A couple of years ago, I took a leap of faith and started my own Homebuilding company. We jumped out of the gates pretty aggressively and quickly had 14 homes under construction. 12 Specs and 2 Pre-Sales, priced from 600K to 1.1M. We were Bold, Brazen and Full of Energy. Excited about creating and bringing to market our visions while trying to wade through the complexities of starting a new venture. Then the world came crashing down.
In the aftermath, I swore off “Spec” Building. Thought that it was the most Evil endeavor a man could pursue. I questioned everything. I wondered, what in the world was I thinking…How could I be so careless. Self-Criticism consumed me. And, for three years, I have believed that the craft of Homebuilding has been forever changed.
Then I had an “Aha Moment”. A true realization. Of course it came from the Brilliant mind of Seth Godin. In creating and living a dynamic life, we are ALL involved in Speculative Building, Speculative Design, Speculative Art, Speculative Goals, Speculative Pursuits. To go after something of meaning, of tremendous value, we have to lay ourselves on the line. We have to commit to the cause and put ourselves, our products and our ideas out there for the whole world to examine.
I admire the men and women of the homebuilding industry so much. A friend of mine once commented to me that he regarded Homebuilders as the last of the truly great entrepreneurs in America and I couldn’t agree more. Where else do you have a profession that allows for so much creativity in the product line and yet requires such a personal financial obligation if it fails. Of coarse, none of us fully realized the depth of how far the industry could fall. And, I certainly do agree that we should take a more analytical approach to reduce the level of risk. With this in mind, we need to fight to preserve this once magnificent profession.
We need Homebuilders who are not afraid of putting their product out there. We need ones who are willing to push the envelope of design. Ones who question the conventional way of doing things. The concept of “Home” is too important for our society. We need Builders – and not just the fortune 500, National guys – but Builders on the local level who will continue to create truly inspiring homes for families to cherish.
I don’t ever want to lose the passion that I have for the Home and I hope that we as a society will not let this happen either.