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Empire Building With Serial Entrepreneur (And Pro Skateboarder) Rob Dyrdek


In an interview for Hawketalk with Hawke Media’s CEO Erik Huberman, pro skateboarder and serial entrepreneur Rob Dyrdek shared that he feels like he came right out of the womb ready to create. The founder and CEO of Dyrdek Machine, a full-service venture studio, and author of “The Machine Mindset,” Dyrdek attributes his intense creativity to his father’s incredible positivity, his mother’s sense of self-protection borne of a religious background, and a string of early successes. 

An athlete and artist from an early age, Dyrdek picked up a skateboard at age 11, influenced by his older sister’s boyfriend, and immediately developed skills. He then connected with the 19-year-old entrepreneurial owner of his local skate shop, developed a friendship, earned a sponsorship and never looked back. 

“It was a moment in time that could have gone either way,” Dyrdek recalls. “It became a lifelong trait that carried into my businesses today, of going straight to the person who makes the deal, no matter what business I’m in.” 

Dyrdek credits his early success in so many fields — combined with his father’s “deeply optimistic mindset” and the mentorship he received from the skate-shop owner — as the foundation for the business empire he runs today. “It was this super outlier, unusual path to be presented with at such a young age, that proved to be what shaped me and took me on these two paths of being athlete-entertainer and entrepreneur-business person,” he said. 

Dyrdek will be sharing his story, along with tips for brand building and business success, in his eCommerce Week LA 2021 session, Building a Company: Achieving Ridiculous Goals with Rob Drydek, taking place Thursday, September 30th at 10:00 AM PT. Whether you’re just getting started in business, seeking to enhance your reputation as a serial entrepreneur or looking to adopt new tactics and strategies for greater success, you’ll want to RSVP and tune in

Programmed for Success

By age 16, Dryden was working as pro skateboarder in Ohio, making, he said, anywhere from $60 a month to $800 in a good month. His sponsors offered him a guaranteed $1,000 per month if he moved to California. At age 17, he launched Orion Aluminum, where he managed everything from product development to branding, which then led to designing the first athletic skate footwear brand. 

“Now everything I would start would just work, and in hindsight, it was because I had so much leverage inside a particular market. But at the time I thought I was just this great business person,” he said.  

However, after trying to start a record label and other ventures, he realized part of the key to his success was working in markets he knew. After visiting a renowned hypnotherapist, who helped reprogram his brand for success, as Dyrdek described it, he placed his full-throttle focus back into all things skateboarding. 

Create Your Life by Design

Dyrdek emphasizes that an entrepreneur’s life is a series of interconnected systems, and by designing each system, you can create your best life. “I don’t look at anything separately. I look at what type of life I want to live, and I’ve designed everything around the type of life I want to live. And that includes designing things around what gives me energy.” 

Automated Processes and Creativity 

Another important element to being a successful entrepreneur, Dyrdek said, is to automate as many processes as possible. “A lot of creative people think they can’t live with structure,” he said. “I can be my most creative because I’ve structured so much. I have so much in place that’s automated, it’s not a burden to me. I don’t think about it. That gives me so much more freedom and time to be creative and have a clear and more settled mind to be able to create at a higher level.” 

Among Dyrdek’s more creative ventures was “Rob Dyrdek’s Fantasy Factory,” a reality show that aired for seven seasons on MTV. In brilliant moves of product placement and brand integration, “Fantasy Factory” was a platform to showcase Dyrdek’s life and business endeavors.

“I was just using the platform to integrate all of my products, all of my partnerships,” he said. “I was using the show to launch concept after concept, business after business, and using the platform to transform to more of a business/entrepreneur brand.” 

Building a Brand with a Unique Value Prop

Over his decades of creating successful products and building brands, Dyrdek learned how to create what he called a “unified story core” around the value proposition for the products. “It’s ultimately about creating something with clarity in the value prop about why people would buy it in the first place,” he said in a YouTube segment recorded at Hawkefest 2019. 

Join Rob Dyrdek at eCommerce Week

Whether you’re an aspiring entrepreneur or already run several businesses, Dyrdek’s segment is sure to spark creativity and inspire optimism. Join us at eCommerce Week LA 2021 to hear Dyrdek’s story along with actionable insights for brand building. 

Dawn Allcot is a full-time freelance writer specializing in technology, e-commerce and finance, and is the owner of the boutique content-marketing agency Allcot Media and GeekTravelGuide.net, a travel and entertainment website.


Hawketalk Podcast – Rob Dyrdek – Pro Skateboarder, Entrepreneur, Founder of the Dyrdek Machine

YouTube.com – Hawkefest 2019 w. Rob Dyrdek

MTV.com – Rob Dyrdek’s Fantasy Factory

Special thanks to our friends at HawkeMedia for their insights on this topic.
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