fun out of it.

Jill DeWit:
It’s true.

Steven Butala:
We are suspect when we go out to dinner and told what to do, just like the TSA.

Jill DeWit:
Yeah, I know.

Steven Butala:
That’s a perfect example.

Jill DeWit:
Thank you.

Steven Butala:
I don’t think it’s going to change. Today’s topic: how to maintain your, after my rants, how to maintain your enthusiasm and revenue streams during the plague. This is the meat of the show.

Steven Butala:
For me. like I said at the very beginning, it’s not hard for me to maintain my enthusiasm or my revenue stream. This is just the next thing that is kind of standing in my way of the long lines of tons of stuff that Jill and I have overcome to be successful on our own schedule and with our own money. So, is it hard for you to maintain your enthusiasm here?

Jill DeWit:
Some days.

Steven Butala:
Is it really, Jill?

Jill DeWit:
Seriously, yeah. I’m going to be totally honest. Some days it is. I’m tired, I’m tired. It’s a lot of work. Because this person’s experience with this notary for $200, how much more pushback? You could start off with a good attitude and you’re like, “I can handle it, I can handle it, I can handle it.” At some point, we all snap. It’s hard. It’s hard to be happy sometimes and enthusiastic and patient when you’re like, “I know this is not right.” That’s the thing too. You’re not here for my best interest.

Steven Butala:
Right.

Jill DeWit:
You have some power trip right now, or you’re frustrated and you’re taking it out on me.

Steven Butala:
Right.

Jill DeWit:
That’s probably it too. Every darn server, I feel bad for these guys.

Steven Butala:
Me too.

Jill DeWit:
The restaurants that we go to are ones that we’ve been going to for years and we all know each other and we all laugh together. I’m like, “Hey Rick, I can’t hear you under all that stuff.” He’s like, “I know, right? This is stupid.” I’m like, “Are you a hoarse at the end of the night?” He’s like, “Yeah, I can’t talk. I have to yell because I have goggles on, I have a regular mask covering my nose and my mouth, and now I got to add a shield in front of me.” I’m like, “What the heck?”

Steven Butala:
Yeah.

Jill DeWit:
So, it’s a lot of work. They can’t breathe under there, right? When we talk about it, it’s been a joke, I’m in the grocery store wearing my mask, I’m like, “It’s getting kind of warm right now and I’m having trouble breathing. I’ve got to get out of here” kind of thing so I can take this off.

Jill DeWit:
But anyway, so it can be hard. So, do you want to talk about enthusiasm? Because you talked about how to maintain your enthusiasm and your revenue stream. During the revenue stream, we got that licked.

Steven Butala:
Well, revenue makes me enthusiastic.

Jill DeWit:
Oh, that’s good. That’s funny. For me, they’re two separate things. For you, it’s all one. Now I see where you’re coming from.

Steven Butala:
That was kind my punchline in all this.

Jill DeWit:
Oh, if you’ve got the revenue, you can figure out the enthusiasm.

Steven Butala:
It’s hard to be. Here’s the deal with what’s going on in the land right now: if you’re sending mailers out and you’re in our group, you already know this. It’s a great time to buy and sell land. One of the best times in my career economically, and just from an economic environment standpoint. For whatever reason, there’s a ton of sellers and a ton of buyers, right, at the same time. It doesn’t happen that way all the time. There’s never a bad time to buy and sell land, but right now it’s particularly good. So, I’m very enthusiastic about that.

Steven Butala:
Does it get upsetting? You know what? Aside from an interruption in our social life, which is, geez, let’s be honest, who the heck really cares about that? This hasn’t affected us. My point to this whole show is it’s because this is in a long line of stuff that’s been standing in my way,.constantly as an entrepreneur, this is just the most recent thing.

Steven Butala:
So, it’s not hard for me to maintain my enthusiasm through it, you just have to adapt and overcome and look at the buying and selling the same piece of land in mid-2020 is a lot easier, faster, and more profitable than it was in 2019, mid-2019. It’s not hard for me to take a look at those facts, make sure my people are motivated, like I always do and maintain my enthusiasm. Socially? Yeah, it’s tough.

Jill DeWit:
Thank you. I was going to say, making me look like, “What’s wrong with you, Jill?”

Steven Butala:
Good dose of revenue. It cures a lot of stuff.

Jill DeWit:
It’s true. I mean, yeah, that’s true. The business part’s easy, I agree with that. So, we’re talking only business related. It is easy to be enthusiastic when things are selling quickly. Sure, you pay more for a notary. Who cares? Or, you pick up the phone and call somebody else, who cares? Or, find another way around it. You can do that. It’s obviously a mobile notary that’s going out to a seller.

Steven Butala:
Yeah.

Jill DeWit:
You could really even ask the seller if they know somebody, if they would be willing to do it if you want to save it, but that doesn’t really matter.

Steven Butala:
Right.

Jill DeWit:
I’m pretty sure if you’re doing what we do, you baked in way more than $200 into your profits, so you’re going to be just fine.

Steven Butala:
Yeah. Well, if you’re self-closing and you need a notary like that, which we totally advocate, is pretty small deal.

Jill DeWit:
You’re probably buying it for a 2,000 selling for five or something. $200 is worth it.

Steven Butala:
Yeah. So in my final point is this: there are lots of people who are very, very comfortable being told when to go to work, being told when to go home, and just work really well with that. There’s nothing wrong with that, I mean, at all. I’m not personally one of those people, but there’s nothing wrong with that. Well, that got taken away for them recently. So, they are left to be at home, or they’re expected to make their own schedule and do and manage their own time.

Steven Butala:
For a lot of people, that’s very, very, very difficult. So, my hat is off to you, but I think it’s very necessary to have a calendar and a pretty stringent schedule. I do anyway, I always have. I’ve just always, so have you, I’ve noticed too. You manage your time, no one needs to tell you where to be.

