Two entrepreneurs turned a $10,000 investment into a $600 million company.

The best part?

They did it from their parents basement in just 5 years.

Time for a thread πŸ‘‡πŸ‘‡πŸ‘‡
1) Peter Rahal, raised just outside of Chicago, struggled through school as a kid β€” eventually being diagnosed with dyslexia.

β€œSchool was hell for me, I grew up thinking I was stupid.”

Rahal turned to entrepreneurship β€” routinely buying & selling beanie babies & baseball cards.
2) For Peter Rahal, those baseball cards eventually turned to marijuana β€” which he grew and sold on the flat roof of his parents house during high school.


β€œIt wasn’t a pothead thingβ€”it was a supply issue”

Next up β€” Wittenberg, a small liberal arts college in Ohio.
3) After graduating college, Peter Rahal planned to enter the family business β€” a distributer of fruit and vegetables.

The was just one problem.

He wasn't welcome.

β€œIt was nepotism and politics. There wasn’t a spot, because there’s only so much chairs, and there’s 3 siblings.”
4) Rather than complain and waste time, Peter Rahal decided to start his own business β€” a local gourmet doughnut and coffee shop.

Due to what Rahal calls "bad timing," this business venture would fail before it ever really got started.

His next idea, would be much better.
5) After shutting down his coffee shop, Peter Rahal had an idea β€” what if he made an energy bar from real food that was healthy?

RXBar was born.

Knowing his limitations, Rahal asked his childhood best friend Jared Smith to join.

β€œI knew I wouldn’t be able to do this on my own”
6) In 2012, Peter Rahal and Jared Smith got to work β€” experimenting with recipes in Rahal's family kitchen.

Eventually, Rahal and Smith settled on a combination of egg whites as a protein source and dates as a binding ingredient.

Next up β€” the duo needed manufacturing capital.
7) Shortly after settling on an ingredient list, Peter Rahal approached his dad asking if he knew anyone that would invest to help with manufacturing.

His answer?

"You need to shut the f**k up and sell 1,000 bars"

Rahal says that "set the stage" for their entire brand.
8) After being told to kick rocks by his dad, Peter Rahal & Jared Smith doubled down.

They invested $5,000 each, built a kitchen in the basement, made a logo in powerpoint and started making RXBars.

The funniest part?

β€œMy mom couldn’t put labels on straight, so I fired her.”
9) For the next 2 years, Peter Rahal and Jared Smith worked 16-hour days baking, packaging and labeling thousands of RXBars each day.

When they weren't baking, they were selling β€” typically door-to-door at CrossFit gyms out of a tubeware container.

Even better, it worked…
10) A sales strategy based on Crossfit Gyms proved to be genius β€” as Whole Foods was crowded and no one was going directly to the source.

Within 9 months, Rahal and Smith sold $600,000 worth.

How'd they do it?

"Hustling" with "a diet of protein bars, coffee, and ibuprofen.”
11) After seeing initial success, Peter Rahal and Jared Smith doubled down β€” setting up a commercial kitchen and scaling production.

Sales continued to growβ€”up to $2Mβ€”by utilizing e-commerce channels like Amazon.

Next up β€” retail, which meant embracing radical transparency.
12) In an attempt to attract retailers, Rahal and Smith decided to ditch their powerpoint logo β€” which had Rahal's cell-phone # on it.

Instead, they went with a clear & transparent logo β€” which had never been done before.

The results?

Sales exploded from $2M to $160M in 3-yrs.
13) With sales exploding to $160M in 2017, Peter Rahal & Jared Smith started looking for a strategic partner.

Later that year, Kellogg's agreed to acquire the brand for $600 million.

The best part?

Since they bootstrapped it, Rahal & Smith made hundreds of millions each.
14) After overcoming dyslexia, bootstrapping a business to a $600M exit, and changing the food industry in the process, what does Peter Rahal credit his success to?


β€œI’ve seen people who haven’t had any adversity in their life, and they’re soft as baby shit.”
15) Peter Rahal and Jared Smith's entrepreneurship journey leaves us with a few lessons:

1. Nothing beats hard work
2. No risk, no reward
3. Own equity
4. Build products people want
5. Don't give up

Ultimately, there's nothing better than a great entrepreneurship story.
If you enjoyed this thread, you should:

1. Follow me, I tweet cool sports business stories everyday.

2. Subscribe to my free daily newsletter where I give detailed analysis on topics involving the money and business behind sports.
Also, don't forget @AthleticBrewing is the reason I'm able to create sports business content full-time.

If you want to support me, buy some beer - it's really great stuff.

Use code "JOE25" for 25% off at

β€’ β€’ β€’

Missing some Tweet in this thread? You can try to force a refresh

Keep Current with Joe Pompliano

Joe Pompliano Profile picture

Stay in touch and get notified when new unrolls are available from this author!

Read all threads

This Thread may be Removed Anytime!


Twitter may remove this content at anytime! Save it as PDF for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video
  1. Follow @ThreadReaderApp to mention us!

  2. From a Twitter thread mention us with a keyword "unroll"
@threadreaderapp unroll

Practice here first or read more on our help page!

