Life on Earth was way too short for my good friend and colleague, Clifton Bryan Fincher. Clif lost his courageous 12 year battle with cancer this week. We paid our farewells to Clif yesterday and laid Clif to rest today in a placid pastoral setting deep in the heart of the OC. Clif is survived by his Mom, his sister, his wife Doreene and their three kids, Charlie, Sydney, and Will. Words cannot express the gut wrenching pain that was etched across each of their faces yet in the midst of their sorrow there was a peaceful calm that evidenced their deep abiding faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. Simply, the family KNOWS that Clif is with Christ and are confident that the Lord will work with this thing for the good.
In tribute to Clif, this post will highlight the lessons that I learned while knowing him for the past twenty years.
Don't major in the minors. Said another way, don't allow yourself to consume your time worrying about piddly ass things that either you won't change, you can't change or won't generate any revenue. Clif would rarely allow a diversion into a minor...office politics, woulda coulda shouldas...but would compassionately listen to issues that mattered.
Expect to get burned at least once a year. Clif knew that if he did enough transactions, someone would screw him. He worked to avoid getting the old salami but was realistic in his outlook. Once the annual deflowering occurred, a Clif was prepared to move on.
When all else fails, just try SOMETHING. When Clif was immersed in a deal, I'm convinced he couldn't see or hear you. His trancelike focus propelled him to become our top producer for multiple years. But the amazing thing was how he would react when the fasten safety belt light illuminated. He would try anything to avoid crashing...even if the idea appeared harebrained. Many times, he would pull the plane from a flat spin and land it safely.
Approach the biz with childlike enthusiasm. Clif genuinely enjoyed closing deals...just like each deal was his first. Clif was quick to celebrate other's successes as well...just watch out not to get to close to the top production spot. Clif would ignite the afterburners and leave you in a contrail of dust...but would smile the entire way...like a child on the playground playing tetherball.
It's just not that big of a deal. Clif would say to me a lot...Allen it's just a commercial real estate deal...it's not life or death. Even before Clif got sick, his perspective on our roller coaster profession was zen like.
I will miss you more than you'll ever know, dear friend. I'm comforted knowing you are negotiating right now on a prime slice of heaven. Till we meet again on the other side, I love you brother!