Category Archives: Personal

You’re My Boy Blue!

By Wes Vaughan

Monster Trucks

Look at his face…sheer and utter joy. Bag of cotton candy. Being up past his bed time. Grave Digger. Monster Truck Jam 2013. Times like this with my boys are what I cherish. I like to think that a healthy portion of his excitement seen in this picture is simply because he is on a special trip with his Dad. A boy looks up to his Dad for guidance, direction, a model to live by. I pray continually for guidance on how to do a worthy job of this because I know I only have a limited time to make a good impression.

Here is what I try to achieve every day with my two boys:

1. Show them that I love my wife. I want them to see that their Mom is my top priority. I believe that seeing that will not only give them a sense of security now and in the future, but will also convey to them how important their wives need to be when they are older, married and with children. “If Momma ain’t happy, nobody’s happy.” (Short side note: Every time my boys see my wife and I hugging, they come to wherever we are hugging and giddily sit themselves in betweeen usthey LOVE it.)

2. “I love you.” Can’t tell them enough.

3. “I’m proud of you.” Every man yearns to hear this, from the first day of his life ’til the last day, especially from his Dad. We want to know we’ve done good and I try to tell (or show) my boys this as much as possible when I see them succeeding in their lives – giving, sharing, being kind, achieving a goal, whatever. Their faces light up when they hear this…it’s awesome.

4. “You’re good at ________.” Drawing, coloring, organizing, building Legos, hitting a baseball, kicking a soccer ball, climbing a tree, running, whatever. If they excel in something, I tell them because I want them to have a strong sense of confidence in themselves when they face the world. 

5. Pray. Whether it’s saying a blessing at dinner time or saying our prayers at bedtime, I want my boys to know that the world is bigger than them…and they need help getting through it. Be thankful and trust that God has your back.

“Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.” -Proverbs 22:6

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Filed under Bible, children, Christian, Faith, Family, father son, Fatherhood, Inspire and Motivate, Love, Marriage, parenting, Personal

My Valentine

By Wes Vaughan

valentine

I am married to an amazing woman. I hesitated picking such an overused word for her but when I read how Urban Dictionary defines “amazing,” I decided to keep it: “Something that is so wonderful, it is hard to find the words to match. Something that makes your heart beat faster or your heart melt. Something that tops everything else, and always crosses your mind.”

That about hits the nail on the head. My wife is beautiful, talented, devoted, strong, funny as all get-out and she likes to cook (very well), which is a huge bonus…even if my waist line disagrees. I want to do as much as I can for my wife, as often as I can. The happiest moments of my days are when she is happy; alternatively, knowing that she is unhappy completely eliminates any chance of me performing at 100% that day. As we all know, the skilled act of balancing life comes into play daily – marriage, work, kids, work, friends, work, social events, work, exhaustion, work, bedtime. Where does one find time to focus on their marriage? Even weekends are usually spent deciding what the next activity is for the kids. As much as I love my marriage, it is hard work and in constant need of attention and upkeep to avoid slipping into a rut. But oh so worth the diligence…

In January of 2013, I created multiple calendar alerts for my marriage (if I do it for work, why shouldn’t I do it for something more important?):

  1. Every day at 10am, I get an alert to “Compliment Liz.” I typically give her a call, a text, an email, letting her know what I love about her, complimenting her appearance that morning, thanking her for being my wife, an amazing mother, her laughter, her love. On the occassional day when we are in a disagreement, this can be challenging, but another positive to this daily ritual is that it reminds me to be thankful of how incredible she is, which in turn helps me forget why I’m upset with her…and hopefully why she’s upset with me!
  2. On the first of every month, I get an alert to schedule a date night with Liz. I know this might sound ridiculous to those without kids and free to plan a date spontaneously, but you’ll probably get here one day too. And, man, do I love date nights with my wife! Just sitting with her and talking, particularly over a good meal at one of Atlanta’s many new (or established) restaurants, is easily the best two to three hours of my month. Private, focused one-on-one time with my wife can be a rarity and setting aside this kind of time is crucial for us, and it always rekindles the early, exciting days of our relationship. We’re usually a sucker for a matinee movie beforehand, too (particularly during Oscar season).
  3. Vacation (sigh). Just saying the word relaxes me. It’s happening in 2013. Me and the missus. White sand, ocean, sleeping in, talking, reading, just the two of us. One of my favorite things to do is travel with Liz and it’s been forever since we’ve done it. Making it happen.

With these reminders comes the mindset of doing “extras” for my bride – taking the kids to school, picking the kids up, making dinner that night, washing the dishes, folding the laundry, leaving her love notes scattered around the house for her to find at random, mailing her a thank you letter, buying her a gift when there is no occassion or holiday in sight…you get the idea. Seeing her smile and knowing that she is pleased brings joy to my life, which brings joy to my marriage, which brings joy to my kids, which brings joy to my day.

Happy Valentine’s Day.

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Slow down. Stop. Listen.

