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How Early Fatherhood Catapulted Matt Wright Into Buying His First Business at Just 21 Years Old

You might know Matt Wright as an agent with Gate Arty & the Group… or, you might know him as the best barber in town. Matt was born and raised in Central Florida, and now owns and operates Matt’s Barber Shop (keep it simple, right?). His career in real estate is growing quickly, and may soon take over his time. Matt’s story revolves around two things: family and responsibility. Let’s see how his journey transformed Matt into the great father and leader he is today. 

Matt Wright grew up in the South Lakeland area, and spent much of his time exploring the outdoors. He has watched Lakeland grow into the city it is now, and loves the changes. Very much still feeling like a teenager, Matt learned he was going to be a father at the age of 17. 

“It forced me to find income immediately, so I could be a good dad. I went to barber school in Zephyrhills, and got to work in a local shop.” 

Over the years, Matt’s skills quickly grew as a barber. He realized how much of an opportunity this could be for him. One day, he heard through the grapevine that an older barber in town was retiring. He found the shop, and walked inside. 

The gentleman was at the desk, and they struck up a conversation. Matt shared a bit about his roots in Central Florida, and why he needed to be successful for his family. Eventually, Matt asked about the shop. He didn’t have much in savings, but what if he could own his own business at 21? The old man took stock once more of Matt and said, 

“Alright. I’ll sell it to you for $2,000.” 

That would be unheard of today. But, perhaps the older gentleman saw something of himself in Matt. Either way, hands were shook and the deal was done. Now, the real work begins. Matt hired a few employees and opened his doors. 

“The first few years were trying, to say the least. My entire focus was taking care of my clients, and it took a toll on my body and mind. I did my best to mentor my employees too, with mixed results.”

(Psst. Matt’s entire focus is still taking care of his clients, especially in real estate. He’s just gotten better at managing it all. That’s a win-win for everyone.) 

The next seven years were a wild ride for Matt. He sold this shop and eventually bought another one, working at different barber shops in-between. All of this time, he was learning how to be a great parent. 

“I didn’t have the luxury of a lot of my peers to be irresponsible. My son and I were growing up together. It probably took 10 years to get my feet underneath me… 10 years without breaks or vacations.” 

He won Best Barber Shop in Polk County. He became an expert mentor, showing his employees the customer service skills their clients deserve. He had his second son, now excited to take them both on outdoor adventures. 

A good friend mentioned real estate to Matt, and it peaked his interest. His friend set up a meeting with Gate Arty & the Group right away. During the interview process, Matt realized how well Keller Williams matched up to his core values: training, teamwork, and service. He joined the Group, and started to learn the industry. Now, Matt is a valued member here. His hard work and infectious positivity influences us all. 

We asked Matt if he had any advice for up-and-coming business people, young parents, or anyone else who is working on building a better future.

“Doing more than you get paid to do is a direct investment in your financial future. Every new skill you learn, or avenue you try, is a competitive advantage. So don’t quit, especially on a client. Even if the situation seems impossible, push through it to build strength.

Matt loves working with investors. When they have a clear vision of their needs, Matt can efficiently find them a great matching property. He also enjoys first-time homebuyers, who have had enough of renting and are ready to make a big move. You can contact Matt here! 

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