Ten years ago, I took a leap of faith for myself – resolute, hopeful, and yet not entirely confident where I would land. I left my full-time job at Texas A&M University – Kingsville’s Title V Programs with aspirations of making a difference in my community. Though young, I had confidence in my ability. With luck and timing on my side, I received a call from the City of Kingsville’s Tourism Department the day after I resigned and officially began my entrepreneurship journey.
As my client base began to increase, it felt like a turning point for a young man in his early 20s and a sure sign that I was taking the correct path. Every day was an opportunity to create. My determination was rewarded with success and steady progress as I continued to build a reputation on my name. I began supporting our first national non-profit and regionally-based government clients. I served on planning committees for festivals and even participated as Uncle Sam in parades. Most notably, I received a Congressional accolade for my contribution to the community from our U.S. House Representative. Each project allowed me to work with incredible people within the region and across the country on objectives that have helped this nation progress. At the same time, serving municipalities, non-profits, the private sector, and even the federal government, collaborating on projects allowed us to share the hopes and dreams of better lives for ourselves and the community.
The hard work continued to pay off as we established a 3,000 sq. ft. office space in 2016 at Wilson Plaza in Downtown Corpus Christi. Working with a trusted team of creative professionals, HRMG continued expanding its services. It seemed there was nowhere to go but up. Unfortunately, it all came to a halt when my mother suffered a major stroke in 2017. Experiencing traumatic brain injury without insurance left her with minimal care in adverse conditions. After our country’s healthcare system failed our family, I put my business aside to focus on getting her through one of the most challenging times in her life. I became her advocate, physical and occupational therapist, and guardian, severely undercutting my ability to manage my company’s workload. Being a caregiver is one of the most stressful, humbling, and rewarding things. Thankfully, we made it through to the other side.
In an attempt to reboot my hopes and dreams during this time, I co-founded and operated our first partnership, AXOM Foundry, in 2017 with the help of truly incredible people. The experience was invaluable and allowed me to leverage the office space to build community and create a curriculum for programming. Soon after, I shifted our mindset from strictly providing services to customers to fostering new companies and growing their online presence and processes. While supporting a fellow Bishop Alum, HRMG produced our first Spanish language-only short film, “El Poeta,” which premiered internationally at the Oaxaca Film Festival on the small films circuit in 2019. Additionally, we organized a media partnership between a local radio station with PowerUp, RightOn Corpus, and Revolve One, establishing a new digital content network for advertising opportunities never seen in our area.
As millennials have become accustomed, another significant setback hit. COVID. Ultimately, I decided to shutter the office at this point. At the time, I have often been asked if closing the office was seen as a setback. In reality, it felt like the final step in finding true freedom. With the reduction of overhead came the chance to stop chasing transactions to keep bills paid in preference for opportunities to make impacts throughout the country. In 2019, I partnered on developing and launching a company in Chicago known as Confirmed Life Safety with a long-time friend and colleague. I joined the board of the PRIDE Corpus Christi, recently becoming elected as President.
Over the last four years, my work and relationships have allowed me to stand in the presence of leaders such as Ruth Bader Ginsberg, Justice Elena Kagan, and Jaqueline Mars. I have observed various leaders make progress with incredible influence in their respective fields. With this experience and as my client list and opportunities grow, I stand secure in the knowledge that my work is helping drive larger narratives in the community. The mission is now a collaborative effort between all of my clients. No degree or charming office space could ever have afforded such experiences in life.
As a small-town kid from Bishop, Texas, ten years of making progress in a life of my own accord still amazes me. I make decisions every day based on what I feel is appropriate, whether managing my health, household, or community developments. If I could share insights with my younger self, it would be this: Make no mistake, owning your own business is extremely difficult. You’ll make decisions that terrify you frequently. Challenges will constantly come from multiple angles that feel suffocating and restricting. You’ll be interacting with a system built to drain your capacity to succeed regularly. Despite this, you’ll learn to trust your intuition over time. You will never go wrong contributing to the greater good while identifying opportunities that will maintain your well-being throughout the pursuit. And with awareness, hard work, and appreciation, you’ll be celebrating a decade of achievement while ever looking forward to more.