Bob Roitblat, founder of more than a dozen businesses, joins Neva Lee Recla to explore innovative entrepreneurship and winning at business. He has innovated, nurtured, developed and successfully exited more than a dozen businesses. He uses his experience as the CEO of Mainsail Consulting Group combined with his experience as a competitive sailor to draw parallels between building and leading a winning yacht racing team and building and leading a winning business. Listen in as he talks about his super powers and shares his experience in businesses.
Hi kids, this is your Super Power Kid Neva Lee Recla. Today we’re talking about innovative entrepreneurs, winning at a business with Bob Roitblat. So, without further ado, will you help me welcome our very special guest Bob Roitblat. Hi Bob!
Hey there! How are you?
I’m amazing how are you?
I am trying to be as good as you. How’s that for a good thing on a whatever today is, Wednesday?
I like it. I like it.
So, what are your superpowers?
My superpower is coming up with ideas for new businesses.
I like that. I like that. I heard you’ve also founded a dozen different businesses.
Yes, I have, that’s my thrill, that’s my fun, that’s my superpower. I like starting new companies, building them up so they’re successful, selling them off to someone else who likes running businesses instead of just starting them.
I like it. I like it. That’s actually good that you run 12 businesses and I’ve run five now, no six including Super Power Kids.
Well, you know the year is not over yet. You still have time.
Exactly. Exactly. I can always keep going.
So, I thought since we’re both superheroes that we can do a superhero post.
Let’s do it.
Ready? That was fun.
Uh huh. So, what is it like to run 12 different businesses?
Depending on the size of the business, it’s no different than if we set up a lemonade stand. We try to find some challenge that people have, some need people have, and then work really hard to come up with cool ideas in order to fill those needs.
With a lemonade stand, you’ve got people walking by that are thirsty ’cause it’s warm out.
Well, my companies, the customers also have needs and we figure out how to serve those needs wherever they were.
That’s awesome. I like it.
Thank you. Thank you.
So, what is your favorite business that you have run so far?
My favorite was, I created a company to rent computers. Now, this was a long time ago before we all walked around with computers in our pockets known as iPhones, back 30 years ago people didn’t have a lot of computers so if they wanted a computer to do a training class or a special project they would rent one from our company.
It was my idea and it took awhile to get it going but once it got going we were the largest independently owned company of its kind in the country.
That’s awesome. I like it.
Thank you. Thank you.
Let’s think. What is your favorite business event you’ve gone to?
My favorite business event is the National Speakers Association National Conference. It happens typically July every year, speakers from around the world in some city. I get to hang out with my peers, my speaker buddies and talk about the speaking business.
What was your favorite event?
Probably the closest one I’ve gone to, like the one I’ve been going for pretty much forever is CEO Space.
Oh, very nice. Yeah. You go to the one outside of Las Vegas?
It moved to Florida.
Yeah, so I’ve been going there since I was two.
I want to change my answer.
My favorite business event was the New Media Summit where I got to meet you.
I like the New Media Summit as well. That was awesome. Even though all of us icons did work a lot interviewing a bunch of people to see if they were a good fit for our podcast it was totally worth it.
Yeah. How’d you keep track of the 160 different potential guests that you interviewed? How did you keep track?
There was like a bunch of different pieces of paper that had people’s names so we could either put a check mark if I wanted to interview them, or if I didn’t want to interview them and so that definitely helps to keep track.
It was easy for us ’cause you stood out in the crowd. You were the only superpower there and did you have purple hair that day? That first day?
Yeah, I think so. It was a blue-ish, I don’t know. It might have faded out and turned green I don’t remember. I’ve had this color for a while now.
So, how many podcasts did you get on?
Yours is probably my twentieth or so that I’ve ever been on.
Not often New Media Summit.
That’s a lot of podcasts.
Yeah. It’s fun talking to people from all over the world. I get to talk about really one thing, innovation, ideation, coming up with ideas. It’s fun.
I like it. I like it. So, what would you say if kids have any business ideas or they want to be creative in their business but they don’t really know how they can do it? What advice do you have so they can make that into a business and make a living out of it?
The first thing is to figure out what problem you’re solving. Many people come up with ideas for businesses because they think it’s a really cool idea. Unfortunately, most new products, most new services fail ’cause it may be a really cool idea but nobody wants to buy it. So, like the lemonade stand where you know, people are thirsty ’cause it’s hot out, figure out what do people need, what do people want and then fill that need.
That’s the biggest issue. The second issue is to be very patient. Nothing ever happens in the timetable you expect it to. Life goes by so fast and we just have to be patient and know that with a good idea, with a good business plan, things will work out.
Yeah. So, if it’s maybe not the best idea then people might be leaning towards the other lemonade stands.
Yes. Yeah, if you have to say lemon and peanut butter flavored lemonade I’m not sure that’s what people are really asking for.
I think they just might want some lemonade with ice.
There you go. Much better. Filling people’s needs much better. But maybe if we put some mint leaves in there that makes you stand out from the lemonade stand down the street. It’s what makes you unique. You could disrupt the market.
Exactly. So … What mom? Oh. So, I’m actually writing a book and it’s going to be called … My mom and dad and I came up with the idea of calling it When Pigs Fly because pigs are going to fly one day.
Probably in an Uber taxi.
So, I decided when I make my first million dollars I’m going to buy a pet pig and name him Hamlet Recla. He’s going to be a pot belly as well.
To squeal or not to squeal, that is the question.
Yeah. So, my idea is it’s going to be about helping parents or adults even, just to inspire kids to do business. This book, the audience is going to be parents, but like for adults or kids who want to inspire kids to do business.
I think it’s a great idea, ’cause you have a perspective that as adults we probably have lost. I don’t know that we remember what it’s like to be a seven-year-old anymore. So, if you write it from your perspective you can say, “Hey you adults, this is what we need to hear, this is how you need to say it to us so we understand it and we’re motivated to move forward.” I love your idea.
So, is that an example of a winning business?
Yes because what you bring to the table is this unique perspective. So, mom and dad say, “I’d really like to help my kid, I just don’t know how. I’ve forgotten how to be the kid, I don’t remember what it’s like to listen from their perspective” you’ll give them information that they might not even know they need until your book comes out. Once your book comes out they go, “Hey, now wait a minute, this is a cool idea.”
Yeah. Exactly my thinking. I’m also wanting to get in front of a bigger audience which actually is basically coming true because I’m speaking this week in front of 2500 people.
Wow. That’s a great audience.
You know what you’re going to say yet?
Do you know what you’re going to say yet?
We’ve been practicing. We’ve been practicing so I can’t share about all of it yet until it happens but I’m really excited.
Great for you. You’ve set a great example.
Yeah. Thank you. Alright. What do you really like about the National Speakers Association?
It’s people who do the same thing as I do but they don’t do it the same way. So, if I have a challenge with say, a speech in front of 2500 people I could call up several other people and say, “Hey, I have this challenge. What do you think I can do to fix it? What can I do to overcome that challenge?” Whoever I call will gladly take the time to help me out.
Awesome. So, it’s like a collaboration like CEO Space?
Very much so. With CEO Space don’t you get to call other business owners and say, “Hey, I have this challenge. How can I fix it?”
Very similar setup.
Yeah. That’s awesome. So, we’re going to take a quick break. We’ve been talking with Bob Roitblat about creative … Oh no …
We’ve been talking about flying pigs.
Where can people go to find out more about you?
They can go to my website, which is roitblat.com.
I like it. Thank you. So, we’re going to take a quick break. We’ve been talking with Bob Roitblat about innovative entrepreneurship and winning and business.