By day, Richard Doetsch helps manage over $1 billion in residential and commercial real estate properties, including affordable housing, at Hudson Valley Property Group. By night, he’s a successful novelist, about to release his 10th novel — the mystery/romance title “The 13th Hour: Chaos” (Simon & Schuster). His books have been published in 34 countries. And his wife of 44 years? Well, versions of her appear in everything he writes.
“I’ve killed her 4 times,” he admits with a laugh.
“She’s come back twice. The way I figure it is, ‘No tears or fears for the writer? No tears or fears for the reader,’ and her death is the worst thing I can imagine. We’ve been together since we were kids.”
When he isn’t working in real estate or typing away nightly from 9:30 to midnight, Doetsch is also a guitarist in a band (the drummer is Paul Shaffer, the bandleader for David Letterman), participates in triathlons, kite surfs and skydives. While this all sounds dizzyingly active, he makes room for his passion projects by carefully managing his schedule, watching very little TV and still fitting in a respectable 6 hours of sleep a night.
He’s been side hustling before side hustling even had a name.
“You have to love the day and night hustle, and you have to have great time management. What some people call a side hustle could be an assist to either gig,” says Doetsch. “At night, you could dive into writing a book and your mind frees up. You have a bad day in real estate, you might have a great night in writing. You clear your head and come back fresh.”
For people who might have always wanted to tackle that novel — or any other creative item on their wish list — he offers this simple advice: “Just do it. Tonight, go home. Write for 5 minutes. Tomorrow, write for 10. And over the next 10 days, try to expand that for an hour. If you write 500 words in one day, after 180 days, you’ve got something.”
“When I go kite surfing or skydiving, you have to jump. You can’t stay on the plane! We’re all afraid and can give a lot of excuses, but there’s only one reason you need to take the first step. So many people don’t try anything new after 35. Just go do it. There is no map. Go chase your dream. Dreams should never stop.”