Jill DeWit:
It’s changed from it’s a 180 from when we met, except for normal stuff.

Steven Butala:
Oh, really?

Jill DeWit:
But outside of it, don’t you think? Well, maybe not.

Steven Butala:
I think you’ve always been a real good time manager.

Jill DeWit:
Oh, okay. But I mean, I’ve watched my calendar, it seems like way more now than I ever did. I’ve really tried that.

Steven Butala:
So, my unsolicited advice, my point is: now more than ever, having a tight schedule to keep yourself busy, even if you block in the fun part, time is really important.

Jill DeWit:
It’s true. That helps me, and I’m about to go do it right now. I need to go have some fun. You think I’m kidding?

Steven Butala:
No.

Jill DeWit:
I’m serious.

Steven Butala:
Oh, go have some fun. Oh, sign me up.

Jill DeWit:
No, I’m serious. I’m dead serious.

Steven Butala:
Can I come?

Jill DeWit:
Maybe.

Steven Butala:
Wow.

Jill DeWit:
I’m just kidding, of course you can. Happy you could join us today. Monday through Friday, you can find us right here on the Land Academy Show.

Steven Butala:
Tomorrow, join us for another, I’m sorry, next Monday, next week, join us for another interesting episode because you are not alone in your real estate ambition.

Jill DeWit:
Of course you can. I was just kidding.

Steven Butala:
I know.

Jill DeWit:
Well, here’s the only thing: I’m trying to decide what kind of fun I want to go have. There’s kind of fun that I go have that you don’t like. It might involve shopping or things like that.

Steven Butala:
Oh. Oh, go knock yourself out.

Jill DeWit:
So, see? That’s what I’m trying to say. If I do that, you don’t want to come and that wouldn’t be fun for anybody. Then, it would make it not fun.

Steven Butala:
I have a couple of questions about shopping on behalf of most men.

Jill DeWit:
Okay, here we go.

Steven Butala:
So, imagine this: I’m a man, I needed a closet refresher. So, stuff’s cheap right now.

Jill DeWit:
Yeah.

Steven Butala:
So, Jill and I last week went to a clothing store, discount clothing store, like a high-end discount clothing store, it starts in rack. We separated, I brought back about six things and she’s signed off immediately, which doesn’t happen usually, and I was done. I noticed you were just getting started about the time that I was done.

Jill DeWit:
Yeah.

Steven Butala:
So, my question is this: the act of shopping, I’m just trying to get to the bottom of it, what does that do for you?

Jill DeWit:
It takes my mind off stuff. I’m just there to enjoy. I don’t know if every woman’s like this, but I’d imagine we are, retail therapy really is like therapy. I’m just relaxing. I’m not thinking about the kids, I’m just thinking about, “Oh, look at that.” Even if I don’t buy anything, it’s fun sometimes just to go shop and look at pretty things, try things on.

Steven Butala:
Does it work in a grocery store?

Jill DeWit:
No, no.

Steven Butala:
Okay. I’m serious, because I would have said yes.

Jill DeWit:
No, grocery store is different.

Steven Butala:
What about a jewelry store?

Jill DeWit:
I’m going to go into… I don’t have the same feeling in the produce section.

Steven Butala:
I honestly just don’t-.

Jill DeWit:
Wow, look at these tomatoes.

Steven Butala:
Let me ask you. Jill, I’m honestly asking these questions.

Jill DeWit:
It’s very different. Geez, are all avocados really that big right now? No, it’s very, very, very different.

Steven Butala:
Jewelry?

Jill DeWit:
It depends. I have to be in a jewelry mood, honestly. If I’m not enjoying mood, I don’t care. I think it’s all ugly.

Steven Butala:
Wow, really?

Jill DeWit:
Seriously. You tried to pick out a watch for me, I wasn’t in a watch mode. I like my watch, so I was like, “Yeah, that’s cool,” but I wouldn’t wear it because I like my current watch.

Steven Butala:
Okay. How about a home improvement store, like Lowe’s?

Jill DeWit:
Kind of half way. I’m kind of halfway there. It depends on, again, if you’re happy at home and you’re like your… Most women can walk in there and go, “You know, I could always use a nicer lamp.” Seriously, I could find stuff. Like Home Goods. A lot of women are, I’m in this group, can get lost in there. Like, “You know, I think I’m going to redo the bathroom now that I’m standing here looking how pretty this display looks. Let’s do that.”

Steven Butala:
Oh my gosh, are you serious?

Jill DeWit:
I’m dead serious, dead serious.

Steven Butala:
You know how foreign this is? I’m 53 years old and I’m learning today about women.

Jill DeWit:
Yeah. That’s okay. Any other questions before we call this?

Steven Butala:
No, I’m just shocked. I didn’t know. I had no idea. It’s not bad, I just want to get to the bottom of it. You pretty quickly got to the bottom of it.

Jill DeWit:
Well, I’m happy to help.

Steven Butala:
It’s just a feeling. It’s whatever gives you a feeling that you like. Right?

Jill DeWit:
Well, part of it. I mean, and I don’t know, just doing stuff that makes me happy. You know what? For a lot of us, I don’t know about men, but for a lot of women, having some nice things, having a home that you’re proud of, having things that look nice around you, and giving you a warm feeling, that feels good.

Steven Butala:
That completely makes sense.

Jill DeWit:
Thank you. The Land Academy Show remains commercial-free for you, our loyal listener. Wherever you’re watching, wherever you’re listening, please subscribe and rate us there. We are Steve and Jill.

Steven Butala:
We are Steve and Jill. Information…

Jill DeWit:
And inspiration…

Steven Butala:
… to buy undervalued property.

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