My name is Matthew Khorsandi and I’m the co-founder and CEO of Toolsy. I’m 27 years old and I was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. Both of my parents are Jewish immigrants and established doctors originally from Iran. I have one sister, Melody, who is a corporate attorney and also one of my best friends.
I was raised by a very loving and supportive family. From education to extracurriculars and athletics, my parents always wanted to provide me with the best. As I grew up there were always these two constants in my life - piano and soccer. They are still a huge part of what brings me joy today. For a guy whose brain always seems to wander, those activities have always given me the gift of being truly present.
I went to Milken Community High School where I learned the values of community, friendship, and leadership. I made best friends that have lasted.
When I graduated, I spent two years learning at UC Santa Barbara before transferring to USC’s Marshall School of Business. I learned a lot, and I played more soccer.
I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. I knew I wanted to be successful… and that was pretty much it. Where I come from, when you don’t know what you want to do, there’s only a few options: real estate, medicine, or law. I chose real estate.
I worked as an analyst for Emrani & Associates and Partners Capital. I gained mentors who showed me what it means to be excellent, to be hard working and to have integrity. I learned how to cold call and I learned the fundamentals of value-add commercial real estate.
My best friend Brandon launched a daily fantasy sports app called Starting Five. He came to me for feedback on the beta. My enthusiasm and interest in his project eventually led to a business partnership. I quit my job and I started an entrepreneurial journey.
We learned from the founders of Tinder, we raised some money, we gained traction and we worked for a little over a year. The company ultimately failed.
I learned that in business you'll be confronted by massive walls. If you’re not passionate enough about the business, you won’t break through them. It was an amazing experience.
I met the founder of a coworking startup. He raised over $20 million to scale the business and he hired me to scout, lease and build out more locations around the country. I studied the Los Angeles office market, and then traveled to Portland, Seattle, Denver, Austin, Dallas and New York to scout some more. What an experience.
I was promoted to Director of Real Estate, the company ran out of cash, the founders left, and so did most of the early employees. I helped the new CEO restructure the company, we raised another 8 figures, and I was tasked with deploying $4 million to build out a 20,000 square foot project in Manhattan Beach, California. I learned on the job, and the team delivered on time and on budget.
I was working closely with the company’s then COO, Floyd Mitchell. We complemented each other. We shared the same values and work ethic. We worked 16 hour days and we had a lot of fun. We built a powerful website, we integrated software, and we built a strong team culture while streamlining much of the day to day. The company had its best few months, and again I found myself thinking about what’s next.
I’ve had that same thought since I was an upperclassman in college. What’s my career path? What do I really love? How will I live a successful and fulfilling life? Not having the answers to those questions made me really insecure. Maybe you can relate.
I read a book called Think & Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. It changed the way I looked at life and business. It showed me how to achieve success. I thought about the moments in my life that made me the happiest. I thought about the feeling I’m able to share with someone when I play the piano; Or the times I’ve shared knowledge with a friend and helped them. I thought about what it would be like to share those feelings with millions of people in a way that impacted them so positively it would change their lives.
Then I thought about how most people are asking the same exact questions I’ve had for the last 5 years. What’s my career path? What do I really love? How will I live a successful and fulfilling life? I think it’s a tragedy that the far majority of people never find the answer. I wanted to create a company that gives that to people.
So, that’s what we’re doing. We’re building a platform around like minded experts and successful people who want to share their knowledge. Our goal is to give you all the tools you need to answer those questions, all the tools you need to get into an industry, and all of the information needed to use those tools.
I hope it resonates with you… we made it for everyone :)