By Wes Vaughan

Lincoln

“The president’s favorite chair is in the exact center of the room. He sits down and opens the Bible, not because it is Good Friday but because starting the day with Scripture is a lifelong custom. Glasses balanced on the end of his prominent nose, he reads a verse, then another, before setting the Good Book on a side table. He leans back in the chair to meditate, enjoying the only quiet and solitary moments he will know this day.”         –Killing Lincoln, Bill O’Reilly & Martin Dugard

There is good reason why Abraham Lincoln is so revered today and deservedly so. During his second term, and towards the end of his life, our great former President had the following to think about every waking moment towards the end of his life: ending a Civil War, the abolishment of slavery when such a suggestion was thought to be absurd, putting a country back together if the war ever ended, the constant threat of being assassinated, losing a son too early in life and having to come home to a crazy wife every day (allegedly). Certainly puts my “troubles” in perspective. And yet before he set out to face all the noise of his typical day as President, he started each and every day the same way – reading the Bible.

As I discussed in my last blog post, earlier this month I was introduced to a new idea: W.I.N. – What’s Important Now? And as I mentioned, the most important element in my life is My Faith. I believe that everything, good and bad, that has happened, is happening, and will happen in my life is for a reason and God is in control of those reasons. That’s His job and I humbly thank Him for it. My job is to seek His wisdom and guidance, give thanks for my many blessings, serve others and put my utmost trust in Him. Piece of cake, right? Yeah, I’m working on it too.

So in this fantastic year of 2013, I plan to take a page out of Mr. Lincoln’s book: read the Bible every day and have a moment of prayer. Just me and God time. So far, so good after one month! Reading the Bible and praying gives me a sense of balance and perspective throughout the rest of my day, and for life in general. It provides an abundance of wisdom that I am contantly praying for the ability to remember and put into better practice when needed in my daily life. Most importantly, it gives me a sense of peace that I am never alone and Someone always loves me, cares for me and is watching out for my best interests. And therefore, it makes me want to share the same love for others, starting with my wife and kids.

Until next week…God bless.

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Filed under Atlanta, Bible, Christian, Commercial Real Estate, Faith, Inspire and Motivate, Personal

W.I.N. in 2013

By Wes Vaughan

A colleague, mentor and friend of mine at Cresa recently told me a story about the legendary coach, Lou Holtz. He heard Holtz speak once and one of the nuggets he took away from Coach’s many wisdoms was W.I.N.

What’s Important Now?

lou holtz

As we all know, January brings about an inner desire for us to improve something about our lives in the New Year: lose weight, exercise more, quit smoking/drinking, get out of debt, be a better husband/father/friend/son/brother/person…and the resolutions go on and on. It’s right about now, mid to late January, when the stronghold resolutions made on January 1st start petering out (already). Life gets back to its frenetic pace and old ways rear their ugly head, slowly devouring our plans to change our lives for the better. After 34 years of living, if I’ve learned anything about setting new goals for myself, I’ve learned that I have to set tangible outcomes with some sort of deadline or appointment that will hold me accountable. Yes, I’m aware that many wiser folks figured this out way before age 34…but I’ve always been a patient learner.

I’ll give you an example. Many of my friends and acquaintances have run 5Ks, 10Ks, half marathons, marathons, 100-milers (insanity) and they always talk about their experience with such commitment, passion and pride. Last January, if you had told me that I would run a half marathon in 2012, I would have told you that you ate some funky brownies. Lo and behold, last November I ran the Thanksgiving Day half marathon in Atlanta…and I finished (barely). How? Thanks to an itch I felt the need to scratch and some motivation and support from friends, acquaintances and strangers, I spontaneously Googled “half marathons in Atlanta” and up popped the one on Thanksgiving Day. I immediately signed up for it, payed my registration fee, printed out a daily training program and I spent the next four months running around the city of Atlanta, building up my mileage week by week. Disclaimer: I had never run more than 3 miles at one time in my life…and last time I did that was in high school. The thought of running 13.1 miles was almost paralyzing to me. But I did it and I plan to do it again in 2013. I committed to it and I knew what I had to do to achieve that goal.

So how do I want to W.I.N. in 2013? Well, What’s Important Now to me? My top two priorities in life are: My Faith and My Family. If those two realms in my life are happy and healthy, then I feel like the rest of my life will fall appropriately into place and perspective. I am also aware that I spend most of my waking hours at work, specifically in the commercial real estate industry. I am not paid a salary nor do I receive a benefits package. I am strictly commission only. Eat what I kill. If deals don’t close, I don’t get paid. Not a complaint, just a reality. And a harsh one that consumes most of my daily thoughts. But I chose this life and I want to make the most of it. By default, My Business is my #3 priority…and I want to do it better, mainly by helping others and working with people that I enJOY helping, thus making it more enJOYable.

So over the next few weeks, I plan to re-ignite this blog (another 2013 resolution) and discuss my three goals to W.I.N. in 2013…for those that care to listen. Hope it helps some of you…

W.I.N.

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My Story (for those that care to hear it)

By Wes Vaughan

I got started in the commercial real estate business in May of 2007. About seven months later, the housing bubble burst and thus began the long, hard road of what is now known as “The Great Recession.”

