I just returned from Costa Rica. Lots of great scenery and warm beaches but what surprised me the most was the entrepreneurial people. I’ve not been a world traveler but have no doubt many developing countries around the world have similar qualities. They are people who inspired me and reminded me of what we’re capable of.
My childhood was as normal as anyone’s and I worked hard and got a good job, but Costa Rica is filled with creative and hard working people. Something about needing to survive makes people that way. Their roadside stands had foods and drinks that they created themselves and they grew the ingredients. Their artwork was amazing, explosions of colors capturing the birds and flowers that country is known for. Small shops, stores, stands everywhere, and just individuals who every day open up a collection of what they’re selling. Catering to tourists, of course, but extraordinarily creative.
Our National Park tour guide was young but an extremely well-informed naturalist, explaining details about the origins and behaviors of the animals, not just scripted but showing that he cared enough to learn and absorb a lot of details. And then we come to find out he got an Industrial Engineering degree!
We might sometimes have it too good. As real estate investors, we compete with each other and we often forget that to find a property, to create a deal, and to add value to a property, it takes a significant amount of effort. There are no easy shortcuts and those who succeed found creative solutions, they took on more than they thought they could, and they tried things that did not work out. If our mindset is not completely committed, we fall down. In real estate investing you just don’t do deals without this mindset but in developing countries you might not eat.