How we create a legacy as Property Investors and Developers
by Matthew Bell / Founder Grid Edge Estates
When we are doing business, whether it is in the property industry, investments, technology or any other industry, what is our objective? What is our impact? Obviously we are in business to make money, you may say “we closed a great deal today, it makes X amount of profit!”. This is great. But the question I pose today is. Who cares?
To truly answer this, we need to start at the very beginning.
For the first time in history we have an opportunity to leave the world in a better state than when we entered it. We have the technology and resources that are evolving and growing daily, from Virtual Reality and Renewable energy to the Blockchain. We see in the news every day, we are on the precipice of real change once more where we can make huge leaps as a race. Industries, some of which have stood for hundreds of years are set to be disrupted and it will be, very much in the Darwinian sense - survival of the fittest. To win out, I believe it is purely down to creating a movement of like-minded driven individuals coming together in partnership to achieve amazing things, for benefit of all.
What do we stand for?
How intelligent is our decision making? On a small scale, questions such as, ‘how did we travel to that meeting today? Diesel car or electric? What did we eat for lunch, McDonalds on the go or something healthy prepared the night before?’ These are examples of how we can have an impact on ourselves as individuals and the environment and depending on the answer it can start to build a picture of the effectiveness of a person and the decisions they are likely to make in any given circumstance in business, not just in life. Dare we take that vision a step further…
On a larger scale, if we multiply the bad behaviours by billions of people in the world we have a pretty grim future painted for all of us. Multiply the good behaviours, however and we have the exact opposite – a seismic shift of opportunity and improvement. I believe our true impact as investors in the current climate is how we improve society and the environment - not just the economy. The familiar narrative I see most regularly from entrepreneurs in the public eye is what they have achieved for themselves, how well their business is doing etc. That’s great to hear, we all like good news and should celebrate it when it comes. However, what I feel society is missing in the capitalist space is, what are we achieving for someone / something else other than ourselves. Entrepreneurs who focus on this message stand out. Think about the most influential people /investors on the planet right now – Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, Warren Buffet. Look at what they do with their money and time and there is a common thread of philanthropy.
I’m not necessarily talking about charity here, more how we structure our business to achieve as good, if not better, return on investment through sheer resourcefulness and by default leaving a positive impression on society, the environment and the economy. This is called Impact Investing – it’s about to go mainstream and we are 100% behind this movement.
Where do we begin?
So how do we even start to contemplate our place in this movement? The people who invest wisely in themselves first, to manage their mindset to constantly deliver daily on the smallest things - who dedicate themselves to a higher purpose beyond their own needs are the people we remember and live on forever, creating a true legacy to inspire generations. Names such as Princess Diana, Mahatma Ghandi, Martin Luther King, Steve Jobs and the living Richard Branson are all legends - Why? Because they all possess(ed) clear, certain and simple values and disciplines.
I believe there is a 6 step process to achieving maximum Impact and they are simple steps that everyone can apply:
1. Faith / Belief / Vision / Mission / WHY
Sure, it wasn’t as simple as this but he started with what he believed in and built steps from there to the final result. To achieve this though, one must start with the end in mind and work backwards. This is known as the Mission, your WHY. It must run through your every being and consume you.
Every day it is important to work on your mindset consistently. I have had the pleasure of learning from world-class coaches and entrepreneurs and I have noticed they all work at this constantly in order to remain in peak performance. They are also all early risers. Before doing any work, they are out of bed early and make time for physical exercise, meditation or mindfulness. This could even be as simple as walking the dog or listening to a podcast. It is so important to make time to be grateful for what you have and who you have in your life - this way you can start the day positively and take that momentum forward to deal with challenges with more ease.
This is closely related to mindset, but is the next step and again is so simple but so important. It is imperative that you optimise your environment to achieve the best results. Whatever works for you, just ensure that you do not get caught up in work before you make the decision on where is best to work that day or you could become sluggish or irritated with distractions. Some work better in the office, some in the pub, others the library. Choose one, or all of them for different occasions but ensure it is a conscious decision. This means so much psychologically, as YOU have made the decision therefore you are in charge of the day, the day is not in charge of you.
It is then time to start researching and learning. To be of real value and to make maximum impact it is important to become an expert in your field. Continually learn everything there is to know about the field you are in.
Whilst learning it is important to put this newly acquired knowledge in to practice initially with small steps, regardless of how small they may be. The biggest lesson I learned before setting up a business was to ‘build the plane while it’s on the runway’ i.e. execute whilst learning, don’t wait until you are ready, because you will never be fully ready – there will always be more to learn. It is understandable that fear of the unknown may hold one back, but lack of knowledge should not – this can be acquired with time.
The key to partnerships is not only that you have something that the other wants or needs, you must share common values and principles so that when times get tough or there is a dispute, then the mission you share takes precedent and you can come to an understanding over the course of action. I am so passionate about this as I have had the benefit (and I believe unfair advantage) of being an identical twin. I experienced from a young age the benefits of a partnership – my brother and I developed skills such as sharing, teamwork and delegation much earlier than our peers…. if they ever picked up these skills at all.
Get all these ducks in a row and we have a recipe for creating true Impact to leave the world we entered a far better place than where we started. What a challenge, and we couldn’t be more up for it!
The question is, do we want to take the easy route, have minimal impact and be forgotten, or do we want to take the more difficult path and leave a lasting legacy to inspire generations? If we remember this when making any critical day-to-day decision on investments (or otherwise) it will keep us on track and true to our mission. It may take longer and be more difficult but the result will be so worth it.
As Impact Investors, our Mission at Grid Edge Estates is to revolutionise construction industry investments by optimising build quality and prioritising sustainability to build developments and refurbish homes with the future in mind, today. We make ethical investments by providing much needed new housing whilst using renewable energy sources wherever possible and always aim to make a positive socio-economic impact in doing so.
We aim for this to be our lasting legacy and to pass on the knowledge of impact Investing to others in order for the vision to be carried forward to future generations. The key to this is simple - we set out to do more for others than we expect for ourselves, the fact that we are the best at what we do and that we are highly profitable is a bare minimum.
It is an honour to be a partner of KL Property Partners and we’re looking forward to building this legacy together.
Founder Grid Edge Estates
KL Property Partners
 The Stand, Investec, June 2017 - https://thestand.investec.co.uk/answered-insight-true-impact-impact-investment
If you are interested to learn more about Impact Investing and Green finance follow the links below for further Information:
“Assessing the green finance boom: prospects for a market led sustainable future”
Events coming soon to London:
Impact Investing World Forum 21st – 22nd March
Low Carbon Cities
The Future of sustainable finance at the G7
KL Property Partners
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