Since my timely entrance into the world of CRE, I have been blessed enough to complete over 75 transactions, totaling over 350,000 square feet. Thankfully, my wife stayed married to me through the economic downturn and we even managed to have two happy, healthy boys together. Praise God.

Before my career in CRE, my dreams were focused on fame and success in the film industry of Los Angeles, CA. I’m sure you’ve probably heard of me…I was kind of a big deal. When Hollywood failed to recognize my star potential, I moved to Italy with my then-girlfriend-now-wife, Liz. We lived in Parma (home of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and Prosciutto di Parma ham…mmmm) and we taught English to the employees of the Barilla headquarters (you’ve likely bought their pasta from the grocery store) during the week and spent every dime we made travelling on the weekend. Yes, it was amazing. We got engaged in Positano (Amalfi Coast) and soon moved back to California, where I taught American and British Literature to high school students at a small Catholic school in Santa Clara, CA. I did my very best to impress upon these teenagers that Shakespeare was, and still is, the man.

I am proud to be an Atlanta native, a graduate of The Westminster Schools and the University of Georgia (Journalism major…finally coming in handy). One of these days, the Dawgs will win another national championship in football. Hope I’m around to see it…

I represent office and industrial tenants in Atlanta (and elsewhere), advising them on the best real estate strategies for their company – renewal, restructure or relocation. One of my favorite things about being a commercial real estate broker is meeting and helping people, and I hope I am given an opportunity to meet (and possibly help) you one day. Thanks for reading my blog; I hope you find it worthwhile. Please feel free to reach out about anything – office space, movies, Italy, food, wine, Shakespeare, life, whatever.

Proverbs 3:5-6

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A Brave New World

By Wes Vaughan

So I’ve been mildly engaged in Social Media (SM).

I joined Facebook a number of years ago, connected with a bunch of friends, a bunch of former friends, a bunch of former classmates that weren’t my friends, my Mom, and some people I can’t remember for the life of me. I posted some pictures, new baby photos, shared some laughs with reconnections from years past and it was fun…for a little bit. Then I grew weary of some of the narcissistic and banal comments that I had to sift through whenever I logged in (really…who cares if you’re enjoying your vanilla latte?). I’ve always considered myself a social person, but there are certain aspects of my life I like to keep for those closest to me. Plus, do all my “friends” really care about what I have to say or share?

My next venture into the SM world was through LinkedIn. My purpose for linking in was, and still is, to connect with others for the purpose of enhancing and improving my business. I am a commercial real estate broker specializing in Tenant Representation for Cresa Atlanta and my business development thrives on connecting to people. For anyone that has ever cold-called for a living, it is a very humbling and grinding process…and it takes months if not years to gain credibility with the company decision-makers that I was calling on. LinkedIn was, and is, a game-changer for my business. As my client base and sphere of influence widened, so too did my connections world on LinkedIn. All of a sudden many of my prospects were a link away from colleagues, clients and friends. Prospecting got a little bit warmer (thank you, LI).

I was always hesitant to get in bed with Twitter. Again, who the heck cares about little ol’ me? But after giving pause and listening to the whispers of how business might be influenced in the future, I thought, what’s the harm in giving it a go? So now I tweet (@WesVaughanCresa). Usually about commercial real estate (#CRE) in Atlanta (#AtlCRE) but occassionally other interesting tidbits about the goings-on in our southern city, the Georgia Bulldogs, Eleanor Roosevelt, whatever I fancy at the time.

I don’t really have a firm grasp on Google + yet. But I’m on it.

My wife is on Pinterest. She posts pictures of chiavari chairs, cute onesies, tablescapes and strawberry yogurt cake. I’m not sure my audience is there yet.

So that brings us to today. My first official blog. I hope that if you find yourself reading this or one of my future blogs, I can provide some helpful, entertaining and applicable insight to whatever is on my mind, probably something to do with the commercial real estate biz. Thanks for listening…

(And now to my first sales pitch)

Cresa’s mission is to provide customized solutions exclusively for corporate space users by offering fully integrated services that align their real estate needs with their business plans, delivering maximum cost savings and exceeding expectations. We strive to be the exception in the commercial real estate industry: A company that is service-oriented rather than transaction-oriented, with advisors who are client focused, not deal focused. We are guided by the concept, “Do the Right Thing,” both internally and externally.We will always do what is right for the client’s best interest and put that interest before our own. We treat our clients and employees with respect, dignity and fairness in all matters. Cresa is an international corporate real estate advisory firm that exclusively represents tenants and specializes in the delivery of fully integrated real estate services, including: Transaction Management, Project Management, Strategic Planning, Workforce and Location Planning, Subleases and Dispositions, Portfolio / Lease Administration, Capital Markets, Sustainability, Industrial / Supply Chain and Facilities Management. With more than 55 offices, Cresa is the largest tenant representation firm in North America. Through its alliance with Savills, one of the world’s largest commercial real estate services firms, Cresa covers more than 255 locations in 40 countries.

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