“Take risks when you are young.” The former CEO of Tennant, Janet Dolan, told me that when I was starting my business in 2003. Those words stuck with me. Starting a business is taking a big risk. Making major changes to your business and your life is taking a risk. But anytime I have taken a big risk, I have always wondered later why I didn’t do it sooner.
To me, buying a commercial building in Minnetonka was a risk and a major decision but one that made complete sense to me. My company, Prosperwell Financial, was growing, we needed office space for seven people and while I could have looked into leasing or co-working, I wanted room for us to grow. So many people I encounter in business have expressed shocked that a business owner and single mom of two little kids that she is solely responsible for would take a risk and buy a building. Here are six reasons why:
I practice what I preach. The whole goal is to buy assets; to own things that give you income, such as stocks that pay you dividends to bonds that pay you interest to real estate, etc. The whole goal is that you can have your money work hard for you rather than you work so hard for your money. My plan was and is simple. My company needs space. So rather than rent for the next 20 years I bought a building. It is just like, why would you lease when you could buy a car? Or its why wouldn’t you want control over your space? I’m not saying everyone should own a building, but for me it was the right decision.
There are tax advantages to owning real estate. It’s also one more way that I can add diversification of my own portfolio. It gives me more control over expenses. Talk to your CPA if you are considering owning real estate; they can show you the numbers and what it can mean for you.
Quality of life. I wanted to have a place that was new, fresh, clean, and inspiring. I wanted a place that would help me, our employees and our clients, lead even better lives. In the basement (that was basically storage when I bought it), I completely remodeled the space to add a bathroom with a shower, lounge, kitchen, workout room and wine bar. I now am able to be more efficient with my time. I am able to workout more and on a regular schedule. Plus, we have all these amazing amenities that make it a great place for all of us to come to work.
Make a statement. I want to leave a legacy. I want to leave the world a better place. I want to prove to my daughter that you can do it all on your own and can be completely independent and don’t ever have to rely on anyone except yourself. Yes, you can have it all. Yes, you can have what you put your mind to. If you believe it, you can achieve it.
Our building, at I-494 and Highway 7, fit most things on our list of what we wanted. Inside parking, workout room, kitchen/lounge area together, a comfortable place for people to come see a Wealth Advisor and not feel intimidated by money. A building that was not part of an association and a building with great visibility and a great location. Right? You have heard it before: location, location, location. I’ve wanted all of these things since 2012. I had my list. I learned the value of patience. I learned what to reevaluate on my list and what was truly important. I do believe the best things in life come to those who wait. I waited a long time and now relish every day in being able to work in, and own, this perfect spot.
I had the people in place to help with the project. Yes, I got bids from other contractors (many who told me I should tear the building down), but I knew in my gut I would use the same person who had helped me with two major renovations on my home. I trusted him. I have learned to surround myself with amazing people and amazing advisors.
I trusted my gut. I had planned on buying a much larger building in Plymouth but something just didn’t feel right. My mentor John Goodman (who passed away while I was in negotiations of the building) would have told me to go sit in this larger building in Plymouth, so I did. I sat in the chair of what would be my office. I took a deep breath, looked out the window and realized something didn’t feel right. 4300 Baker Road is a much better fit.
I learned patience, courage, leadership, passion and to give myself grace. The process of buying a large commercial building has been scary but fun. Don’t get me wrong, there were many nights when I questioned if taking this big leap was the right thing to do. But now that we’ve moved in, I wonder why didn’t I do this sooner. But I know why. Things happen for a reason and everything has it’s own timing. Patience is a virtue. I have learned to give myself grace and appreciate that I can be an inspiration to others, and that you can do anything you put your mind to.
Any opinions are those of Nicole Middendorf and not necessarily those of Raymond James. Any information is not a complete summary or statement of all available data necessary for making an investment decision and does not constitute a recommendation.
As a financial advisor and certified divorce financial analyst with Prosperwell Financial, Nicole has been professionally trained in retirement planning for small businesses and practical investments for individuals. Her main focus within her practice is to help people create wealth from the inside out. This is accomplished through individual client meetings, educational workshops, appearing on TV, radio and in the media. Helping people to understand their money is something she strives for.