We had the good fortune of connecting with Matt Long and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Matt, we’d love to hear about a book that’s had an impact on you.
Process: I have always wanted to be a business owner. My father started his own business when I was in elementary school and I always thought I would follow in his footsteps. However, after going to school and getting my degree, I got very comfortable in an employee position and realized how conservative and risk adverse I was. I slowly realized that I would never be happy unless I also have something of my own. The BITDESK space was originally going to be a laundromat, but when I found the space it was already finished out for a nice office. I decided to pivot and go into coworking.
I usually consider all income in terms of dollars per month and how to maximize that. There are two ways to increase lifestyle and decrease stress. Make more or spend less. I have always been good at spending less, but recently have also had the blessing of making more. I do know what my monthly expenses are for when times get tight, but I do not obsess over it. I know I am always building and growing. The biggest key is not over committing to large purchases.
I have not taken enough risk. I find that I regret not taking more risks in my younger years. I now see risk as a necessary driver to keep someone sharp and working hard. An example would be having someone drop you off ten miles from home forcing you to run that far. The same thing can be down with risk in business. Big risks can for you to work harder, smarter and longer.
I am from Fort Worth, TX and grew up playing sports. I shaped my drive and character. Texas made me a nice person, sports gave me the desire to succeed.
I used to think creating a cool brand was about names and logos. That’s part of it, however I have learned that a brand defines itself. Taking a sports analogy: When the Chicago Cubs are the best team in baseball, their pin striped uniforms look cool. People connect with their success. When they are terrible, they’re uniforms are ugly. The most important factor for me is the story and success behind the brand. Convincing people that the brand is them so they can embrace it and share it. People would hate the Apple logo if no one had ever heard of the company.
Truth is the most important value in life. It makes life and business simple. There’s no worrying about keeping your story straight. You sleep well at night and you are rewarded constantly for living a lifestyle based on Truth.
Work Life Balance:
There are seasons where I work more than others, but only if there is a foreseeable long term financial benefit. With many different ventures right now, I am working more than ever, but the ultimate goal is to build something with lasting legacy for my children. I think if everyone took 5 years to work their faces off, it would have a positive impact on the next 20. Having said that, I will have 7 children 11 and under starting in December. My work does not stop at the office. In the same way I have goals at the office, I also have goals to improve in my father and husband life.
I would love to be involved in multiple businesses. Having some to sell when the market is high and others to keep for my children. When I am done, I want my children and wife to think, “wow dad crushed it.” I don’t think I will ever retire perse, but I would love to teach and incorporate my children.
Every career is artistic in some fashion. I used to love draw, play music and build. Am I a painter or a sculptor? No, but I certainly have built buildings. I certainly have created logos and business ventures. I have created complex excel models and love doing it. It uses the same part of the brain and give me the same amount of joy.
I love anything by Phillip Dick or George Orwell. These are two guys that saw through the flaws of society and were far ahead of their time. I learned that its okay to have a different view of society than what we are fed from the television.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I think it is very importtant to work and learn from good, honest hard working people at the beginning of your career. Then I believe, just like in school, we are supposed to graduate from being an emplyee to a business owner. We were create to tend things, to grow them and to challenge ourselves beyond just the standard. It’s hard to do that as an employee, though it is possible.
I started my career in construction management and pricing. I did a very good job of making myself invaluable, which allowed me to negotiate a remote work environment back in 2013. That allowed me to continue to do my work, but also expand into business ownership and other ventures. I believe sports at an early age taught me how to be disciplined, plan my day, work hard, etc. And now that I still consult in the construction industry and own multiple businesses, self discipline is more important than ever.
The thing that sets me apart is my creativity. I love solving problems and always reducing things down to the simplest possible solution.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I have 6 children and most of my friends do too. So it would have to revolve around things that keep the children having fun while we got to visit. That would mean zoos, waterparks, trampoline parks, etc. I love Mexican food and pizza, but it would likely down home cooking every night as finding a baby sitter for that many kiddos is a challenge.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I’d love to thank my parents for teaching me to be honest and work hard. I’d like to thank my wife for sharing the 100 year vision of being impactful over multiple generations. This involves personal sacrifice and long term vision from both of us. God has been amazing to us and we look forward to seeing what He will do through us in the future.
Instagram: @mybitdesk @mattlongtexas
Facebook: @mybitdesk @mattlongtexas
Family Pic by Arden Prucha