Rob Dunfey has been featured on the ESPN, Boston Globe, Yahoo! Sports, and About.com. He owns the largest skateboarding school in the world, Goskate.com. He has started, bought, and sold companies. Rob has a YouTube Channel with over 3 million views and has sold videos to Ehow.com. Today, he has founded over a dozen companies in education under the umbrella company, Lesson Pro (Lessonpro.co). Lesson Pro was selected as an Empact Showcase company and invited to the United Nations as one of the top companies in America with founders under 30. In 2013, TLC TV Show, “Little People, Big World” filmed his bartending lesson service with the stars of the show.
His start-up, Store With Me, was a Shark Tank finalist, and funded by the Mill Incubator – owned by Tony Hsieh.
So I was 20 years old, and going to college on a beautiful campus in West LA overlooking the pacific ocean and the skyline.
It was like living on a resort. There was perfect weather everyday. However, I was miserable.
One day, my Mom calls me. She’s says, “How are you doing?”
Leading up to this, she knew I was having second thoughts about finishing school.
I saw Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerburg, and all of these millionaire drop-outs and thought, “That’s my path.” My mother was not happy. She was like, “You only have one more year left. If you drop out, you’re not going to be able to get a job.” “Either stay in school or we will cut you off financially.”
I decided to drop out and build a business. That was the first big step of action I took. That said, “Hey, I’m committed to this.” And sometimes taking that first step is the most important. It’s that step of faith. The first year was thousands of hours spent locked in my room. I NEVER left the house. I was SO focused on business creation. I started to read personal development books to increase my financial intelligence. I read Robert Kiyosaki’s “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” and “Cash Flow Quadrant”. In this book, Robert Kiyosaki mentions that, “9 our of 10 business fail in there first three years. If you plan to start a business, be prepared to fail.”
I thought this was the “secret” I had been looking for. The key is to start 10 businesses and you will always have at least ONE successful business. That year, I made it my plan to start 10 businesses.
I started creating and failed BAD. I started four businesses (an eBay business, a map software, a skin care company and a real estate business) and they all failed. On top of that, I was BROKE. My trial in real estate took my money and left me without any properties.
On my fifth business idea, I began to see success. After hearing a story about a successful cleaning business owner, I started a cleaning business. I liquidated EVERYTHING of value- including selling my car. I was now using my mom’s bike to get around. I invested in an LLC, equipment, and placed ads. It was slow for three months and then it ROCKED.. grossing six figures in the first year. I got sick of the cold weather though, sold the business, and moved to California.
In California, the buyer of my business stopped making payments on the purchase. I was now BROKE again and could no longer afford an apartment. I lived in my SUV. I started an internet business in my trunk. I would work in Starbucks, and took showers at the gym. Although my lifestyle was far from glamorous, I developed a strong faith and even shot videos in the car to one day look back and joke about.
The best thing about going broke was I became a more spiritual person. My why shifted from acquiring things to aqcuiring freedom. I started going to church again, renewed my purpose, and changed my WHY.
I was broke, but I REFUSED to get a job. I thought the discomfort would somehow motivate me.
I failed some more. I started a cleaning business, a lead generation service, a marketing company, and a pet care company all FAILURES.. I started skateboard lesson company with low hopes. For this, I then ran Google Payperclick campaign that would change my life. Google messed up. My ad which was only to be displayed in San Diego was ran all over the country. The next morning, I checked my email and there were 10 leads in there. I just remember thinking “Holy smokes, this is my lucky day!”
The nationwide leads were too cheap to turn off. Seeing an opportunity to expand outside of San Diego, the next six months were spent developing the system to serve the entire country.
I learned the power of having virtual offices in the Philippines and hiring workers for as little as $.90/hour. I finalized the system. Hired a commission-only employee and we started calling the leads!
Now, I can literally, work, live, and play, anywhere I want, anytime I want! I have learned the more times someone fails, the closer they are to winning.
The Most Important Piece of Advice to New Entrepreneurs
Start as many businesses as possible with the least possible money. Plan to start 10 businesses – for one successful business.