No Lambos in the driveway. No Chopards or Rolexes peeking out from French cuffs. Not a single Balenciaga shoe in sight. To marketers accustomed to the blinding flash of “new money” bling that frames many high-ticket mastermind groups, it just seemed so… real.
Passing through the hidden entrance and down the steps from the lakehouse’s family room to the Backroom, Justin noticed the difference. Sitting around the table, sipping ice-cold Zevia, he found t-shirt and shorts-clad entrepreneurs just like him. Sure, several owned brands making eight figures a year. But instead of an e-comm-centered pissing contest, what he found was support, mentorship, friendship - even some new surfing buddies.
“Your net worth reflects your network,” an early mentor’s advice came to mind. Justin Ray, co-owner of RoamUSA, now had a new appreciation for what that really means.
Business in His Blood
Growing up the child of real estate investors, Justin never had his sights set on getting a college education. Instead, he dabbled in different businesses and ended up giving real estate a try. But there was no passion there. His trajectory changed when he spoke to a friend who worked in digital marketing.
They opened his eyes to the possibility of building a business online. This carried a strong appeal to him right away. He liked that he could do it from anywhere. He also felt an attraction to developing brands for physical products online. In 2015, Justin joined with a business partner to form Roam. Roam is an e-commerce business geared towards selling accessories for motorcycles.
They were both relatively new to the business world, at 20 and 18 years old respectively. But they had immediate success with their debut product. Over time, as they developed more products and services, the brand grew until the company was no longer just about selling inventory. It morphed into an adventure lifestyle company. Moreover, they developed a system to get reviews (like, a landslide of them!) from their utterly delighted customers.
Roam the Marketplace
For Justin and Roam’s co-founder Jeremiah, there was always a draw to travel and the excitement that comes along with it. Visiting new places and meeting new people brought a level of excitement to them that they wanted in their brand. For Justin, a great deal of inspiration came from the freedom and peace he felt whenever he was out riding his motorcycle.
Roam’s target audience is an adventuresome crowd, typically between 24 and 35 years old. Their customers draw inspiration from exploring new terrains, always looking to see what else is waiting out there. Product offerings revolve around the type of outdoor gear a person could use for hiking or for traveling in general.
Justin’s partner, Jeremiah was only 21 when he had his $4M exit.
Adventures in Connection
Tracing Roam’s trajectory, Justin fully appreciates the role his eagerness to connect with people has played. The brand started when he connected with Jeremy, who knew about e-commerce and wanted to partner with him. Some entrepreneurial partners begin as friends. Some business partners become friends along the way. That’s how it is for them.
That openness to connecting with the other humans playing a role in his business took Justin to China a while back. There, he met with his biggest manufacturer face-to-face, with the help of a liaison who could translate. Not only did he build a stronger relationship with this supplier. Their discussions allowed him to get a significant price cut and better payment terms as well.
Roam connects with its customers via social media groups. Fans can share images and videos of themselves using Roam’s products. This helps Justin and his team better understand their target audience. For the customers, there is a sense of excitement when the company answers their messages personally, further bonding them to their favorite brand.
Words of Wisdom
For anyone in business, but especially people just getting started, Justin had one key piece of advice. “This may sound cliche. But my advice would be not to treat failure as failure, but instead, as a learning experience. The more you fail, the more you truly learn. Some people start that process earlier than others.”
Most important, he added, is enjoying the journey while you figure it out. If you continue trying new things and seeking out the business that clicks for you, once it all lines up, you will know the time is right. It might not be the first business you try, or the second, or even the third. The key is to make sure you do not stop trying until you find it.
One book Justin considers a must-read is Rich Dad Poor Dad. It offers a perspective on creating wealth, but not just for the sake of having money. Another worthwhile resource is Titan, a biography about John D. Rockefeller that looks at his leadership style and his habit of dreaming big, despite lacking resources at first.
What Epic Exploits Lie Ahead for Justin Ray & Jeremiah Klingman?
Justin and Jeremiah are hoping to double, then triple the size of the company within the next few years. Then it may be time to move on to their next challenge. What else would you expect from an entrepreneur with a brand devoted to facing the unknown with a sense of adventure?
The next big adventure awaits you as well if you are willing to take the chance. If Justin Ray and his story show us anything, it is the value of connecting with people on a similar quest. Sounds like he’s in the right place.