As of December 2009, Rob was in his third year at Ohio State. With Aileron’s help, he is confident he will reach his goals. He says that’s because he can now see the steps he’ll need to take to get there.
“The struggle for me was that I didn’t have those steps laid out. Now I do. I’m getting daily and weekly metrics. I’m holding quarterly board meetings. And I have great people behind me, including the people at Aileron.”
“I’ve always had this idea that there’s this elusive group of top-notch professionals out there who seem to run in the same circle. It’s a tight circle, and it’s way up there—and it seems unattainable. What I think I’ve found is that the gateway to that circle is Aileron.”
For Rob, the big takeaway from the Aileron experience is how important it is to have a vision—one you can believe in and develop. If those pieces are in place, you’ll be open to any advice you might get that can carry you closer to your goal. He describes the tone at Aileron in these terms: “Hey, we’ve done it before—you can do it, too.”
Rob is often called on to share his story, to talk about what he’s learned along the way, and how he’s grown the family business.
“I always include Aileron because it’s such a significant part,” he says.
“It’s allowed me to take my company from paying for growth to getting paid for growth. Since I established our board of directors, we’ve gone from losing money to breaking even to making money—to the tune of a 600-percent swing from the down to the up. There is no stronger testament to the power of an outside board of directors, certainly in our case, than the revenue that has been generated for the company and the company’s shareholders.”
He talks about how the company used to operate from a looking-back perspective. Once his board was in place, the perspective shifted. The question became, “What are we going to do this month?” More recently, another shift has taken place. Through the Aileron strategic planning course, the company is making plans for the next 12 months.
It’s made Rob think about his own future, far into the future, when it will be his turn to hand over the company reins. At the time of this writing, he was the only family member actively engaged in Rexarc.
“I don’t think it will be hard for me to step aside when the time comes,” Rob says.
“That’s why I have a specific long-term goal, one that will allow me to give up those reins. I figure if I take the company from $3.5 million to $100 million, that’s a good run. That will be enough for me to do the kind of giving that I want to do.”
“At the same time, I’ll be ready to pass the company on to someone else and let them have the opportunity. There are a number of exit strategies, and we’ll explore those when we see that time coming.”
“But that’s down the road. Hey, I’m only 26!”