Am I screwing myself or perfecting my craft?
First post here, cheers. As the title shows I am unsure of the position I am in and its outlook.
Currently at a very small REI firm in big city and been at the firm for almost two years. The company is extremely small where there are two associates and then the partners. My role (1/2 associates) is to take care of all things in the firm - all things from acquisition through development to. I get a little help from the partners in development and we have a property management company within. The remaining arms are outsourced to a third party company we pay (attorneys, accounting, architecture, etc.) all of which I coordinate with and completely run too. In simplest terms it feels as I am running and pushing the entire firm myself and its direction is in my hands (the other associate is in their family and is practically useless). The partners are serial entrepreneurs and extremely successful with high net worths really at a young age (30s/40s). They are great mentors to learn from and illustrate why they reached that level of success. But, in turn, replicates why they put so much faith in me to drive the firm forward and practically run it myself with their busy schedules.
Not to hype myself up - truly do work my ass off and drive the company forward. The firm has made tremendous strides since I joined and it gives me more confidence to start my own firm when I decide. But am I holding myself back with the structure or size of the firm? Should I seek larger firms that have more complexities and I’m sure slightly better pay? If I was to exit this no name firm, would there be exit opps?
Regardless I’ll lay out the pros and cons with the current role:
The firm is great with fair hours, fair pay, and good deal flow (partners are very liquid). I get to do all things in the firm and truly understand all aspects of what it is to own/run a REI firm, not just a specific arm. Also, the partners respect and incorporate what I say or think. Everyone is friendly, I enjoy the job, proud to say what I do, and have an opportunity to be given a small percentage of properties profits as a junior partner in the coming years.
For starters: I don’t have anyone to compare myself to except the partners, small firm with little structure, organization issues (at times). The partners also have minimal REI experience and are NOT vets in the game - they created their wealth in other industries and now want to dump it in REI and created this firm. Rely on me heavily for acquisitions and know I am maximizing all subsidies or financing available - but they do know their shit, not hard in RE. Small, Only midsize properties: average 20 units. Not difficult financing or complex deals. It feels like a lot to carry and I would like to know if I am making the right choice by staying. Obviously no corporate scene with events or dinners, etc. and no coworkers to collaborate with or even get lunch with - it is what it is, not a dealbreaker being a loner.
To me this seems like a dream role as I get to understand how to manage and run a REI firm while risking someone else’s dollar, before I start my own. The old me would think I’m crazy for even debating this. But now Im questioning if this is the best route for my career. In logical terms I didn’t screw myself but it may be more difficult to find exit ops from a no name firm. I could see how if I focus solely on development or acquisitions, I already understand the other processes and could fine tune my skills in either one to better prep myself for my own firm.
But from and outsiders view —am I holding myself back by staying at this firm? Should I seek larger firms that have more complexities and I’m sure slightly better pay? Should I seek more complexities elsewhere for better experience?
Any genuine advice is greatly appreciated here.