‘Get out of your head and into the market’


As a former childhood magician, I’m often reminded of a story about Harry Houdini, the world’s most renowned magician and escape artist.

Houdini was once performing an escape stunt at a maximum-security prison, where he was tasked with escaping from one of the cells. He worked and worked to pick the lock, and his time to perform the escape was running out. His exhaustion was increasing and the sweat was pouring down his forehead. Finally, after hours of unsuccessfully trying to pick the lock and escape, he fell forward with fatigue against the door, and it just pushed open. You see, the door was not ever actually locked, except for in his mind. He had to get out of his head and see the door for what it always was: unlocked.

I’ve recently been to several aviation events and continued to host webinars, and I’m always interested in the perspectives of the participants. Many have been saying that their business activity is down this year, and others are predicting a downturn. It is not unnatural for election years to create brief periods of uncertainty and create a bit of fence-sitting from operators. After all, the one thing that financial markets do not like is uncertainty. Geopolitical events, inflation, and undoubtedly, presidential elections can drive this feeling. However, if you look at this year’s election slate, neither side really has a better or worse attitude towards aviation and the use of private jets to accomplish growth in business. So, without getting political, neither side should create havoc for our use of business aircraft.

Sure, depreciation may be treated a bit differently, tax treatments may be a bit different, but no one wants to do away with using the aircraft. Is business down or headed there? Sometimes business begins to resemble what you say or think it is. But that can work both ways. You can certainly work less hard and create an outcome based on that, or you can work twice as hard and build at times what others say is impossible. No doubt, this is an unusual time in our economic world. It is a period of unease on many levels. One way we as an industry can overcome this is to talk about the certainty of our industry. We know for sure that business aviation creates business opportunities. We know for certain we operate in a very safe and efficient environment. We know for certain that our markets are stable and less frenzied than what we experienced during the pandemic and through much of 2023.

You see, there is much to talk about to help those sitting on the fence step off and those who are predicting doom and gloom to redirect their uncertainty. Our market seems strong to me. Our company, like many of my friends who I speak to daily, reports 2024 could be one of their best years. So as always, one could sit back and rely on what might seem like an uncertain period, or you could act and be ready for the best year your company has ever experienced. Frankly, I like the latter myself! It can get so easy to shake your head up and down as you listen to others talk about markets and business being down. It is more difficult to work harder, smarter and longer. You have to get out of your head and into the reality of the market we are enjoying.

This is my first article to be published in the Corporate Jet Investor. I am so proud of this new home for the Mesinger Pulse. We will be published on the first Friday of each month going forward. Thanks for reading!