Chadwick Whichard graduated from Fork Union Military Academy in 1993, going on to earn a degree in economics from High Point University in 1998. Since then, he has worked professionally in real estate investment, management, development, and the acquisition and disposition of property. Currently, Chadwick works with private investors searching for undervalued properties in the US commercial real estate market, identifying opportunities for acquisition of undervalued properties. His hobbies include basketball, cycling, snowboarding, and auto racing.
Where did the idea for your career come from?
As a child, growing up, my father was always starting a business, wanting to start a business, or acquiring a business. He always wanted to expand. He was very ambitious. He was mainly working out of his home office and I got to be with him, observing his work, and learning about the value of things, learning about commerce. That’s all he would talk about, really. Finding valuable real estate was what he was best at. By the time I was 18, I was often working by his side. When I went to college, I studied economics, with some finance and management as well, with intentions of applying the knowledge to real estate investment.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
We are simply always on the lookout for new deals. After my father passed, we lost steam for a while, but are now refocused and ready for opportunities.
How do you bring ideas to life?
Things happen based on the environment. Whatever the wants and needs of people are in a particular area, we help facilitate them. So, the idea process is mostly in the hands of people who we are dealing with, and the local economy.
What’s one trend that excites you?
Since the COVID-19 pandemic took hold, there is something of a movement of people leaving cities to live in suburbs, small towns, and the country. I think there is some money to be made by capitalizing on that trend.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
Being flexible, being able to change and adapt has always helped us. Our business model does not have a very long approval process, and, in the past we have had the ability to react quickly.
What advice would you give your younger self?
I would tell myself about Sisyphus, from Greek mythology who was sentenced to push a rock up a mountain every day, and every time he got the rock to the top, it would roll back down. Just symbolizing life is a constant struggle. As soon as one learns that, the easier it is to embrace and make it a part of your concept of happiness. I was too complacent many times and too happy to rest and enjoy when I got ahead.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
Having success handed to you on a silver platter is actually a really bad thing. You learn nothing from that, and you don’t develop good life skills. It’s far better to work hard and earn your success over the course of a long career.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Failure. It’s good for you if you’re learning and keep trying.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Follow through on the things you say you will do. Stick to how you represent your intentions and be clear in communication. Be straightforward with people, be reliable.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
I financially overextended myself, and it put me in a precarious position, causing me to overextend physically, it became overwhelming. I’ve vowed to make sure that never happens again.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
Well, it’s not an original idea anymore, as someone has already come up with it. But, I had conceptualized the same long ago and am excited for whoever gets a fully functional prototype to market. Sharks have this special thing called ampullae of Lorenzini, whereby they detect electrical currents in the water that are undetectable to humans ie) not enough to shock us. So, I thought for people in the water, whether it’s scuba divers or surfers or anyone that could be mistaken for shark food, if they had a small device on their body that emitted an electrical current, it might spook the sharks into going away.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
Not so long ago, I bought a pair of running shoes for a little more than $100. They’re one of the latest models. I use them to play basketball with my friends, and I think that they’ve served to improve my game somewhat.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
The main one has to be Microsoft Excel. Considering the business that I’m in, I need to create and analyze a lot of spreadsheets in order to stay on top of things.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
Meditations by Marcus Aurelius. I think it’s the oldest stoic work that has survived in its entirety. It helps clarify the concept of ‘mind over matter’. And, I can’t forget Mark Twain writing, “if you don’t mind, it don’t matter.” It helps you realize that many things are in our head, and we can overcome them with the proper outlook.
What is your favorite quote?
My favorite quote is probably one by William Blake. He said, “the road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom, for we never know what is enough until we know what is more than enough.” It took me all too long to actualize this, but, hopefully, I’m getting closer.
- People all want the same things; they just go about getting them in different ways.
- Make ‘mind over matter’ a part of your personal philosophy.
- Be straightforward and direct in your business dealings.
Steve (Stefan) Junge hails from Germany and helps with the day-to-day publishing of interviews on IdeaMensch. While he and Mario don’t share a favorite soccer club, their enthusiasm to help entrepreneurs is a shared passion.