Make Your Own ‘Field Of Dreams’

“If you build it, they will come.”

Made famous in the renowned motion picture “Field of Dreams,” this iconic phrase depicts an admirable work ethic that is applicable to life beyond the screen. Field of Dreams, which celebrates its 25th anniversary this year, is certainly an entertaining movie for baseball aficionados, but it also offers a powerful lesson to entrepreneurs – particularly those aspiring to start their own property management firms.

From advice to starting your own business to assistance with finding mentors and more, “Field of Dreams” offers plenty of guidance and inspiration.

“If you build it, they will come”

The movie’s protagonist Ray Kinsella, played by Kevin Costner, hears a voice that compels him to build a baseball field-complete with bleachers and night lighting-in the middle of his farm in Iowa. The voice whispers, “If you build it, they will come.” When he talks about it, everyone begins to think Ray is crazy.

If you’re thinking of starting your own property management company, remember that Hollywood excels at teaching the important life lessons, but often leaves out the details of the practical steps that happened to make the dream a reality.

There is a lot of planning that must go into starting your own firm – put the time and effort into researching all the preliminary steps it takes to get your business off the ground. It’s one thing to take a risk, but taking a risk without being prepared is asking for failure.

“We just don’t recognize life’s most significant moments while they’re happening”

Archie “Moonlight” Graham, a former baseball player and supporting character in “Field of Dreams,” touched on the idea that we often don’t recognize the most imperative stepping stones to success in real time.

“Back then I thought, well, they’ll be other days,” Graham said in the film. “I didn’t realize that that was the only day.”

While you spend your time working for a big corporation thinking you have plenty of time to start your own firm, those days of waiting can add up. No doubt, many of us look back and realize how many years have gone by and how many opportunities we wasted waiting for the timing to be just right – or convenient.

Ann-Marie, the owner of an independent property management firm, decided to she wouldn’t wait any longer and took a leap to being her own boss more than two years ago. Before starting her own business, she worked for a large firm and made a competitive salary managing more than 10,000 units. Working for herself, Ann-Marie now collects a great income while managing roughly 2,000 units and five employees.

Lisa has a similar story – she started her own property management firm after working more than 15 years for a major national firm. As a regional property manager, she was managing 3,600 units. Her first client was an owner with three properties and 630 units. With a 3-percent management fee, her net income from this client is approximately $22,000 per month. Her outsourced accounting fees (accounting and payroll) are an estimated $4,500 per month. She now nets more than $17,000 per month.

The sky is the limit when you’re taking the lead in your own company. Make today the day to take the first step towards being your own boss – not tomorrow, not next week, not next year. Don’t keep waiting for the perfect day to start your firm – make the jump now.

“I’m going to beat you with a crowbar until you go away”

In the movie, Ray hears the voice again, this time urging him to “ease his pain.”  Shortly thereafter, Ray and his wife Annie attend a PTA meeting where some parents want to ban books by radical author Terence Mann from the school, considering his work obscene.

Ray believes the voice he heard was referring to Mann, who had named a character ‘John Kinsella’ in one of his books. Ray comes across a magazine interview about Mann’s childhood dream of playing for the Brooklyn Dodgers. Ray seeks out Mann in Boston, played by James Earl Jones, inviting him to assist in constructing his field.

At first, Terence has no desire to mentor Ray and threatens to beat him with a crowbar if he didn’t leave Terence’s apartment. But Ray stays persistent and takes Terence to watch a baseball game. It’s there on the diamond that Terence comes to understand that he and Ray share a similar vision and he joins Ray in his mission to make his dream field a reality.

To succeed in starting your own firm, one has to be gritty and willing to stay in the process when common sense might say, “Don’t get hit by a crowbar.” While it’s easier to not be as assertive with your prospective clients, a successful firm is only gained with persistence and the will to never back down from potential business.

Former governor of Massachusetts Calvin Coolidge once said, “Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts.”

“Go the distance”

There is no question that starting a business can be difficult. It requires a lot of dedication, time and effort. Sometimes it can be so exhausting or discouraging that giving up and stepping back to being an employee for another firm can be an overwhelmingly attractive decision.

But don’t give up. Endure and persevere – the reward will be worth it.

As a partner in Ascent Multifamily Accounting, I talk to management firm owners and I hear both their personal and business histories. One question I always ask is to what they attribute their success. The most common response, undeniably, is “perseverance.”

Perseverance was a quality that resonated most with John D. Rockefeller, who has been thought of as one of the wealthiest and most influential American entrepreneur in modern times.

“I do not think there is any other quality so essential to success of any kind as the quality of perseverance.” Rockefeller said. “It overcomes almost everything, even nature.”

“Is this heaven?”

For John Kinsella, a ghostly baseball figure in “Field of Dreams,” that dream baseball field in Iowa looked like a piece of heaven. John asks Ray if the diamond in the middle of the cornfields is heaven. Ray promptly tells him no, that it’s just Iowa.

“Iowa?” John replies. “I could have sworn this was heaven.”

As difficult as it can be sometimes, putting in the time and effort into owning a business can create a great sense of satisfaction and accomplishment and feel a lot like having your own piece of heaven. The advantages of owning a firm can substantially add to your own personal growth, help you become financially independent and can even provide the opportunity to have a more fluid schedule and lifestyle.

If property management is your calling and you’ve dreamed about breaking away to start your management company, an outsourced accounting firm like Ascent can be a perfect partner for your new management company. We’ll handle the business side to let you focus on starting your firm and growing your success.  We have many resources on our website to help you understand what might be involved.

Isn’t it time you find your own field of dreams?