Aug 15, 2017
Randy Gerber is an original EO member of the Columbus chapter. On today’s episode, he shares his story of breaking off the traditional path and discovering what he really wanted to do. He talks about starting Gerber LLC, and some of the challenges and triumphs they faced as they rebranded to support first-generation entrepreneurs with financial planning.
[:35] Randy grew up in sort of a “traditional” background, thinking he would get an engineering degree and then get a job in the work force, because that is what he was already surrounded by. He went to Ohio State for engineering, and joined a fraternity and learned two things: 1. Many of his friends’ parents owned businesses and 2. He had some natural raw leadership skills.
[4:42] During his sophomore year, he realized that he didn’t want to be an engineer. He got a job as an intern at a financial planning company, and decided that was the path he was going to pursue.
[6:50] He started his business in late 1990, and watching the stock market of the late ’90s into 2000, he was able to notice who he wanted to work for — business owners. First generation entrepreneurs have an innovative, optimistic outlook on things, and by 2010 their book of business was nearly all first-generation entrepreneurs.
[9:35] Throughout this time Randy also got married and started his family. In addition to the changes in his business and his family, Gerber got sued in 2006. The timing was pretty unfortunate, but they were able to settle the lawsuit for significantly less than they were sued. The positive by-product that came out of the whole ordeal was that it caused Randy to reevaluate all their business processes to make sure they were doing everything the right way.
[13:53] Randy was already a part of EO during this time (joined in 1999), and his forum was a terrific support system for him through the lawsuit.
[15:08] Randy talks about some of the other highs and lows of the companies. In 2010 they officially decided to rebrand for first generation entrepreneurs, which was one of the biggest highs.
[16:45] Looking forward, Randy and his wife are going to be in a movie coming out next year. They have also launched an emerging entrepreneur product (for $300k - $1 million in sales), which is designed to help that entrepreneur make the right decision at the right time. It is a year-long program with nine sessions. Hopefully this piece can be scaled to other entrepreneurial marketplaces.
[22:30] For the Columbus chapter of EO, the accelerator program is the next big thing — hopefully in the next three years. This would be a great way to feed the energy in Columbus!
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