A rowdy group of 80 Great Neck New Yorkers between the age of 21–30 getting kicked out of a Vermont hotel on New Years Eve. A bus driving through a blizzard en route to the Berkshires to find shelter. A countdown for the new year with everyone dressed in pajamas and partying in the dining room of a random hotel in North Adams, Massachussets. That’s how I spent my New Years, leading a private group on a Sourced Adventures trip. Two days later, at my primary job, our company, Floored, was acquired by the largest real estate firm in the world! How’d your 2017 start???
I knew instantly that this year was going to be different…
What’s Your Mission?
Last year I had focused exclusively on habit formation, forming positive relationships and shedding dead weight relationships and habits. I had firmly standardized a daily routine that put me in the right frame of mind to attack challenges, remove superfluous activities and relationships in my life and created a new framework and accounting system (WayOfLife). With a 2017 mantra focused on overcoming things that scare me, I thought it would be most appropriate to create a personal mission statement to take a mission-based approach to decision making. I came up with this after numerous iterations and feel comfortable with it as my personal mission statement. In 2017 I read it at least once a week as a reminder:
Personal Mission Statement: “To lead by example, constantly be learning, instill Jewish wisdom into myself, my family and life, and experience the world to build empathy and understanding to share with others.”
Focus on Health
I never ONCE take my health for granted and always look to push myself because I know what it’s like to be in a hospital for a month and unable to move. Unfortunately, with a worsening hip diagnosis, I’ve had to modify and find new ways to get my fix. In 2017, I took to biking for low impact and immediately went all in. I swapped the flat pedals for the clip ins. I joined a bike club in SoHo and pushed myself hard. I biked the perimeter of Manhattan through snow with ski goggles and frostbitten toes, I biked from NYC to the tip of Montauk over two days (with Alex Rose) and then completed my first single day century ride (105 miles) up to Bear Mountain and back. I’m quite an impressionable person so when I met a triathlete on the train one day in Long Island I decided to take up swimming as well and see if I can get my body to a point where I’d be able to complete a triathlon (maybe 2018). I swam a few times a week, bought books on technique and got my jammer ready for the water. Unfortunately, I realized I only have 24 hours in a day (like most of you) which left me questioning where to prioritize my time and tabled the sport until 2018….I never met a board I didn’t like though. I went surfing almost a dozen times this year, bought a skateboard in Venice Beach and have the scars to prove it.
The Changes Are A’Comin:
On January 3rd, CBRE Group, acquired Floored. A VC-backed company that we had worked tirelessly to build finally found it’s home at the largest commercial real estate firm in the world. An intimate group of 40 software engineers, 3D designers, enterprise sales professionals and startup co-founders joining a large network of over 80,000 global real estate employees; A fantastic end to our startup chapter.
On April 3rd, my brother became a father as we welcomed Asher Leo Roseman to the world. A day that will forever change the family dynamic — He gravitated toward fatherhood like the middle infield shift on Ryan Howard - drastically pulled.
On June 10th, My best friend Stevie got engaged to the girl of his dreams amidst one of the most picturesque sunsets of all time. I’ve seen happy couples but this one feels like the pinnacle of a match. A wedding of my close friend Max Kramer a month later and it fully sank in — everyone is finding “their person” and the wild days of old are sunsetting as we transcend further into adulthood.
Are you winning at the right game?
At Floored we were successful against all odds at selling 3D interactive technology to the archaic real estate community. As an outsider looking in, we were always pushing the boulder uphill, fighting the insiders game and hoping someone would answer our knock on the door. With the Floored acquisition by CBRE, we went from the proverbial David fighting Goliath to joining forces with Goliath and arming him with the tools of next generation warfare. The team that my boss, Pete Alden, built now functions as the Seal Team Six of global brokerage.
Our team is called upon for the largest CBRE pitch opportunities to provide the cutting edge tools to differentiate from our competition, helping drive huge revenue contracts for the business. I can confidently say we helped move the needle for a publicly traded company in year one of our co-existence.
As a small functional Floored family we not only worked hard in our respective regions but found time to take trips to Montauk, flip shrimps at Hibachi and eat copious amounts of pizza together. In 2017, our networks exploded.
As the Director of West Coast Digital Sales, I have gotten a chance to meet every broker and leader from Seattle down to San Diego. I began the formation of a really strong network of trustworthy CBRE team members whom I can call friends as we mutually grow our businesses and grow our west coastal prowess.
Amidst the change, the constants remain
When you know you only have six days to accomplish what most of the world reaches in seven days it kicks your butt to keep moving! This was my first year of truly practicing the observance of Shabbat. Every Friday at sundown to Saturday at sundown I made sure things were different. I always lit candles, said kiddish and hamotzi, turned my phone off at least for part of the day and let myself be present and at a peace with my surroundings. My continuous weekly torah learning, my rabbi, my chavruta (learning partners) and the community I’ve joined of like-minded people have served as a ‘true north’ compass in my life as a way to grow and better myself with the right intentions and actions rooted in the traditions of Judiasm.
