Obviously the right thing to do

A Plunge into the unknown

On professor Hans Rosling’s blog I read:  [If you go Hans who? – check this out!]

Today at the airport in Stockholm I met a happy Swedish couple flying out to their new investment abroad! They had renovated and opened a hotel on “Ihla”,  the historic capital in northern Mocambique. Obviously done the right thing to do.

My feeling here is, by golly I hope Hans is right, because I have just bought two plots of land in Abidjan, whereof on one I plan on building an apartment hotel.  So this is it, not only will the name of the blog start making sense, but if it works out I will reach the “within 3 year” goal set out in the mission/vision post last year.

The Prof has spoken

There aren’t that many plots of land available at reasonable prices in areas that are sufficiently central and upscale to be attractive to people (including european tourists) that are prepared to pay budget hotel prices for their stay in Abidjan. So when finding a plot that met all the criteria, I had to go for it, but only after a lot of due diligence including double and triple checking the paperwork – the key check is that the seller really owns the plot, checking that it isn’t in a flood prone area, and pretending to be a customer at nearby hotels to see how they were doing.

One the nearby hotels actually turned out to be one of those that are rented by hour, which is surprisingly common in Abidjan and not an indication of a bad neighbourhood, but still not quite a line of business I had intended to embark on.

Despite all these checks, encouraging remarks from Hans Rosling and the likelihood that the investment will have a strong tailwind by demographic and economic trends, it’s still a plunge into the unknown and I can think of an awfully great number of things that can go wrong, so I got to admit that fear is one of the emotions I associate with this project.


Thus, it’s a good time for a mixed collection motivational quotes and other wise words:

“All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“A goal properly set is halfway reached.” – Zig Ziglar

“Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“What you get by achieving your goals is to as important as what you become by achieving your goals.” – Henry David Thoreau

(H/t Maren Kate at Escaping the 9 to 5 for the above ones)

As Randy Pausch said: “It is not about how to achieve your dreams. It’s about how to lead your life.”

Basically it is all about the curiosity to experiment and explore your dreams. Mistakes made are not about being good or bad. Don’t be afraid to pursue your dreams. Opportunities occur randomly. If the environment is favorable there is a great chance that these opportunities will be favorable. Work to create this environment. If you are not happy, change. Do something. Don’t whine. Do things with passion. Exploit and realize your potential and talent to the maximum extent.

From http://www.dailyspeculations.com/wordpress/?p=6260

“Peter Sims buries the myth that big talkers with brains and big ideas move industry and science forward. This modern masterpiece demonstrates that the most powerful and profitable ideas are produced by persistent people who mess with lots of little ideas and keep muddling forward until they get it right. Little Bets is easily the most delightful and useful innovation book published in the last decade.”

From: http://bobsutton.typepad.com/my_weblog/2011/04/little-bets-peter-sims-delightful-masterpiece-is-shipping.html

Laurence Peter (1919-1990):
“There are two kinds of failures: those who thought and never did, and those who did and never thought.”

Indira Gandhi (1917-1984):
“There are two kinds of people, those who do the work and those who take the credit. Try to be in the first group; there is less competition there.”

John F. Kennedy (1917-1963):
“Conformity is the jailer of freedom and the enemy of growth.”
“Efforts and courage are not enough without purpose and direction.”
“We should not let our fears hold us back from pursuing our hopes.”

John Cage (1912-1992):
“I can’t understand why people are frightened of new ideas. I’m frightened of the old ones.”

Robert Heinlein (1907-1988):
“Most people can’t think, most of the remainder won’t think, the small fraction who do think mostly can’t do it very well. The extremely tiny fraction who think regularly, accurately, creatively, and without self-delusion – in the long run, these are the only people who count.”

Anais Nin (1903-1977):
“Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.”

Harold MacMillan (1894-1986):
“The man who trusts nobody is apt to be the kind of man nobody trusts.”

Aldous Huxley (1894-1963):
“Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.”
“Experience is not what happens to you. It is what you do with what happens to you.”

Christopher Morley (1890-1957):
“The real purpose of books is to trap the mind into doing its own thinking.”
“There is only one success – to be able to spend your life in your own way.”

Harry Truman (1884-1972):
“It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.”

George S. Patton, Jr. (1885-1945):
“If everyone is thinking alike then somebody isn’t thinking.”

H. L. [Henry Louis] Mencken (1880-1956):
“Conscience is the inner voice that warns us that someone might be looking.”
“For every complex problem, there is a solution that is simple, neat, and wrong.”

“Now, now, my good man, this is no time for making enemies.”
-Voltaire, on his deathbed, to a priest asking that he renounce Satan

Winston Churchill (1874-1965):
“We shall never surrender.”
“I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears, and sweat.”
“A fanatic is one who can’t change his mind and won’t change the subject.”
“You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.”
“The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.”
“I am ready to meet my maker, but whether my maker is prepared for the great ordeal of meeting me is another matter.”
“Once in a while you will stumble upon the truth, but most of us manage to pick ourselves up and hurry along as if nothing had happened.”

Bertrand Russell (1872-1970):
“The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts.”

Thomas Crum (-):
“Our quality of life depends not on what happens to us, but on what we do with what happens to us.”
“What would it be like if you lived each day, each breath, as a work of art in progress? Imagine that you are a masterpiece unfolding, every second of every day, a work of art taking form with every breath.”

“When I was a kid I used to pray every night for a new bicycle. Then I realized that the Lord doesn’t work that way so I stole one and asked Him to forgive me.”
-Emo Philips, stand-up comedian

“To believe a thing impossible is to make it so.” French Proverb

G. M. Trevelyan:
“Never tell a young person that anything cannot be done. God may have been waiting centuries for someone ignorant enough of the impossible to do that very thing.”

Christopher Reeve:
“So many of our dreams at first seem impossible, then they seem improbable, and then, when we summon the will, they soon become inevitable.”

Sir Walter Scott:
“To the timid and hesitating everything is impossible because it seems so.”

Paulo Coelho:
“There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.”


3 thoughts on “Obviously the right thing to do

  1. Pingback: Secure Title « Hotel Ivory

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