Thursday we had our first serial entrepreneur as a guest speaker. By “serial entrepreneur” I mean someone who has pursued numerous entrepreneurial ventures; one after another and even several at the same time. That is just what Jason Robbins—of Monmouth-based Robbins Resource Management—has been doing for nearly the last 25 years (dating back to when he was in high school). Check out the company webpage at the link below.
Jason’s ongoing highly successful entrepreneurial journey encompasses many different ventures and types of business activity; including buying and reselling both cars and homes and brokering B2B sales of pallets. Maybe above all else, Jason—a first-time speaker in the class that we hope to add to the “regular roster”—exemplifies an entrepreneur who not only sees and takes advantage of opportunities most others might not even recognize, but someone who goes out and aggressively creates such opportunities for himself (so that he can, as he put it, “buy freedom” for he and his family).
Below, class blogger Aubrey Cook provides far greater insight into the fascinating entrepreneurial tale of serial entrepreneur Jason Robbins.
Yesterday, our Midwest Entrepreneurs class had the opportunity to gain knowledge from a Monmouth local, Jason Robbins. Mr. Robbins has a background in a several different areas of entrepreneurial activity (dating all the way back to when he was in high school). Jason spoke to our class about his journey that got him to where he is today, the CEO of Robbins Resource Management.
Jason began his entrepreneurial endeavors twenty or so years ago when he was sixteen years old. He traveled to a local bank to obtain a loan, on which he had no cosigner, in order to purchase cars in United States General Services Administration (GSA) auctions. The idea of “flipping” these vehicles gave him the cash that he needed at the time.
After leaving the idea of car flipping in the dust, Jason got married right out of high school and purchased two real estate properties at a very low cost. He fixed them up entirely by himself, teaching himself carpentry from rented videos from the public library and using some knowledge he obtained from his father. Robbins continued purchasing and fixing up houses with different sources of funding. Little did he know that this would be the beginning of something that is still a very prominent aspect in his present life.
Mr. Robbins then went into business with his father and brother; a business dealing with the removal of pallets in the local area. The three were very excited about this endeavor because as Jason commented “the pallet industry is real big”. Presently, this business is not Jason’s main focus, though he still cares about the wellbeing of the company; he has many other things to focus on.
About nine years ago, Jason started conducting a business-to-business type of entrepreneurial activity that is his biggest focus today (in Robbins Resource Management). Mr. Robbins purchased a specific sort of pallet from someone down south just to resell to a man in Iowa. This was a completely legal exchange that made Jason money. He knew that he was on to something here. Robbins began “working the phones and emails” trying to find people with a surplus of pallets or those who needed them. He was basically acting as a broker; bringing buyers and sellers together and only taking title to the goods while in transit from seller to buyer.
This led to the opening of Robbins Resource Management, an S corporation located near the heart of downtown Monmouth. This company partners with “thousands of companies nationwide to facilitate their pallet and lumber needs”, per the company website. This has been another big success for Jason, providing him with a good steady income to support himself and his family.
Going back to the real estate, Jason presently owns 57 properties around the area. Jason still continues to purchase fixer-uppers that he can sell when cleaned up. Many of these properties are on contract, where buyers are virtually renting to own. In my eyes, I believe this helps property values of many different houses in various towns. This gives a reasonably priced, well-constructed home that lower-income buyers potentially could not arrange to live in otherwise.
Mr. Robbins said a few things during his lecture that really stood out to me, the first being that he hasn’t worked for anyone since he was sixteen. I found that astonishing. How can one be this successful of an entrepreneur and not have worked for anyone since his youth? That is very impressive and something to be proud of. Another quote of Jason I found important is that he “was looking to build wealth, not cash flow”. He spoke on how his goal was to create wealth for himself and his family. He did this through his many entrepreneurial endeavors. This leads to a quote he said towards the end of the lecture. “By working hard and creating wealth, I am buying freedom”. Jason and his family travel a lot, leaving his company in the hands of his brother from time to time. I had never even thought of wealth in the form of freedom, and Jason provided myself and the class with this important insight.
Having Jason Robbins speak in front of our class was extremely beneficial as well as enjoyable. Mr. Robbins displayed for us that it is possible to successfully be your own boss. He is the perfect example of what a small-town boy with a dream for his family can turn into. Thank you Mr. Robbins for speaking to our class!
Kappa Kappa Gamma
Business Administration ’17