Failure Keeps Success in Check

January 4, 2017


[Blog Post #4 of 21]


I had breakfast yesterday with a friend whom I haven’t seen in over three years. We both used to be commercial real estate brokers. 


When I last saw Doug, I was at the top of my game.


In 2012, my brokerage firm won a prestigious award. I closed one of the largest office lease transactions in NYC and Tampa. I made a lot of money.


I remember going to the bank to deposit a seven figure check into my personal account and thinking balloons and confetti would drop from the ceiling. Instead the bank teller said without any expression, “Is there is anything else?”

I responded, “Nope. That’s all I got.”


That was in 2012. Compare that moment to this one in early 2016. 


I was an Uber driver in New Jersey and took a customer into NYC. It was a long drive and I had consumed a large bottle of water. 


After dropping off my customer I was on a frantic mission to find a bathroom.


I double parked illegally in front an office building on Avenue of the Americas and as I was closing my car door, a razor sharp corner of the door sliced open my elbow. I was bleeding profusely on the sidewalk. 


People looked away and avoided walking near me. 


I could only think of one thing. I better find a bathroom quick or else I’ll be covered in blood and piss!


I found a bathroom and a security guard bandaged my elbow. 


I often juxtapose those two moments - depositing a fat check at the bank and bleeding on the sidewalk in NYC.


During breakfast when I told Doug about my new position in residential real estate, he laughed and asked me, “Do they know who you are?”


I said, “Yes, I’m a beginner.”



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Westfield, NJ 07090

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© 2018 by Richard Hopen