It is phenomenal to watch young, entrepreneurial minds strive for excellence and reach quick success. Meet Jake Swaney – the 27-year-old, full-time investor who is paving the way to greatness.
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In the Summer of 2019, Jake exited his corporate job with a goal to be his own boss. Soon after, he started his first company, Dark Horse Minerals, in Dallas, Texas. Interestingly enough, it was started with two people in an apartment. There were no banks, business loans, or private equity groups there to assist with startup. The oil and gas land acquisitions company was self-funded by savings from Jake and the Co-founder’s first jobs post-college.
The first four months were a grind while Jake and his team were building the company presence that would soon be known to its competition. He and his team were consistently making 100 cold calls daily, pitching deals to dozens of private equity-backed funds, working 70-hour weeks, and dismissing the weekend celebrations they desperately wanted. With overhead building and tens of thousands of startups costs being expended, Jake knew he had to find a win before his net worth was exhausted. It was not long after, that the stars aligned, creating a fortuitous victory that would be remembered forever.
Even with the grueling constraints from coronavirus and one of the most devastating market crashes recorded, his company eventually beat the odds by remaining lean and creating a proprietary lead sourcing platform that identified landowners who were statistically more likely to sell, while cross-referencing them with areas where his company could pay premiums. By the end of 2020, the company held a multi-million-dollar valuation with over eight figures of revenue.
Jake credits his entrepreneurial spirit, work ethic, an innovative team, and blessings from God with the newfound success of the company. “I sacrificed more than I ever have to make this dream come true,” said Swaney. I kept telling myself “when it feels like everything is falling apart, stay the course.” Jake wants everyone to know that mental fortitude will determine the foundation for success. “You do not have to have hundreds of thousands of dollars to be successful and age does not dictate your success.”
With his earnings from Dark Horse, Jake officially became an accredited investor and is a mentor for anyone seeking financial guidance and startup practices. He is often asked questions regarding business development strategy, budgetary planning, forecasting, structuring, projections, and various types of financial analysis. “I enjoy using my financial acumen and operating experience to help better advise people.”
Currently, Jake is a private banking client with Bank of America. “This is a huge resource for me as I am able to leverage newfound buying power via a multi-million-dollar line of credit to expand into different angel investments.” Jake is able to couple his line of credit with a Tier 1 pitch deck to raise the stakes in potential investments and bring maximum value for investors.
Jake and his business partner, Michael Kmetz, are utilizing profits from their acquisition company by expanding into commercial real estate and angel investing. One of his recent angel investments is an early-stage Silicon Valley startup, that uses quantum computing to streamline new materials discovery. Since his original investment, he has seen an ROI of 40X.
Jake is no stranger to taking risks. “I invested 75 percent of my net worth earned from my first job post-college.” To be clear, he does not advocate taking Vegas level risks without significant analysis. More specifically, he is referring to methodically, calculating risks to identify opportunities that minimize the chance of failure, but also have plenty of upside. “Starting your own company can be intimidating but if you can suppress the fear of failure, trust your idea and ability to execute, eventually you will have a big win.” “All it takes is one big win to change your life.”
Jake is currently working remote with a group of 8 to 10 various employees and several strategic partners. Regarding his business vision, Jake wants to continue investing in startups and real estate, while creating high growth returns in his portfolio. He wants to pursue more philanthropic endeavors and continue being a business coach for emerging entrepreneurs. Now that he has an abundance of resources, a rapidly growing network, and plenty of momentum, there is no telling how far the rising entrepreneur will go.
What is your advice to anyone considering entrepreneurship? Be innovative with your ideas and make them so unique that they completely differentiate you from your competition. Also, the best time to start a business is now. Instead of focusing on the probability of finding success as an entrepreneur, think about all you will learn during the journey. At that point, an entrepreneur has won, regardless of the results.
What was your mission at the beginning of starting your business? The goal was to use my experiences and knowledge to create a business that would thrive in any market condition. It was my job to optimize our business processes, allowing us to move quicker and find niches in the market that were generally overlooked.
What would you attribute your success to? Is there a trait you have or a person who helped you along the way? It sounds cliché, but not giving up is so important. Being able to outlast your competition or completely outperform them, will pave the way to success. Being a problem solver will put you far ahead. If you can solve problems and simplify complex issues for multiple parties, then you will be the person everyone wants to work with. My business partner, Michael Kmetz, has helped me in so many ways. It is helpful to have someone to challenge your ideas and push you to be the best every day.