Got a pretty cool story to tell you that happened yesterday.
On the one hand it’s downright bizarre and on the other, it’s eye-opening.
But before I tell you the moral of the story, let me start with the context.
So Nathan and I are in Melbourne.
Nath’s been appointed the new Head of Performance at the Melbourne facility, so we’ve been down here getting the facility fit-out underway.
We took the day off to help Nathan set up his Bach pad yesterday.
He’s got this awesome terrace balcony that was screaming out for some outdoor furniture, so Nath was hunting on marketplace for a steal.
Well long story short, he found a ripper 4-piece set.
What was normally over a grand was being sold for $350. It looked in great knick from the photos.
Nathan tried to haggle like any good thrift-shopper but in broken English, he got this reply:
“Sorry. Can’t do. It’s new in box.”
It wasn’t in the box because the photo showed them unpacked on this guy’s patio, so I thought that was a bit weird.
Nathan dismissed it, thinking it was just an English barrier, so he locked it in, and we took the trip out.
As we pulled up, we noticed that the chairs were neatly stacked on his front verandah.
I went to load them in, but as I got to the front door, I realised they were just chair bases. They didn’t have arms or cushions.
What I thought was Nathan’s outdoor set was just a makeshift privacy screen on this guy’s front porch.
Fair enough, I suppose…
… a bit weird.
So Nathan called the guy and quickly opened the door and ushered us in.
He was Chinese. Given it was a Sunday, he looked out of place in high-vis. It was as if he’d just come back from a worksite.
Nevertheless, he waved at us to enter.
As I stepped inside, things got weird.
To my left was a lounge room… except it wasn’t for lounging.
From floor to ceiling, this guy had wicker outdoor seats covering every square inch of the room.
The only thing that looked like it should be there was his shoe rack at the entrance.
To the right of me was a bedroom, just like the lounge room, stuffed like a roast chicken with the same outdoor furniture.
As I walked down this narrow corridor into the living area, something dawned on me.
This man had converted his home into a bloody warehouse… without any of the overheads.
I kid you not, every square inch of the living area, besides the kitchen bench, was covered in outdoor furniture.
And right in the middle of the room, where a dining set would typically be, was Nathan’s outdoor lounge set.
I had to ask:
“So, you make outdoor furniture?”
“No”, he replied.
“I import from China.”
That checks out.
As I processed what I was seeing, it dawned on me.
For this guy to get ahead in life, he was willing to not only work seven days a week…
He had sacrificed his whole goddamn home so he could build a viable side hustle selling outdoor furniture for cash on Facebook marketplace.
It was quite genius really…
Because unsuspecting buyers like Nathan — who would typically never trust a dodgy import brand online —would jump at a cracker deal like this.
And to cap it off, this guy was using FB marketplace to sell his stock which meant he wasn’t paying a dollar on advertising or having to worry about website hosting.
Simple… but genius.
As we returned to the car and reflected on what we’d just seen…
An idea crystalized in my mind.
What you’re willing to sacrifice in the short term will usually reflect what you’ll get in the long term. This guy’s willingness to tolerate not having a home that looked like a home is the same reason this guy will collect people’s rent one day.
To get what most don’t have in the long term, you must do what most won’t do in the short term.
When I write it that way, it sounds like a quote out of a motivation book.
After having not seen my kids for over a week, doing ridiculous hours getting Melbourne set up, and sleeping on the floor of Nath’s new apartment on a blow-up mattress, this was exactly the reminder I needed.
It might help you too.
Food for thought.
– Karl Goodman