As you might have heard, we just closed on a 388-unit portfolio comprised of two fantastic assets down in San Antonio. The morning of closing day I was signing paperwork at our attorney’s office in Austin. A few hours later I was in Houston sitting down with local brokers and chasing new deals. There was no crazy celebration, no champagne, and certainly no sitting back and relaxing that evening. It was just me, bleary eyed, crashing at my cousin’s house for the next three nights as we worked hard to break into the Houston market. I was working 16 hour days for several weeks leading up to that day, and now I knew it was time to hit the road and spend time away from home looking for the next deal. That’s being a business leader, that’s how we’re closing deals, and that’s the reality of Life By Design.
Life By Design. It’s become part of our mantra, our tagline and an aspiration for how we try to live our life. The more we talk about it, the more skeptical looks and questions we get. Many people associate a Life by Design with a Life of Leisure. For the team at Wildhorn, our life by design is centered around putting as much time and energy as necessary into creating lasting relationships with our investors, into underwriting deals to find the ones that work, into being on-site to execute our business plans, and in general involves very little time sitting on a beach with a mai-tai in hand. Closing 850-units and raising $26,000,000 in the past 10 months doesn’t happen without a lot of hard work. In fact, the bigger the portfolio gets, the more we are working to execute and manage them while looking for new ones.
For as much as follow the idea of a Life By Design, we also subscribe to the Gary V’s notion that you “have to work your face off”. #Hustle is everywhere right now, particularly in the entrepreneurial culture we live in. While hard work is celebrated, it almost always is expected. In the middle of our vision board is the above image “Stay Humble Hustle Hard”. That quote really sums it up for us.
Having a hard time keeping the balance? Here’s some tips for how we’ve done our best to work incredibly hard while keeping the non-work elements of our Life by Design at the forefront:
Build a Team
We’ve written about real estate as a team sport before, but I think it’s worth repeating. As our team has taken shape we’ve missed less opportunities, achieved more scalable growth, and laid out a roadmap better defined to help reach our goals. We’ve built out a team of folks helping us-from a rock star virtual assistant, 2 analysts to underwrite deals and a social media/marketing genius.
Play to your Strengths
Adding people to the team is not only about having more manpower, it’s about using the right people for the right job. When you do what you love, it doesn’t feel much like work. In our business I focus on acquisitions, equity and investor relations. Basically, it’s people and relationships. I’m out and about most days, touring assets, meeting with brokers and talking with investors. To me that’s fun, and after a day of that I’m happy to roll right in to an investor dinner–all in the name of a hard days’ work.
There are only so many hours in a day. Part of my life by design involves spending as much time as possible with my kids. That means I do my best to stop working around 5:30 and be home for the evenings to eat as a family, hang out and get them to bed. Then I spin back up the work and spend most nights of the week (sadly) working until 11:00 PM, 12:00 AM or later. In fact, this article got finished at 11:24 PM after I got a chance to catch up with my wife.
Take Time For Yourself
In the middle of these marathon days and weeks, it’s important to find time for yourself. The best part of living a Life By Design is you can construct your day around what is important to you. For me, its golf and time with my kids. I try to play golf once a week–but when I do there is almost always a legit business purpose associated with the round. Two birds, one stone.
At the end of the day, any success we’ve seen has been directly the result of hustle and hard work. There is no substitute for it. But we also think there are ways you can have some balance and live that Life By Design in the midst of the constant hustle. It’s an ongoing struggle and battle for us, but one we’re going to keep striving to win.