Bob Adams

Bob Adams

Hi there! I’m Bob Adams. I’m a Harvard MBA serial entrepreneur. I’ve started over a dozen businesses including BusinessTown, the go-to learning platform for starting and running a business. I’ve authored or co-authored 17 books on business. I’ve also created 52 online courses for entrepreneurs which you can stream on BusinessTown.

I am so excited that you are considering starting (or perhaps already have started) your own business! For me starting and building my own businesses has been incredibly awesome!

I’ve made a lot of money, created cool products, delivered valuable services, provided employment for others, built some great companies and had one heck of a lot of fun and fulfillment along the way!

I started with nothing. Nobody handed me money or an existing business. Yes, I did get a Harvard MBA – but many of my businesses I started before I ever set foot in a business school classroom.

Most of my businesses I started in my home on a very small budget. I have shown repeatedly that you can start your business small and grow it into a highly profitable enterprise.

When I was 19 and on summer vacation from Carleton College, I started my first business with just $1,000, Bob’s Rent-A-Bike. I had little money, no experience and of course no business plan. In short, I had no idea what I was doing.

My father was appalled. Don’t do it! – he said. It won’t work! Get a real job.

To be honest I was scared the business would fail and I would look like an idiot. But I went ahead and started it anyway. Bob’s Rent-A-Bike quickly went from startup to being a successful business. And I’ve been starting and running my own businesses ever since then.

The flyers for my first business were rather crude – but they worked!

Another summer I started a house painting business, College Painters. The closest thing I had to experience was that I had painted some model trains and once I even painted an old row boat.

I started this business with virtually no money. I even had the first customer advance us cash so that I could buy paint and brushes.

This is a great example of how easy it can be to start your own business, especially if you start with a good business idea. I made profits from the very first painting job even with no experience.

A few years later I decided to start a book publishing company, Adams Media. Again, starting small was a given because I only had $1500 to invest and I was still a full time student. Like most of my other businesses I had no prior related experience.

I started Adams Media with $1,500 and sold it for $40 million.

My first book was a guide to local companies for job hunters called, The Boston Job Bank. Using all my low cost marketing ideas, I quickly turned this book into a #1 local bestseller.

I went on to publish many more books, growing Adams Media into one of the largest independent publishers in the US, before selling it for $40 million.

Once I was in your shoes, not sure what to do or how to get started.

But eventually through years of struggle, and trial and error, I discovered what worked in business and what did not work.

Fortunately you will not have to struggle through years of trial and error. That’s because on BusinessTown you can learn from myself and other experts what works in business and what doesn’t. We will give you the recipe for business success.

We will show you the same proven strategies that we have used to create one successful business after the next. You won’t have to guess what to do. You will be able to avoid the common and costly mistakes made by new entrepreneurs.

You don’t have to be a genius, a tech wizard or a business school graduate to succeed in business. You don’t need any business background at all. But success is going to come a lot easier if you first learn the important business fundamentals and keys to success. These are presented in the online courses at BusinessTown.

BusinessTown offers over 130 short courses for entrepreneurs. Our most popular courses include Start-a-Business 101, How to Create a Business Plan and How to Find a Business Idea. You can try BusinessTown for free.

Then like me, after you get your business up and running, you can enjoy the entrepreneurial lifestyle. It’s not just a wild crazy dream – you can do it. Here’s how my lifestyle changed since I’ve become an entrepreneur.

I control my own schedule. I get plenty of time for family, friends and doing the things that I like.

When I started out I lived in a small basement apartment. Well now I live in a 17 room classic brick manor home complete with a movie theater room, a complete gym, a home office, a wine cellar, my model train room, multiple garages, extensive gardens, a coy pond and a tennis court.

Being an entrepreneur means I work when and where I want including from one of my vacation homes on Cape Cod and the island of Nantucket. I also get to travel the world frequently and meet fascinating people.

Being my own boss means I have a lot of time to have fun and hang out with friends and family. I especially enjoyed being able to coach my kids in soccer in the middle of the afternoon during the week.

Everyone needs a hobby! I’m a little crazy about my model trains! They completely occupy one of the largest rooms in my house. I have 8 scale miles of track complete with scenery such as mountains, cities and harbors. I can operate up to 10 trains at once.

The best thing about being an entrepreneur is not the money, the big houses, the luxury cars or the fancy vacations. The best part is being able to do work that you truly love!

To actually get paid to do work that you really enjoy doing – it’s very cool! It’s also neat to be your own boss. To be in charge of your own destiny. To be the star of your own show!

I’m always learning new things. Being creative. And meeting interesting new people.

I love being an entrepreneur – and I think you will too!


I love my work! I’m always learning new things and meeting really interesting people.


Businesses that I Started Myself

1. Online courses – BusinessTown
2. Book publishing – Adams Media*
3. Business software – Adams New Media*
4. Online job platform –*
5. Magazine publishing – Careers Group*
6. Job fairs – Premier Job Fairs*
7. Job listing publication – JobBank*
8. House painting – College Painters
9. Tourist maps – Nantucket & Cape Cod Maps*
10. Classified advertiser – St. Paul Greensheet*
11. Bicycle rentals – Bob’s Rent-A-Bike
12. College newspaper -Spectrum
13. Used boat sales – Bobby’s Boat Yard
14. College directory – for Simmons College
15. Employment Agency
16. Rowboat building
17. Handyperson service

*Denotes businesses that I sold. Most of these businesses I started with less than $2,000 including Adams Media Corporation that I sold for $40 million. Many of these businesses I started from my home and part time.

To learn about the strategies I used to succeed in my businesses check out my courses including Start-a-Business 101, How to Create a Business Plan and How to Find a Business Idea. You can start streaming these courses and all the other courses on BusinessTown for free.