You can wallow in bad economic times or you can do something about it

Brehmer web photo.jpg

Bob Brehmer

I interview a lot of people these days about residential and commercial real estate. If you understand anything about the world of freelance writing today, you know this: It’s not the easiest way to make a living. Print magazines and newspapers are shutting down across the country. For freelance writers, this means more writing for online publications. That’d be fine if these online venues paid well. The majority of them don’t.

For me, that means writing more stories than ever. And it means writing them as fast as possible. Sometimes I feel like I’m on a treadmill, pounding away at meeting my monthly goals.

It could be worse, though. I could be unemployed. Many of my fellow journalists are.

So I’m interviewing more people than ever these days in an effort to churn out more stories at a quicker rate. It’s easy to get jaded, especially when you focus much of your writing in one area, like I do with real estate.

But then, sometimes, someone you interview says something that strikes you as wise. It makes you slow down a bit and take the time to actually think.

That happened with me earlier this morning. I was interviewing Bob Brehmer for a story for Midwest Real Estate News, the commercial real estate trade magazine that I write and edit. Brehmer’s the managing partner at NAI Daus, a commercial real estate brokerage in Cleveland. We were talking, of course, about the commercial real estate slump. I asked him what he and his fellow brokers were doing to get through it.

Here’s what he told me: “We’ve decided at our firm to be the beneficiaries of change. We can wallow in the bad times. But that won’t do us any good. Or we can work hard at helping our clients get through their own tough times.”

That’s advice that

doesn’t just hold for real estate. It holds true for anyone — whether a freelance writer, real estate broker or any other profession — who’s trying to work through this struggling economy.

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