The Hardships of Leaving Family Behind 😢

I’m tired Reader. My flight landed last night at midnight, I tried to surprise my wife and family by coming home a day early … She called the police because there was a stranger in the house. 🤦🏾‍♂️

I've recently been traveling a lot and it got me thinking about the importance of physically getting up and leaving the house.

In the past 10 days, I've had two separate trips. I visited family and friends, took the entire team out for some bonding (read: company sponsored drinking), saw apartment complexes, attended a “conference”, and networked like sh*t. But I also found a lot of time to spend with family and friends, something I always try to weave into my business trips.

Despite our new remote world, I find it immensely valuable to physically leave your house to get what you want. Oftentimes proximity is what separates the winner from the almost winner.

From VA (Virginia) to the A (Atlanta)

I spent a lovely weekend in VA. I visited Norfolk and Richmond, two real estate markets that have been on my radar. More importantly, it was a chance to visit my aunt and uncle in law, who I haven’t seen in 11 years, since my wedding, and who needed to meet my kids. My son had a blast running around the house, swimming, and trampolining, while the baby was all giggles.

I also used this opportunity to learn as much as I could about Richmond and Norfolk, and came away with a wealth of knowledge and a host of new contacts after just four days. Maybe I could have called and online researched all of it … but in-person interaction can truly be a game changer. More on that later..

The following weekend I was off to Atlanta for EYL’s InvestFest and to check out two apartment complexes. InvestFest is a huge money conference for black people. No shade, but I was super underwhelmed and probably won't attend again. However, I was glad to support them and to be back in Atlanta, surrounded by a sea of blackness.

The most impactful part of the trip was getting the entire team together in one place. It was a mutually appreciated experience that we’re not afforded enough. And of course, I managed to catch up with a few old friends

By the way, if you think I did all this by myself, you're mistaken. My team is the lifeblood of my company, and I couldn’t do it without them. Just look at this group of beautiful people.

The Value of Leaving the House

Both trips were incredibly valuable to me, but required a lot of effort to make happen. Leaving my kids is always tough. One is too cute to leave, and the other is big enough to block the entrance to the garage while crying “Daddy … don’t go!”

But whether it's building a business or personal relationships, being physically present just hits different. The gesture of making the effort to see someone rarely goes unappreciated. Conferences alone have always been a significant source of business for me, and several brokers have said “I only work with people I’ve met in person”.

If you're starting a new venture that exists in the real world and not just online, it's hard to learn everything you need from Youtube and Zoom.

When Leaving the House Gets You Paid

Throughout my life, there have been countless instances where leaving the house has paid off, both literally and figuratively. Here are a few examples:

  • Gadget Conference Changes My Career: My tech career, including my time at Facebook / Meta, began by hustling my way into a sold-out tech conference and striking up a conversation with the only other black person there. He led a team at Zynga and got me an internship, even though I had missed the deadline. My Product Management career wouldn’t have been as successful without this chance encounter (thanks again Lo if you’re reading).

  • Closing Contracts at the Media Conference: Fincon, a big financial media conference, was critical in the Wealth Noir days. We closed thousands in marketing contracts and partnered with many other creators, making the conference pay for itself every year.

  • Dry Run in Spain: While I admire anyone who moves to another country without visiting first, the two weeks we spent in Spain before moving made our transition so much smoother. From finding daycares and a relocation-specialist realtor to exploring different neighborhoods, those two weeks made the subsequent two years much better.

I give these to you to prove that there is some real value IRL.

We now live in a world where almost everything can be done virtually. With high costs for plane tickets and gas, traveling isn't as easy or convenient as it once was. However, for me, especially when you have some audacious goal in front of you, those in-person meetings and events have been critical to our success.

Damien “Let’s link up” Peters

P.S. It’s official, I’ve gone public with my new real estate investing firm on LinkedIn. If you’ve been riding with me for awhile and might want to invest alongside me, let us know.

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