First and foremost, I’d like to acknowledge small business owners and all they do for local communities in our country. You are the meaning behind the word “community” as you sponsor kids’ sports teams and school fundraisers in support of our future. You might even attend or organize mission trips around the country or even abroad, leaving a different place a little better than it was before.
Thank you for what you do.
Next, I’d like to tell you all a story.
And, the point of this story is to remind you of your WHY. Because it certainly reminded me of mine.
Last week I had the privilege of going down to Mexico on a mission trip to help build a home for a most deserving family. The father of this family, Luis, is a 21 year-old with a wife and two children. They recently relocated across the country for a BETTER life, where Luis is making about $60 a week to support his whole family. I don’t even want to THINK about the conditions they were living in before.
Luis is quite the man. I have the utmost respect for him, and his love and loyalty for his family. I can’t imagine a more deserving man and family.
I’ve been on mission trips before, doing dentistry for those in need, but the problem was always a feeling of unfulfillment. Sure, I could pull a tooth, but 6 months down the line the tooth to the left would need pulling, and the patient would be back in square one.
It felt like I was offering a band aid solution to a much deeper problem.
On our trip to build homes in Mexico, the feeling was very different.
Always Invest with a “Why”
I’d like to tell you about my experience because it is my WHY. It’s the reason for Smart Asset Opportunities, the reason I write these blogs every week. And it’s the reason I travel constantly around the country, always meeting new people.
I think it’s important as an investor to have a WHY. But even more important is to remember what that why is and to constantly remind yourself of your motivation.
A look at “why”
In Mexico, we worked with people living in abject poverty — in conditions you certainly could not call a house. “Walls” and “floors” made of pallets of wood with tarps they salvaged from garbage heaps and thrown away bits. Not exactly “home sweet home.”
These families and children have been living in makeshift shacks for the entirety of their lives! Can you imagine living in a place that doesn’t even have a door? Or waking up to strange animals in your home, right beside your children? Forget about indoor plumbing or electricity — that’s simply unheard of.
The things that we consider “normal” are truly taken for granted in most cases. For these people we worked with in Mexico, those basic necessities are luxuries.
Building these houses, what we would consider just basic, are dream homes to these people. To say this experience was life-changing for them is an understatement.
With simple things like concrete floors, proper walls and ceilings, lighting and plumbing, the quality of these people’s lives is completely transformed. For a child to come home and be able to read a book under a lamp at night, rather than worrying about fending off stray dogs was inconceivable – but not anymore.
Building these homes doesn’t just provide shelter, it provided a place for education to flourish, for families to grow, a place to offer shelter and security…
I could go on and on about the benefits.
Listen, I tell you all this to say: every day we’re working hard to make a living. But how often do you STOP and remember your WHY? What’s it all for?
Do You Have a Why?
There’s going to be days where you get discouraged. There are a lot of days where I second guess myself.
“Am I making any progress?”
“Am I reaching the people I want to help?”
“Is anyone paying attention?”
It’s not always easy, folks!
But when I take a step back and think about the people I’m doing this for, the people I want to help, the people whose lives I want to help change, I find the courage to push through.
THAT is why it’s so important to have a WHY.
The WHY is the thing that helps you push through those difficult times and get things done.
A time to reflect
At the end of the build, we had a group debriefing, where we all sat around and had the chance to share our biggest takeaways.
Everyone had a little something different to share that made each of us have a kind of “a-ha” moment, as we all got to see things through another’s eyes.
It’s funny how I could hear someone share their experience and think, “Yeah! I felt that too, but I couldn’t quite articulate it.”
For me, this closing activity was a touching “full circle moment” that resolidified my experience, everything I learned and those things that I wanted to bring back and share with you all.
But more importantly, I was reminded of the truth about being a typical American: If you’ve got a problem that you can solve simply by writing a check, you don’t have a real problem. I feel truly blessed that I could at least help someone who had a REAL problem. That’s what this is all about.
Last week I got to live my WHY in a big way. All the hours and dollar spents investing, networking, marketing and writing PAID OFF. I got to help truly deserving people and make a difference in their lives that will leave a lasting and profound impact.
I can’t think of a better way to spend my time or money.
Now I challenge you: what is your WHY? Are you living it? Are you working towards it?
If not, we’re here to help. Get in touch here: https://www.smartassetopportunities.com/contact/
When You’re Ready, We’re Here
Photo Credit: Ross Stryker