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Home » How Much Is Enough? – Kevin Cavenaugh (Transcript)

How Much Is Enough? – Kevin Cavenaugh (Transcript)

Here is the full transcript of real estate developer Kevin Cavenaugh’s talk titled “How Much Is Enough?” at TEDxPortland 2018 conference.

Listen to the audio version here:


Good morning. You guys seem super lively. This is going to be awesome. This is going to be super fun.

My son Jack made the pants, and they were before this a sofa, which makes me really happy and slightly uncomfortable. So eight years ago, I lived in this house. It’s on Northeast 45th Street in the Beaumont neighborhood. On a random Tuesday after work, I pulled into the driveway and I hollered to my wife and our three kids.

They’re playing on the front lawn. “Hey, hop in the car. We’re going to go on a little field trip.” The kids are in middle school and elementary school, so they’re like, “Yay, field trip!” They jump in.

We roll down the Alameda Ridge, turn right on Sandy Boulevard. Twenty blocks later, we pull into this random parking lot. “Okay, guys, get out. There’s a building on the right there. Door’s unlocked. I’ll meet you inside.”

A Surprising Revelation

Walked in. Surprise. This is our new home. Let me explain. So we’re in the middle of a recession. I’ve lost everything. I have to sell everything, including our house. This crappy building is all we have left. We have to live here. I’m so sorry. It’s going to be an adventure.

The kids are at that amazing age where all they hear is the word adventure. So they’re running around on the greasy floor just screaming, “Awesome!” My wife, meanwhile, she stands perfectly still and she screams a different word.

Finding Enough

But it’s okay, there’s a happy ending. We had four walls and a roof. We had heat, electricity, running water. We had enough. It wasn’t the home of our dreams. It wasn’t the home that we just were forced to leave. But it was home enough. And ever since then, I’ve been obsessed with this word.

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