For anyone that actually reads this stuff, you’ll know that I like to write. Over the last 5+ years I’ve written nearly 100 blog posts on this site. We always hope you find them educational, informational, or at the very least they provide a small window to our current thinking and a view to who we are as people.
This month, Cooper wanted to jump in as he reflected on his 2 “official” years at Wildhorn. Neither of us can believe how fast those 2 years have gone, or how much fun we’re having!
Has it really been 2 years?
The other day, my Linkedin profile reminded me (and my network) that it had been 2 years since I joined Wildhorn. While I think Andrew and I decided to be partners long before it became Linkedin official (it’s been more like 3 years), this reminder was an amazing chance to reflect on all that has happened since I joined Wildhorn.
I can’t believe that amount of time has passed. I have never been happier in my career. Or felt like I was doing something that I believed in this much.
And when you look back over the last 2-3 years, it hasn’t exactly been smooth sailing. COVID happened–and the world seemed to stop for a couple of months. Then as we have slowly recovered from the pandemic, we’re now facing serious economic uncertainty–and a Federal Reserve that is stuck between a rock and a hard place trying to navigate inflation and interest rates. And you know what?
I’ve loved nearly every single day of it. And I’ve been so fortunate.
Fortunate to have a great partner at home (my wife Camille) and at work (Andrew). Fortunate to get the chance to work with great people. Fortunate to get to help shape a culture and grow a company. Fortunate to meet with so many great investors. Fortunate to realize that we get to own housing in Central Texas. My overwhelming posture most mornings is Gratitude.
Andrew and I share a business coach and one thing he has been preaching to us is that we get to do these things; we don’t have to do them. We get to. I spent the first 15 years of my career looking for the chance to “get” to write my own script on my own terms.
To be clear, I have loved every place I have had the chance to work. In each case though, I recognized I wasn’t fully tapping into what my soul “longged to do”. It might sound funny to say that my soul “longs” to buy value add apartments in Central Texas. But I think it’s true. I grew up in Austin, in and around the real estate business. My Father is a Land-Use attorney. My mentors and friends growing up were all in the business. Heck, even most of my closest friends today in Austin are somehow in the Real Estate business. It very much is a part of my soul.
Today, I’m reflecting on the fact that I get to be involved (in a small way) in shaping the future of our hometown.
I get to be involved in owning housing in our hometown. I take the responsibility to provide quality and safe housing seriously. One of my gauges in viewing our assets is “would I be proud to have my family live here”? I love that I get to play a part of employing over 100 people who support our business and portfolio.
I get to wear the responsibility to make sound investment decisions for our company and our investors. I get to help grow careers at Wildhorn Capital. Local Austin-based careers. The exact type of opportunities I looked for early in my career.
In the same breath, there are certainly days where I struggle to get out of bed. Where I feel the weightiness of the business we are doing. There are times where we have conflict in our office–and it can feel like I am being pulled by the boat rather than driving it. The day in and day out work we do can be far from glamorous.
Then I remind myself that I get to do what I have always wanted to do. I am so lucky that Andrew invited me to join a train that was already rolling. In a very sappy way, he didn’t have to be as generous with me as he has been. Wildhorn was already a very real company that anyone should have been proud of. His belief in me and what I could add to Wildhorn is among the greatest blessings in my life. And now, day after day we both get to step into the arena together.
While we have accomplished much in the last 3 years (and Wildhorn has in the last 6), I believe we are still just getting started. We spend an inordinate amount of time these days thinking about our company. Our desire to build a lasting, long-term company that benefits our families and our city for the next 30+ years. We are trying to improve our team in every way.
I’ve never worked more hours in my life. I’ve never worked harder. But I’m lucky that I get to do something I’m so passionate about and believe in so much. I’m also grateful LinkedIn stopped me in my tracks and reminded me that I’m two years into this journey. And now I get to look forward to the next 20.