Dave Lukas Chats with Adam Robinson
169: From Investment Banker to Bootstrapping a Multi-Million Dollar Company, How to Own a Niche with Adam Robinson
This week’s Misfit Entrepreneur is Adam Robinson. Adam is a serial entrepreneur who has started and bootstrapped multiple companies to 7-figures, most notably, Robly and his latest venture, Get Emails. But, he didn’t start out down the entrepreneur path. He was a trader and investment banker for almost a decade before he made the leap to entrepreneur.
In 2017, he made a major change at Robly, where the company changed from everyone coming into the Manhattan office ever day to becoming a fully remote organization – and Adam decided to go on the road working remotely while traveling the world.
I am really excited to explore what this change was like and what he learned in addition to his insight on entrepreneurship and how to bootstrap a multi-million dollar company in this episode.
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When Adam graduated from college, a friend of his convinced him to go up to New York and get into the trading and investing markets. He managed to get a job at Lehman Brothers. He showed up in New York and was sharing an apart with a few other guys. These guys happened to working on building a business by the name of Vimeo. Adam watched this group of guys begin to flourish and see them really enjoy the fruits of entrepreneurship.
While this was going, Adam was doing great at Lehman. He was trading credit default swaps which were the instruments at the center of the 2008 financial crisis. Even though he was doing well, he felt that he had a calling to pursue and build his own business.
He managed to save a decent amount of money and in 2011, he left the investment/trading business to start his own business. He invested in several businesses and lost his money. As he says, “The overconfidence of being a Wall Streeter is a real thing.” He didn’t know how to build a team, operating an organization, etc.
Fortunately, one of the things he invested in got some legs and eventually became Robly.
At the 7:30 mark, Adam talks about how Robly came about and some of the biggest lessons he’s learned on his entrepreneurial journey?
Successes and Failures?
Tell us about Get Emails…
Talk to us about the results you realized from going fully remote as a company?
What is your best advice on how to be effective as a remote CEO?
What is most important when hiring a remote workforce?
Was there anything that you learned as an investment banker that helped you on your entrepreneurial journey?
What is something you think every entrepreneur should know?
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