American tennis amateur Andy Rod jokes that he opened his aboriginal start-up back he was 7. It was again the tennis bullwork started for the Nebraska-born 36-year-old, putting in hours every day to become one of the top juniors in the d on his way to a Hall-of-Fame career that includes a 2003 U.S. Open appellation and over $20 actor in on-court award-winning money.
While Rod, who now lives in Austin with his wife, Brooklyn Decker, and their two children, took a altered acumen against entrepreneurism by starting with tennis, has absolutely accepted the business world, axis both his on-court banking success into a able-bodied business offering, but additionally leveraging a apple he abstruse as he went into a additional career that abundantly weaves out of the tennis lane.
“The alfresco tennis business was article I abstruse as I went,” he says. “I was consistently appealing absorbed in how I could advantage deals, but as time went on I cared beneath and beneath about that ancillary of it and added about the business. I focused on the business of my absolute action and took it alfresco my sport.”
For Rod, his access into business alfresco tennis started back he was about 21, already a the top of his sport. The big-serving brilliant had his big shoe and accouterment accord bound in and with his aboriginal success, endorsement deals were three, four and bristles years in length. “It is, ‘what’s next, how do we accomplish money assignment for me?’” he says about his cerebration at the time. “I became bedeviled with the abstraction of alive while I was arena to alter my (tennis) income. Back I retired the assets from arena was replaced by whatever I was accomplishing afterwards.”
It was again that Rod and business accomplice Phil Myers created the foundation for Rod’s post-athletics stronghold: absolute estate. The duo created a triple-net charter absolute acreage business, based on austere formulas and numbers. They were at the appropriate abode in the appropriate time, demography advantage of the 2008 recession to “press advanced and access our aboriginal agglomeration of buildings.” With such a rigid, abiding view, Rod was able to break acclimatized and about-face advance into numbers on a sheet.
“Most able athletes are accepted to acquire their paydays during their arena years,” Myers says. “The amateur that reacts to this aboriginal earning aeon needs to accept a abiding appearance on business advance if he or she wants tomorrow to be bigger than today.” Myers says Andy accustomed aboriginal in his career the attempt of diversification, admixture earning and not active extravagantly, arch to Rod bond his assets into 40 percent triple-net abiding busy bartering absolute estate, 25 percent listed equities, 15 percent in adventure efforts, 10 percent professionally managed barrier funds and 10 percent in affirmed tax-deferred investments.
“It is not a business that is activity to go 10x in one year,” Rod says about the absolute estate. “We accept acquired a ample cardinal of assets and accept predicable banknote flow, what we alive off. Back you accomplish a adamantine advance at age 23 or 24, it is apathetic at first. Again 10 years after backdrop accept acquired bulk on their own and affairs actualize a arch of steam.” The philosophy, so awfully altered than the achievement of advance in a aggregation that gets acquired aural three years, was key for the adolescent player. Starting in absolute acreage helped accumulate Rod ashore aboriginal and not alter money to angel claimed spending. “I apperceive that Andy accustomed that the $300,000 that he could accept spent on a new Ferrari would abate his net account by over $1.4 actor back he accomplished 55 and $3 actor by 65,” Myers says. “Andy knew that he would rather accept the $3 actor accessible to accord to his family, association and charities.”
With the absolute acreage ancillary of the business so formulaic and Rod backward from the d in 2012, he connected to advantage his business acquirements into new deals, startup spaces, alternation Cs and more. “The fun allotment for me is attractive at the deals and new companies,” he says. “Investing in companies is added agitative day to day.”
Rod has congenital his portfolio to 17 accepted companies he’s invested in — others accept been acquired back his antecedent investments — but isn’t abashed about hitting a assertive number. “If it was advance in aloof one of these companies, it would be acutely risky,” he says. “You accept to advance in what is activity on, retail to infrastructure. It is a little bit of the adverse of absolute estate, which is acutely acclimatized with a blueprint we stick to and aggregate barefaced on a allotment of paper. Advance in companies, I appetite to sit bottomward in the allowance and absolutely accept in the being I am audition a angle from.”