More from @JoePompliano

21 Nov
Since relaunching their basketball division in 2018, PUMA has rejuvenated their brand β€” now doing almost $6 billion in annual sales.

The part you didnt know?

Without Rihanna, Jay-Z, and a private plane, it would have never happened.

Time for a thread πŸ‘‡πŸ‘‡πŸ‘‡ Image
1) First, let's set the stage...

Before Nike showed up, PUMA was a top brand β€” from Walt Frazier to Vince Carter, PUMA represented some of the NBA's top players.

The only problem?

They couldn't turn a profit so they shut down the division β€” enabling Nike & Adidas to take over. Image
2) Since PUMA left basketball in 2000, Nike has put a stranglehold on the market.

Even with top players like Stephen Curry and James Harden repping other brands, you'll still find about 70% of NBA players wearing Nike shoes β€” a figure that doesn't even include the Jordan Brand.
Read 15 tweets
19 Nov
With more than $7 billion in annual sales, Gatorade has become an iconic part of sports history β€” earning the University of Florida about $300M in royalties.

The craziest part?

They should have made $1 billion more.

Time for a thread πŸ‘‡πŸ‘‡πŸ‘‡
1) Let's start in the summer of 1965 β€” Florida Gators head coach Ray Graves notices that the brutal Florida heat & humidity is having an adverse impact on his players performance.

Who does he turn to for help?


Graves heads to the schools laboratory to get answers…
2) Head coach Ray Graves enlisted the help of four UF scientists, including Robert Cade β€” the school's kidney disease specialist.

The scientists attended practice & games, interviewed athletes and measured their hydration through urine samples.

Next up β€” analyzing the results.
Read 18 tweets
17 Nov
Kim Ng has been named General Manager of the Miami Marlins, becoming the first female GM in MLB history.

From intern to GM, and an abundance of challenges in between, her journey to baseball's mountaintop is incredible.

Time for a thread πŸ‘‡πŸ‘‡πŸ‘‡
1) Let's start in 1990 β€” Kim Ng has just graduated from the University of Chicago, where she played softball for 4 years.

As a 21-year old graduate looking to pursue her passion for sports, Kim Ng landed an interview with the @whitesox.

The kicker?

It was for an internship...
2) Looking back on Kim Ng's interview with the @whitesox, former assistant GM Dan Evans calls it a day he'll "never forget."


Because they interviewed 100 people, received glowing recommendations from Ng's peers, and unanimously agreed she was the right person for the job.
Read 14 tweets
14 Nov
Hollywood stars Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney are teaming up to buy Wrexham AFC, a 156-year old Welch soccer club.

The craziest part?

They're doing it for a documentary.

Time for a thread πŸ‘‡πŸ‘‡πŸ‘‡
1) First, let's set the stage.

From John Henry with Liverpool to Stan Kroenke at Arsenal, and a bunch of mid-level teams in between, European soccer has seen a massive influx of cash from American investors over the last two decades.


Opportunity, of course.
2) The opportunity revolves around a few things:

β€” Compared to US professional sports leagues, broadcast rights have a lot of room to grow.

β€” With a promotion & relegation structure, there's increased financial upside.

β€” US sports teams are attractive, but rarely change hands.
Read 14 tweets
13 Nov
Michael Jordan played an essential role in Nike becoming a $160 billion global brand, taking home more than a billion himself.

The part you didn't know?

Without Tinker Hatfield, it would've never happened.

Time for a thread πŸ‘‡πŸ‘‡πŸ‘‡
1) Let's start in 1981 β€” Tinker Hatfield, an Oregon athlete under Bill Bowerman, graduates with a degree in architecture and heads to Nike.

For the first four years of his career, Hatfield designed office buildings and retail stores for Nike.

But everything changed in 1985...
2) In 1985, Nike was struggling β€” Reebok was selling more shoes, while Nike was firing employees and saw their stock drop 50%.

Looking for a solution, Nike held a 24-hour design competition.

The winner?

Tinker Hatfield β€” who joined the design team after begging to participate.
Read 18 tweets
12 Nov
The 84th Masters Tournament tees off at Augusta National Golf Club tomorrow.

From Magnolia Lane to Presidential Cabins, the Masters is full of unique history that makes it "a tradition unlike any other."

Here are 10 of my favorite examples.

Time for a thread πŸ‘‡πŸ‘‡πŸ‘‡
1) Upon entering Augusta National, you're greeted by one of the most iconic driveways in the world β€” Magnolia Lane.

From the entrance gate to the clubhouse, Magnolia Lane is lined with 330-yards of pristine magnolia trees.

How much do players love it?

Tiger Woods made his own.
2) Situated atop the clubhouse is "The Crow's Nest" β€” a 30-by-40-foot living quarters for up to 5 amateurs during the Masters.

Previous Guests
β€” Tiger Woods
β€” Jack Nicklaus
β€” Phil Mickelson

With so much history, amateurs jump at the opportunity to stay in The Crow's Nest.
Read 13 tweets

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just two indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3/month or $30/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!

Follow Us on Twitter!