Not many people can say they quit high school to become a pro skateboarder, left their hometown in Ohio to move to Los Angeles at 16, and became one of the most influential business moguls of their generation 26 years later.
As a matter of fact, only one man can truly say that: Rob Dyrdek.
While his popularity rose with his MTV shows like Rob & Big, then Fantasy Factory, and now Ridiculousness, he’s also been one of the savviest business minds when it comes to branding and scaling his companies.
But even more than that, Dyrdek has been one of the most revolutionary risk takers of our time. At 42 years old, he’s no spring chicken, but he has plenty more years ahead of him to continue to add to his already impressive legacy.
His journey up to this point is something we can all learn from. His fearlessness when it comes to taking risks is inspirational and if his success story isn’t enough to get you fired up and motivated, then you really weren’t sh*t to begin with, bruh.
Rob Dyrdek is one of the most influential skater-turned-moguls ever, creating a lane for himself unlike any other. So how did he do it?
Rob started out as a normal kid in Kettering, Ohio.
At age 11 he began skateboarding when pro skater Neil Blender gave him his first board.
By age 12 he got his first skateboarding sponsorship with the same company that was sponsoring Blender.
A few years later they partnered together to create their own skate brand called Alien Workshop, which still exists today.
By the time he turned 16, he decided to skip his senior year of high school to move to LA and pursue his dream of being a pro skater.
Dyrdek would sign with DC Shoes and with Danny Way take the company to big heights. He also got sponsored by Monster Energy and helped create Silver Trucks.
According to Forbes he said, “When I was 16, I told people I had to treat this career like a business.”
Rob was very business-minded early on, tracking his board sales and knowing exactly how much money he was making.
Around this time he began his entrepreneurship journey trying to start his own hip-hop label and opening a skate shop.
Talking about trying and failing in different businesses Rob said, “I started my first company when I was 18 and learned by trial through fire, having no formal education or entrepreneurial experience.”
In 2003 he started the Rob Dyrdek Foundation and created skateparks in different cities to ensure the safety of riders.
In 2006 he and his best friend Big Black became cultural icons with the hit MTV show Rob & Big.
This would lead to the 2009 MTV series Fantasy Factory where Rob’s full entrepreneurial moves with Dyrdek Enterprise were put on display.
This included a “Hands of God” music studio where his cousin Drama could record.
Dyrdek and his Fantasy Factory even appeared in appeared in games like Skate.
In 2009 Dyrdek produced his own movie Street Dreams, which costed him $1.7 million and made him $18 million.
In 2010 he started Street League Skateboarding with an ESPN contract to boot. This revolutionized competitive skating as he even developed a scoring system now known as ISX.
In 2011 he appeared in Jackass movies and started his third show on MTV called Ridiculousness where he brings guests to watch brazy clips from around the internet.
By 2013 his other properties included a Nickelodeon animated series called Wild Grinders, Loud Mouth Burritos, the streetwear brand DTA Posse with Travis Barker, just to name a few.
Dyrdek even has his own TAG Body Spray called Make Moves. Fitting.
The number of projects and businesses Rob is involved with today is exponentially growing.
He also may currently be one of the flyest dads of all time.
The kid from Ohio even started his own venture studio Dyrdek Machine, where he works with young entrepreneurs and invests in their ideas.
Rob Dyrdek is now in a position to take over the world. But it all started with his relentless work ethic and the risks he took.