I really believe Halcyon curates an experience like no other for impact-driven founders. And any type of support that Halcyon provides, I believe that each founder feels it on a direct level.
“Almost four years ago, I purchased a house on the south side of Atlanta. At the time, I was working at a management consulting firm, so I was traveling during the week and never in the house. That’s when I began renting the home.
About six months later, we all know what ended up happening: COVID—a global pandemic. At that point, I found myself in a home that I had purchased but had never really spent a ton of time in. During lockdown, I remember I would look out into my backyard and see all the space that was there. I figured it would be a really good idea for me to place a tiny house, known as an accessory dwelling unit, or ADU, in the backyard. I can then downsize and move into this structure. Then, I can rent out the main home without any issues, and if safety precautions are all good, I’d be able to stay in the back and still travel as I need to. I’d have everything that I need and nothing more.
I decided that I wanted to document the process, because I knew it was going to be over the course of a couple of months, it was going to be long, it was a little bit complicated, but I was going to be proud of what came out on the other side. I created a three-part docuseries that’s now on YouTube that has become really popular, called ‘Going Tiny.’ There was so much interest from other homeowners all across the country and globally, and what I realized was that a lot of them didn’t know that something like this could be possible in their area. And if they did know it was possible, they didn’t know how to actually make it happen.
I ended up meeting my Co-Founder about a year and a half, two years after that. When we met, unbeknownst to both of us, we had both gone through the process of placing an ADU in our backyard at the very same time. The thing that we had in common was that it was a very complicated, complex process that we figured should not be like that in the first place. That was when we decided how we can make this easier for the average homeowner—especially in a housing market like Atlanta, where many cities feel like they don’t have enough of a housing stock. There are homeowners who are sitting on this underutilized backyard space and are wanting to create ADU housing, but they don’t have the outlined steps and technology and tools for them to actually do this in a seamless way.
At the same time that I was going through this process of placing this tiny home, or ADU, in my backyard, I was also building a business. With that business, I had about 10 units across the city of Atlanta, and I was renting them short-term to vacationers and visitors. I was very adamant on renting only to people who were not from the city of Atlanta and those folks who are willing to pay the highest dollar. Right in the middle of that is when there was a mindset shift and a heart posture shift, because I began to receive not just one or two messages, but 11, 12, 13, 14 messages from folks all over the city of Atlanta that were being displaced because of how our housing market was evolving and how prices were increasing. I started to feel like I was more a part of the problem rather than a part of the solution. That was really what drove me to say, you know what, I want to go all in with figuring out how can I help even more urban homeowners do something like I did: building their own ADUs.
Halcyon was a literal accelerator in helping me fulfill what I feel is my life’s mission: helping more people gain upward social mobility. On top of that, the simple fact that I’ve been able to gain a lifelong global network of impact-driven peers is just a game changer to where I feel like I’m on the right path.
If I can be honest, I knew that it was a fantastic program when I applied—it’s why I applied—but I had no idea the reach the program had and the impact that it would have on me and my career.
Now, when I visit DC, being able to pop into the house for a catch-up session or co-working session with other fellows—not even just the folks that I’ve completed my program with, but just meeting other folks who have been in different cohorts—and learning more about what they’re doing on a national or global scale… it’s really an unmatched experience.
I really believe Halcyon curates an experience like no other for impact-driven founders. And any type of support that Halcyon provides, I believe that each founder feels it on a direct level. It’s not like you are just supporting a broad, large organization; Halcyon does a good job at trickling impact or benefits down to each and every one of the founders that are a part of their programs.”