We didn’t get the factory. 

Unfortunately there was nothing we could do in the end. The owners decided they had other plans and if there is one thing that stoicism has taught me is you can’t control what you can’t control. It didn’t matter how much we visualised ourselves in that factory, it was not to be.

I’ll give Matt credit for his delivery of this important and rather shocking news. Instead of starting with ‘we didn’t get the factory’ he introduced the subject with ‘So, there is another factory in the same place that we can have a look at… because we didn’t get the factory.’ His deflection to a new potential factory while delivering the news that we didn’t get the one we wanted is probably the only reason that I didn’t burst into tears.

After my mighty ducks moments last week about there being no Plan B, I was pretty disappointed that we hadn’t been successful. I thought Matt had built some great rapport with the owners and he had, it just didn’t reveal itself as we had expected. Instead of us getting the factory we wanted (the factory with recently renovated offices (plural) and the 5 tonne crane) they had another factory of the same size across the street that they said we could have a look at.

Again, it wasn’t quite a ‘no’. It was more a ‘no, but how about this’. The only thing about this factory is that it doesn’t have the 5 tonne crane but it does have provisions for one if we wanted to install a $150k unit later on... It wasn’t ideal but it also wasn’t a dead end.

The following day we went to have a look at the factory. To say I was underwhelmed is an understatement. Compared to the recently refreshed factory we wanted, this one looked like an abandoned building. To be fair, this factory isn’t or wasn’t for lease until they meet us. It had been used as storage for god knows how many decades by the owners. The office (singular) is shabby with stained carpet and holes in the walls. The kitchenette would fit two adults at a push and it has more bathrooms and changing facilities than a basketball court (something we don’t need lots of). 

The factory floor itself is great - lots of access and Matt was stoked, I on the other hand was gutted. This is NOTHING like I imagined. No natural light and a shitty floor plan. The kids thought it was fabulous because it has so many toilets but I wasn’t impressed. Initially, the only thing I thought it had going for it was the reduced price tag. 

I wallowed in this destain for a good 24 hours before I realised that if I just adjusted my expectations then I could flip this into a positive. For starters the offices are shitty, and if we take them as is (rather than the landlord doing them up and charging more rent) we can do what we want (within reason of course). Matt and I have already discussed a new floor plan where we get rid of the shitty carpet, put in a few new doors for better flow, make the staff facilities bigger and more comfortable and create a client showroom. 

We’re still in negotiations but if we’re able to do these relatively minor improvements then we’ll be able to create an awesome office space that will be even better than the original factory. It’s a bummer about the crane but we can put it in at a later date when we’re ready. After I repositioned my expectations and stopped comparing this factory to the old one, it's crystal clear that this old girl is going to shine. It’s just going to take a bit of work to lift her up to where she needs to be.

An ‘expectation pivot’ as I’ve started calling them, normally comes from being told no. When you hit a barrier or can’t quite jump the next hurdle. It doesn’t mean you can’t still reach your goal, it just means you have to go about it in a slightly different way. 

Another great example of an ‘expectation pivot’ happened to me just before Christmas at Lake Dunstan in Cromwell of all places. During the summer there is an inflatable obstacle course that is set up on the lake - imagine gladiators but on the water. The kids were so excited about doing it but because they were both under 10 Matt and I had to accompany them.

To be honest I was pretty excited as well. It looked like so much fun. Kids we’re running and jumping all over it, there we’re a few massive slides that just fired you off the edge into the water below. It turns out that being in your early forties and running and jumping like a child is quite awful. I’d mistakenly thought that my jogging fitness would somehow increase the balance and endurance I’d need to keep up with kids. Boy was I wrong.

At one stage I was trying to hoist myself back up onto the platoon I’d just fallen off and I absolutely couldn’t do it. Alice was the closest to me so I had to get her to help pull me up by my life jacket. The 6 year old rescued the 41 year old. I’m sure it was meant to be the other way around. 

Half way along the course there was a trapeze swing that a lifeguard hauled in for you to swing on. Frank had tried to do it a few times and kept forgetting to let go so he’d smack back into the takeoff platform, then let go, laughing his arse off. “That’s not how you do it Mate, let me show you” I said.

The teenage lifeguard pulled in the trapeze bar for me and I lined myself up. I’d been watching a bunch of local 12 year olds doing it and it appeared that letting go at the furthest point of the arch was the key. “Go Mum” Frank yelled. Preparing myself for the big swing I had both hands firmly on the bar, I pulled back as far as I could to get the optimal swing then swang forwards. I almost immediately dropped straight into the water - I needn’t have worried about the swinging motion because I was more like a rock being pushed off a bridge.

It turns out that I’m incapable of holding up my own body weight. I kind of knew this after attempting monkey bars a few years ago with Alice but it doesn’t mean that I was any less embarrassed in front of my audience of tweens. My expectations of my physical capabilities had been shattered. As I bobbed in the water in my lifejackets I realised that my swinging days were over. I looked at the remaining course and noted that I could run and climb the rest of the way, so I did. Running, slipping and sliding is something I can do! 

Poor Matt was so worried he was going to do his knee and or shoulder that he had to finish the course as carefully as possible vowing never to do it again. Being forced (embarrassingly so) to adjust your expectations is the only way forward on the water and in commercial real estate so it seems.

Video of the week
The science of getting motivated | Ayelet Fishbach | TEDxChicago
Podcast of the week
Don’t ask Tig: Lucy Lawless
Font of the week
Krico: Font of the week by ViactionType

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