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The Real Estate Philosopher

Some Inspiration From The Real Estate Philosopher - The Second Mouse

Mar 25, 2020

Okay here is some good old-fashioned inspiration.  I’ll bet we could all use it, considering the incessant drumbeat from everything and everyone about how awful things are and how they are getting worse, etc.   So here goes…..

Who doesn’t like a good movie quote?  Let’s start with that, from the movie Catch Me If You Can:

“Two little mice fell into a bucket of cream.  The first mouse quickly gave up and drowned.  The second mouse, he wouldn’t quit.  He struggled so hard, that eventually he churned that cream into butter, and crawled out.  Gentlemen, as of this moment, I am that second mouse.“  -Frank Abagnale Sr.

So, here is a thought to keep you going the right way in these times of trouble, and it is very simple:

Be that Second Mouse! 

I am doing exactly this.  The worse things get, the more energized I become.  I will never go down unless I am swinging till the last punch.  And even then I will never give up.  Another movie quote I like is apropos – from Galaxy Quest – when Tim Allen says:

                “Never give up – never surrender”

That’s me.  I make the choice to be that Second Mouse every single day.  I am doing everything possible to help and protect my clients and my law firm – no stones are un-turned in my efforts to provide help and assistance.  And, I assure you – if you get up every morning with that same goal, somehow things aren’t nearly as bad.  And – dare I say – you might find yourself with a good day here and there filled with excitement and accomplishment. 

By the way, I read some hotels are offering “fourteen day quarantine packages".  This didn’t just happen; a Second Mouse exercised her brainpower to think her way out of the complete disaster in the hotel world and try to make lemonade out of lemons.  Is it viable and will it work?  I don’t know, but either way hats off to you, whoever you are.

And here is a link to a phenomenally creative Second Mouse for sure.

So, is the current state of our world awful?  You bet it is.  Do I have fear?  You bet I do.  Am I worried about my safety and the safety of my family?  You bet I am.  Does my heart and soul feel pain for those who have it a ton worse than me?  Absolutely! 

But moping about the bad stuff accomplishes nothing.  And imagine yourself in ten, twenty or thirty years telling your children and grand-kids what you did during the pandemic of 2020.  Either:

I did nothing as I was so paralyzed by fear


I did every possible thing to create calm from chaos – upside from downside – and good things out of bad things.  I was a positive and uplifting force to those around me.  I never let my fear of what could happen stop me from doing what I needed to do. 

So, in my capacity as The Real Estate Philosopher, I advise all of us to be that Second Mouse.

Oh yes – and from my last article:

         Do The Right Thing Even When it Hurts

Love to all from The Real Estate Philosopher.

PS:  If you have stories about Second Mice with creative ideas, please send them to me and I will include them in my next article. 

Bruce M. Stachenfeld
a.k.a. The Real Estate Philosopher®

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As the Chairman of Duval & Stachenfeld – a law firm in mid-town NYC known as The Pure Play in Real Estate Law – I am inviting you to join The Real Estate Philosopher™. This will consist of my thoughts and also thoughts of friends and colleagues.

It will not be published in any traditional media – it will go only to friends of our firm. The purpose here is very simple – to put forth thoughts in the real estate world that are different, provocative, and challenging of accepted wisdom. Hopefully, nothing said here will be mainstream thinking.

You may be wondering how I am qualified to write on these topics since I am “just” a lawyer. However, I have an unusual place in the real estate world. As the Chairman of The Pure Play in Real Estate Law (one of the largest real estate law practices in NYC), I interact with an incredible number of real estate players. This ranges from small real estate shops with nothing but a gleam in their eyes, to some of the largest real estate institutions in the world, and everything in between. This gives me a unique and global perspective and allows me to act as an amateur philosopher in the real estate world. This has always been my hobby and it is what I love doing.


Bruce Stachenfeld
a.k.a The Real Estate Philosopher™

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