For most people in uninspiring 9–5 jobs, the freedom to do what you want when you want is enviable. However, the truly successful will tell you that freedom comes at a cost. As Austin Barnard knows firsthand, the cost becomes higher if you are venturing into a relatively new space.
Austin is the co-founder and portfolio manager for Orca Capital’s family of funds. Orca Capital was started in April 2019, and over the last 2+ years, it has grown into a family of 5 funds. It boasts around 200 investors and $60M assets under its management.
Austin was exposed to trading when he was very young. His mom was a trader for a small family office when he was growing up, and that was his first experience. As a naturally analytical person, he started trading stocks in his Roth IRA in high school and never stopped.
In college, Austin took his trading a notch higher and would even trade during class. After graduating college, he got his CPA at Ernst & Young and became a full-time stock and equities trader. Then, in 2017, he discovered Bitcoin, and the concept piqued his interest.
Austin started researching more about blockchain technology and realized that it was the future of finance. At first, the 24/7 markets and their crazy volatility were a major attraction, but the more he studied the industry, the more he fell in love. He committed his life to it and has never regretted that decision.
Although Austin’s analytical nature has played a part in his success, he admits more factors contribute to an entrepreneur’s success. Open-mindedness is one of them. When he learned about cryptocurrency, he explored it further and discovered the path he is now on.
In his work, his favorite part is helping traditional finance people have an open mind and see the incredible value of blockchain and its future potential. He says, “I feel like my life’s goal is to help others have an open mind. Too many people naturally bash things they don’t understand, and it often can lead to some of the biggest missed opportunities.”
The second factor to becoming successful is finding what you are truly passionate about. Austin says, “Every startup requires a ton of hard work and long days, but when you are building something you love, it makes everything much easier.” Instead of hopping from one idea to another, hyper-focus on that one thing that you love until you break through.
Self-motivation and personal accountability are the third factor. As your own boss, there is no one to tell you when to wake up, what to do and when to do it. Your success will depend on your drive and discipline.
The relationships you form as an entrepreneur matter too. From personal experience, Austin says a dependable business partner is an invaluable asset. He says, “Having a partner who compliments your talents and pushes you to be better is a much-understated benefit as well. I can’t speak highly enough about Jeff as a business partner at Orca Capital.”
Entrepreneurship is a long journey with new things to learn every day. In Austin’s case, he is still learning how the regulated financial world works because he doesn’t have a background in hedge fund knowledge. Opening and maintaining business bank accounts is a challenge because banks dislike crypto-related businesses.
However, Austin is figuring out how to scale the business despite the number of challenges he and his business partner have to face. In the next 5 years, he predicts he will be running a $1B+ crypto hedge fund.