Notable lessons learned from the likes of Pirkei Avot which have taught me the importance of satisfaction in one’s own lot and the powerful meaning in Shavuot, which is a celebration of endless learning, have been huge breathes of fresh air as I run circles in my head around life’s biggest questions. My final attempt in 2017 to go deeper into my personal mission statement will be my two week trip to Israel to see if I can cerebrally excavate deeper into “the place.”
It’s also great to know that “Day Ones” are still there and that our traditions remain. Jordan, Scott, Bryan and Benny went off to Grad School, Benji continued his rise to Hollywood stardom in LA, Jonny continued to be the most persuasive salesperson Dunder Mifflin has ever seen, Mike found a golden opportunity correcting the shameful behavior's of the Weinstein fallout, Sam and Kenny continued to burn the bonfires of the vanity in the world of Finance and Liv continued to live the “big head” life (they don’t even know if she’s still on the payroll). Same picture, different year:
Take That Trip
At times it felt like I was living off airline pretzels, relying on in-air entertainment to catch up on movies and using the west to east redeye as my primary source of zzz catching. This year alone I was on over 20 flights jumping from city to state, demos to meeting, mountains to valleys.
Portland (1x), Phoenix (1x), Denver (1x), Vegas (1x), San Diego (1x), Reno (1x), San Jose (1x), Seattle (3x), Vancouver (1x), San Francisco (2x), Los Angeles (5x) & Israel (1x)
After the CBRE acquisition I went on a six week road show that brought me all over the west coast meeting the different company leaders, seeing the different business environments and exploring the west coast office markets. I met hundreds of new real estate professionals, gave hundreds of product demos, sold hundreds of thousands of dollars of technology solutions, pitched alongside brokers amounting to millions in leasing fees and learned an incredible amount of real estate in the process. As I’d historically built into my trips, I did my best to curate business leisure — “bleisure” when the suit came off…I rented a bike after a conference in San Diego and biked to the Mexico border. After my last meeting in Sacramento I drove to Tahoe, grabbed an Airbnb in Squaw Valley and caught two unreal blue bird days of snowboarding. After a long week in LA, I spent a weekend with CBRE buddies cascading down the hills of the Santa Ynez valley and sea kayaking in the Pacific.
A golf trip to Scottsdale, Hiking through British Columbia, Yoga in Montauk with the Floored Gang, a Santa Barbara getaway, a few Margate spike ball classics, and finally a trip to the homeland of Israel rounded out my time off for the year.
Continue to Explore Your Backyard (and Theirs)
New York’s beauty to me is not found in skyline views from penthouse apartments but rather in the on-ground experiences. My street in the Lower East Side alone is comprised of The Clemente (Puerto Rican Cultural Center), a coffee/production studio with an emphasis on bespoke motorcycle experiences, a virtual reality gaming studio, a cat cafe that serves snacks while you pet felines and Burger King of course! This eclectism can be found all over NYC, you just have to go out and find it. I held true to this title (Explore your city) once again in 2017 and made sure to explore the lesser trafficked areas of NYC like the hidden gem of the South Bronx, the piers of Red Hook, the multi-cultural parks of Flushing Meadows, the eastern limits of Jersey City, and every inch of Prospect Park (the best park in NYC hands down). In addition to my hometown excursions, I made sure to explore the lesser known areas of towns along my travels — Virginia Street in Reno, Nevada, the tiny town of Piedmont in Oakland, Los Olivos in the Santa Ynez Valley, The Squamash mountains in Vancouver and so many more!
Drink from the well of inspiration
2017 was the year of gettin’ Woke. This year I was inspired by so many different voices and influences in my life. My Mom for her devotion to our aging Grandma and my Dad's godspeed work as one of the lone survivors holding a private practice. My brother and sister-in-law for their immediate shift toward parenthood. The Cohen family (specifically Rabbi Jack, his wife Calanit, their children Leah and Moshe and Jack's sister “Sarita”) for their devout faith, their strength and resiliency as a family and their willingness to accept me into their inner circle. Alex Hardy in his quest for constant “wokeness” and his 10 day silent meditation retreat. Sam Helfaer for his ability to remain humble through huge successes at work and never over-reacting by living life on a humorous note. My boss, Pete Alden, for his guiding principals on helping reframe positivity and showing me the importance of opportunistic thinking. Laurie Dafner for proving to me that Different & Unique = The Epitome of Cool. Jeff Pion for introducing me to his world of real estate brokerage and showing me a style that resonates and breaks the mold from everything else I’ve seen. The Shine Movement for showing me the beauty in the eclectic.
So Where do we go from here in 2018?
With massive impending changes to my life I know that 2018 will be a unique year for decision making. I’ve committed to moving to Los Angeles next year for my job, lifestyle alteration and because thoughtful change in life promotes growth. Also, leaving behind all that I’ve known for the last five and half years and all the comforts of New York City scare the hell out of me…therefore I know I have to do it for myself!
I’m boarding a plane to Israel tomorrow (first have to go through Moscow — wish me luck!) and then will be propelled into the new year and all of it’s new challenges. While I’m not going to coin a mantra for the upcoming year like last year, there are two quotes that I’ll run full steam ahead into the new year:
The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity.
Life is 10% what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it.
Cheers to 2018 and to sunsets over the Pacific!