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Ridiculous Is The New Remarkable

Good Neighbors
SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT BEFORE WE DIVE IN! Chapel is looking for its first 50 Founding Members. Each member will lock in a $50/month rate, full access to the open workspace and lounge, discounts at the coffee shop, taproom, restaurants, & concerts/events, and early access to things we have in the works. In return, we’ll ask our Founding Members to simply spread the good word, and be a Good Neighbor. They’ll be the foundation of what will be an amazing community of interesting, bold, generous people. If you’re interested, either respond to this email or fill out the form at to let me know.
Welcome to the Good Neighbors Newsletter - where we’ll explore the ways in which real estate development and entrepreneurship can combine as a force for good in our neighborhoods.
Below you’ll find 3 sections: (1) A Few Things Worth Sharing, (2) An Exploration, and (3) The Watercooler.
The “Exploration” section is typically an essay challenging how we think about our places, our neighbors, our work, and our future. And “The Watercooler” is for project updates for those of you wanting to keep up with how these ideas are playing out in the real world. Feel free to jump to whatever is most interesting to you, and thanks for joining me on this journey!
👏🏻 A Few Things Worth Sharing
🧭 An Exploration:
Thoughts to challenge how we think about our places, our neighbors, our work, and our future
🤪 Ridiculous is the New Remarkable
9 Ways to Stand Out
Here’s the most overused phrase in business:
You know the definition of insanity?
[dramatic pause with a smirk that comes from the anticipation of saying something extremely clever…]
Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.
[another dramatic pause as the impact of the knowledge bomb spreads through the audience]
But I’ll admit, things are often overused for a reason. There is truth here. If you’re in sales (and we all are), finding a way to differentiate yourself is a key to success. You can’t expect to do the same thing as everyone else, over and over again, and expect to perform with any consistency. You must stand out - which is not as complicated as you think.
There are no new messages, only messengers. And you happen to be the only person in the world with your specific set of experiences and point of view. It’s hard not to stand out with a resumé like that!
Here are a few ideas to get the juices flowing.
[There are many more that involve having a world-class product, using the relationships you’ve built up over a career, etc., but those are of little help to the salesperson or entrepreneur who starting fresh and doesn’t have an existing network]
Anybody can do the following, in no particular order:
  1. Send a custom package. In the mail. Include a handwritten note, give them a book that made an impact on you and tell them why it matters, share a personalized link with music/podcasts/articles/people you think that person may enjoy. And tell them why.
  2. Get a little bit weird. Not too weird (this is something I have to be careful with). But a little bit weird is endearing and memorable. For example, at an old job I was having trouble getting a response from a big prospect. I knew they’d be huge, and I knew we’d be a good fit, but it was extremely difficult to separate ourselves from the noise they heard every single day. So we sent them a 5-ft tall Bigfoot statue with a handwritten note that read “They say you exist. Though we’ve seen no proof, we still believe.” The next time I called, they put me through directly to the CEO, we had a good laugh, and set up a meeting for 2 weeks later. Find your version of the Bigfoot. As Seth Godin says, Ridiculous is the new remarkable.
  3. Write an unsolicited recommendation or review. This should be be genuine. It could be a Linkedin or Twitter recommendation, or you could give a shout out to them or their product in a post/tweet/newsletter. Or best of all, you could be a source of revenue for them by recommending people to their business. There is no greater way to stand out than to help someone make money. This also brings the added benefit of acting as a filter for working with people you’d actually recommend to others
  4. Provide a useful service. It’s hard not to take note when someone saves you valuable time without even asking. Research what they’re working on, and figure out a way to help. Dictate one of their podcasts, summarize and provide key lessons from a few of their best blog posts, come up with 10 ways they can grow their business & help them do one
  5. Be more persistent. The others gave up a while back. You’re still here, and that is worthy of respect. Follow up for twice as long as you think you need to. Deals want to die - it’s up to you to keep it alive
  6. Do something worthy of inbound interest. If you can be known for something, even a small thing, people will come to you. When I narrowed my focus from “real estate development” to “Opportunity Zone real estate development,” people started to reach out to me, sent me deals, and sent me investors. I’ve since done this further with my own version of “neighborhood development.” You can do this in any way that interests you. You could be the “construction prices” girl, or “the hidden gems of architecture” guy, or the “crypto for artists” person. You will stand out if people know what you stand for
  7. Be a valuable curator. Middlemen (middlepeople?) have been eliminated as technology has advanced. We can do things ourselves now like start a company and create a website and sell things directly to our customers with relative ease. We can buy stocks ourselves instead of through a stock broker, and even get a loan without a bank. But there is now space for a new kind of middleman . With so many companies/products being built, there is real value in showing people which are worth knowing about. If you have good taste (and people know what you stand for), others will trust you to find the best creations within your industry. Write a newsletter, start a podcast, write a Linkedin post. Whatever it is, just begin
  8. Create an experience for others. Throw your own event. Maybe it’s a conference, a unique dinner party, a pick-up basketball game, or poker night. Especially now, people are craving real, fun, and meaningful interaction with other interesting people. This is a key motivation for what we’re doing at Chapel
  9. Spend more time than others do. This was advice I heard from @Julian and @SahilBloom, who both write some amazing threads on Twitter. When other people are spending 2 minutes on something, they stand out by spending an hour or more. Tweets are a good example here - most people use them for quick, almost thoughtless exchange. If suddenly you see a well-researched, thoughtful, succinct thread of novel ideas like this, you’ll notice
Take note that none of this is easy, especially once you’ve actually seen some success. There is no substitution or shortcut, but after you try lots of things you can narrow your focus and prioritize ideas that make the largest impact.
Be ridiculously generous, persistent, helpful, or genuine, and you’ll find it becomes remarkable.
💦 The Watercooler
  • Just a couple weeks till designs are submitted for permits!
  • - Check out the updated website! You’ll see more detail, the new layout, and current timeline
Union House
  • - Brand and splash page are up! Construction plans almost complete, and hope to break ground by the end of the summer
Finally, the little share button below is the Good Neighbors version of bringing over a tin of cookies to someone who just moved in across the street. You want to be a Good Neighbor, don’t you?? :)
Until next time,
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Matt McPheely
Matt McPheely @mattmcpheely

The Magic of Places and How To Build Them

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Greenville, SC