How William Huston started a call center out of a crisis

Abu Mubarik April 17, 2023
William Huston. Photo credit: theguardian

William Huston is the founder and chief investment officer of Bay Street Capital Holdings, a California-based wealth-management firm that invests in the stock market along with a portfolio of small, minority-owned businesses.

Huston’s journey towards establishing Bay Street Capital Holdings started decades earlier when he was a sophomore in college and started a call center in the Philippines, the Guardian reported.

Growing up in Harvest, Alabama, Huston was trained as a classical piano player. His parents were teachers and barely made enough money to support their family. Unfortunately, while Huston was a freshman at Georgia Tech, his dad became disabled, causing the family to struggle with more financial challenges than when he was working as a school principal.

This led him to drop out of Georgia Tech so as to qualify for in-state tuition. According to him, starting a call center came out of a crisis. 

“It wasn’t as if I had this master plan – it was more like I had a problem. I had a lot of hubris, though, and that was my business idea,” he said. “I’d read The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss. I figured if I could work four hours a week, then I could also be in school and be making money without working.”

Huston hired one person in the Philippines and later recruited additional staff, making 12. “I was in Georgia, going to financial advisers, saying: ‘Hey, you need clients. I have a call center. We’ll call the clients. They’ll come to you and they’ll use your services,’” he said.

In 2018, Huston made a switch from call centers to start a fund. According to him, the switch started when he started to have a crisis of conscience where a lot of his employees, including him, were always sick because they were working at odd hours.

“A lot of people were having miscarriages,” he said. “I didn’t like this lifestyle that relied on people working hours that were not natural. So I started over, with a smaller call center in El Salvador, and I registered for an LLC. 

“The team was working for my own fund, not other people’s companies. We’re not calling thousands of people a day like we were doing before. They’re entirely focused on the investment group.”

Last Edited by:Annie-Flora Mills Updated: April 17, 2023

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