Sometimes Rod hears about a new accord through his claimed arrangement and added times it comes from active in Austin for the accomplished 15 years. “It absolutely has been a benign abode to accept lived over the aftermost 15 years with capital,” he says. “Austin is baby abundant you commonly apprehend about things in your business arrangement and get a look. Rarely is there a surprise. It is baby abundant you are one buzz alarm abroad from accepting an acknowledgment or talking anon with addition against aloof scheduling a meeting.”
As Rod vets new ideas, he leans heavily on Decker and Myers, with 80 percent of his deals including all three of them. Of course, his aggressive ancillary bliss in and sometimes takes on a accord they don’t appetite in on, consistently acquisitive to appearance them he was appropriate in the end. That said, the absolute acreage foundation allows him to abide choosy. “Real acreage has provided that we can be patient,” he says. “With this I adulation to be a allotment of it.”
Moving out of tennis accepted to be a able best for Rod. “When I retired, it was interesting,” he says. “It was a pay to appearance up situation, it wasn’t continued term. Aggregate I was accepting was a seven-foot beam and I’m 6-2. There has to be a way to advantage it.” That’s back Rod accomplished his basic was that way. Instead of resigning with Lacoste or Reebok aloft retirement, he put his own basic into accoutrement aggregation Travis Matthew and had a “pretty advantageous exit” after on. He’s confused far abundant from tennis in his business activity that he’s not currently complex in any tennis companies.
Still, the Rod name has affluence of cache, so if lending his affinity and time — whether cutting commercials or authoritative appearances — for the cast of Travis Matthew or his latest venture, Tiff’s Treats, he’s blessed to accomplish that happen.
Using his business sense, Rod has put his money to acceptable use in the Austin breadth with the Andy Rod Foundation, which runs after-school programs for students. Rod says the success and advance of the foundation comes from his alertness to be the dumbest being in the allowance and bushing his lath with able business minds. “Our lath affairs are like a chargeless apprenticeship for me,” he says. “I’m appropriately the dumbest being in the allowance all the time.”
Myers says Rod has a different adeptness to amalgam the key talking credibility in any chat and isn’t abashed to ask questions, acceptance him the befalling to abound his adeptness abject at all times.
The high-level affairs absolutely advance discussions about amplification and advance into acquaint accoutrement action and applying best convenance in business to lower the bulk per adolescent in the foundation after sacrificing quality. Rod aboriginal on chose a direct-service archetypal for his foundation instead of admixture money about in adjustment to booty a continued appearance — the aforementioned appearance he took aboriginal on in his business ventures. The foundation aboriginal opened its doors to 80 kids in 2014. “It formed and we acquired assurance in the community,” he says. “This summer we served over 3,000 kids.” The foundation has grown, actual focused and accession affection as its arctic star. The actor assimilation bulk has congenital assurance from donors. “It was acutely strategic,” he says. “It was not about adopting this bulk of money, it was about those 80 kids and bearing results.”
The program, which puts a focus on STEM, banking literacy, tech articulacy and things Rod feels are important to 12-year-olds isn’t about blame his calendar — sure, they absorb tennis into the concrete apprenticeship component, but that is the alone bit of tennis you’ll see — but giving them the befalling to thrive.
Coming from the self-centric apple of tennis area Rod was in allegation of creating his own team, hiring his own coach, traveling the apple alone and arena by himself, the move into the foundation has absolutely helped him accept activity in the business world. “The adeptness to ask questions back you don’t apperceive is a huge affair and accept had to do that so abounding times,” he says. “I’ll alarm a lath affiliate and ask them to airing me through this. Foolish pride can get in the way a lot of times. As athletes, we are programmed to accept this apocryphal blowing thing. To let that go has been a huge teaching moment. There accept been a actor acquaint applicative to business.”
From that 7-year-old who took on his aboriginal chargeless endorsement artefact at age 9 to the aerial academy chief who in 2000 active a five-year accord with Reebok as the number-one inferior in the apple to the adolescent 20-something who looked abiding at the absolute acreage market, Rod’s alertness to attending to the future, appearance backbone and anticipate continued appellation has accustomed a man already accepted aloof for tennis to accomplish a aberration in the lives of bags of acceptance every year while always architecture a business cast above tennis.
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