Lee Rotbart

Learnings so far…

In The beginning on August 2, 2010 at 1:57 pm

Bored of moaning about the mortgage, and unable to update you on anything as there is no news as yet, I thought I’d take this time to reflect on how things have gone so far.

We arrived back from our holiday in Cornwall 6 weeks ago and in that time we’ve managed to get an offer accepted on our dream guesthouse, sell my flat, appoint a solicitor, write a business plan and gather all manner of statistics and research about the Cornwall Tourist Industry.

Not bad going when you consider that we left for our holiday with absolutely no intention to do anything bar have a lovely relaxing time, and partake in a bit of walking. Also in this time, I’ve learned a helluva lot about mortgages, about juggling a job while trying to fulfill a dream, about estate agents, and about myself.

To summarise:

  1. Not all estate agents are bad people; yes they’re a bit pushy and a bit insensitive, and it did annoy me the way they addressed all correspondence to ‘Mr’ Lee Rotbart when I am quite clearly female. However, they have been pleasant, efficient and did a very good job at alleviating the guilt I felt when I couldn’t sell to the first guy that saw the flat – apparently house buying should not work on a ‘first come first served’ basis no matter how nice the person seems.
  2. The headlines about banks not lending are NOT fabricated or exaggerated. They really are not lending.
  3. Getting annoyed about #2 does not do anyone any good. Ranting and raving about cause and effect, focusing on articles in the newspaper about giant bonuses paid out to banks when they not only caused this crisis, but are exacerbating it, does not make it any more likely that we will get our mortgage.
  4. I am not very good at juggling two jobs, and the more I focus on the guesthouse the less motivated I am at work. In my defense I haven’t had a pay rise or decent appraisal in over 2 years so there are few reasons for me to pull out all the stops at work. However, things still need to get done and I am finding myself working late and checking emails at weekends to compensate for day time shenanigans.
  5. Everybody, and I mean EVERYBODY, thinks they will be able to identify the solution to our mortgage problem. “Have you tried ‘x’?”, and “Did you think about ‘y’?”; this isn’t really a problem as we do need all brains on board for this, however my ego is bristling at the intimation that people don’t think we are exploring every single avenue available to us.
  6. I have an ego. A big one. A giant one, with a whole heap of pride on top.
  7. I don’t like cleaning. This is something I suspect that I knew about myself already, but with my cleaner having been away for over a month, I am struggling to dust, sweep and wash floors in an efficient manner. This does not bode well for when the live-in maid takes her leave of Porthminster View.
  8. I understand more about business than I think I do. Even though I have an MBA (Masters in Business Administration), I’ve always suspected that I have very little business acumen, yet I’m discovering it’s not actually that bad. Both Danny and I have written business plans and cash flow reports, and I’m amazed at how much I understand about pulling this together.
  9. I really do want to leave London. This might seem like an obvious thing to anyone reading this blog, but I have to admit that at the beginning I had my reservations. Do I really want to leave the convenience of 24 hour corner shops? Friends on every street? Family down the road? Will I miss the choice of 30 cinemas in a 3 mile radius? Late night coffee places? My favourite bars? Ultimately, I probably will miss all those things, but not so much that it would stop me leaving. As the mortgage gets further and further out of reach I know that the desire to move away is not only real, it’s obviously and painfully apparent.
  10. I struggle to delegate tasks. While I moaned for the first 4 weeks about how I was dealing with all the mortgage calls, now that Danny is doing it all I want to do is get involved. I feel powerless when someone else is doing the work, and I suspect that the control freak in me secretly thinks that things will be forgotten if I don’t do them. However, this is a business partnership, and I have to admit that Danny is doing just fine without me, maybe even better.

I suspect that if this project continues, this is just the beginning. I suspect that there’s plenty more to learn. I also know that, for the first time in 6 weeks, I am 110% sure I want to learn it.

  1. Keep hanging in there!

  2. Getting past this type of inertia is very hard indeed. The dream is worth it and the sense of achievement when you overcome will be proportionate to the stress you are currently going through. As Marian says, “hang on in there”!

  3. Good luck with it all. It really is worth it.

    About fifteen years ago me and Jo were sitting on Porthmeor Beach regretting the end of another holiday in St Ives when I said “Why don’t we just move here”.

    Three years and a fair bit of stress and heartache later we and our girls finally moved into Bedford Road.

    Still here and have never regretted it for a moment. Every New Years Day Jo says ” Well … we survived another year …”

    To reflect what you say in your blog … keep it real, keep believing and you’ll make it. 🙂

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