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Why Take the Risk?

By Cameron Love

I am incredibly grateful in my relatively young life for all the opportunities granted to me. I have worked hard to take advantage of those opportunities in order to provide for my wife and future family. By all outward appearances, I had it made. I worked for a global real estate firm, was newly married to the woman of my dreams, settled in an amazing city with great friends and was earning enough money to live comfortably and build a career in a remarkable place that is San Francisco. My status quo was a full and successful life. Which is why, perhaps, my father reacted the way he did when I told him I was considering making a change. He actually sounded startled when he asked me, “But why walk away from such a great job? Why risk it all?”

A few years into my career, I had the good fortune to advise a West Coast advertising firm with their San Francisco office relocation. My client was happy with the outcome and asked me to help them with their upcoming San Diego office relocation. My firm at the time did not have a San Diego presence, so we sought to engage the best tenant representation focused provider in the market. This was a common occurrence–to go “out of network” for local support–as many of our clients have national and global office portfolios. But this time, we quickly realized our experience would be much different. The reason being, our local market experts were Jason Hughes and Star Hughes-Gorup at Hughes Marino. As Jason and Star took charge of the project, we were able to observe Hughes Marino’s extraordinary service and execution from our client’s perspective for the first time. One example of the Hughes Marino excellence was their unassailable market knowledge. Along with my client, I was floored by Star’s ability to recall her last 10 client transactions in each building we toured and Jason’s personal anecdotes on negotiating successes with each respective landlord. Another example that I realized every day over the six months we worked together on the project was the Hughes Marino mindset to not only improve the terms of an already stellar renewal term-sheet, but also to improve every detail of the client experience and transaction process.

After that successful transaction, Jason and Star were respectfully persistent about reaching out to meet for coffee whenever they were in San Francisco. I welcomed our meetings. Jason and Star, while technically competitors of mine, were really intriguing to me. I found myself motivated professionally, as in the experience with the San Diego project, and also personally. Star was a living example that relative youth should never be an impairment to achieving elite levels of success. And Jason, who had so evidently built an extremely high-performing team, consistently displayed humility. “Success is not an entitlement; we have to earn it each and every day” is one of Jason’s favorite quotes, and it perfectly embodies his humility. These conversations felt like déjà vu experiences for me, and then I remembered why. I suddenly recalled the feelings I had as a student-athlete for the University of San Francisco Dons baseball team. My four years pitching for the Dons, competing for Coach Giarratano and Coach Moore, was a time in my life when I excelled at something I loved and was extremely passionate about. I remembered my warrior mindset, being challenged by my coaches and working tirelessly every single day to improve and achieve my goals that were instilled in me as a pitcher, teammate and leader.  Despite all my success at work, I hadn’t felt this feeling since my college playing days. I was feeling it again now, and it felt really good. I was invigorated.

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This surge of energy was my realization that I could no longer ignore the surprising, fantastic and yet oddly familiar feeling. Suddenly, it was evident to me that I was at a point in my career where I presumed my comfortable success would continue for years to come. But I was also resigned to the notion that I could eventually achieve my wildest career aspirations, yet it would likely take at least a decade to grasp. My complete understanding of the Hughes Marino platform, and more importantly their award-winning culture, was the catalyst for a renewed perception. The type of success and fulfillment I had dreamt about was attainable in the short term. My perspective changed. Now, I am running towards what my future holds. I am running into the fight, because I am that warrior and I just needed to be reminded.

So why did I take the risk? Because there are risks in every choice we make. And the greatest risk of all is getting comfortable, settling for less than my best and looking back one day with regret. Taking the leap no longer feels like a risk at all.

In the words of President John F. Kennedy:

“There are risks and costs to action. But they are far less than the long-range risks of comfortable inaction.” 

Since joining Hughes Marino, I have never felt more fulfilled, both professionally and personally. Every day I am grateful to come into work with incredibly talented and dedicated teammates, an amazing culture, and am able to provide our clients with top-notch service. I think it’s safe to say that the risk was well worth it!

Cameron Love is a senior vice president of Hughes Marino, an award-winning commercial real estate company specializing in tenant representation and building purchases with offices across the nation. Contact Cameron at 1-844-662-6635 or cameron@hughesmarino.com to learn more.

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