The Story of Devin Robinson
Devin Robinson (known to many as Professor Devin) is a business and economics professor and author of eight self-help books. His latest book is “Power M.O.V.E.: How to Become a Successful Entrepreneur.”
He was born and raised in St. Thomas, United States Virgin Islands. He served two terms in the U.S. Army before leaving in 1998 to become a network engineer at MCI WorldCom. While there, the company went through the largest accounting scandal in U.S. History (topping $9 billion). After surviving a series of massive lay-offs and the CEO’s (Bernard Ebbers) conviction and incarceration, Devin decided to resign from his position in 2004 (sparing a junior co-worker’s job) to endeavor on a full-time career as an entrepreneur vowing to do everything right that his former employer did wrong.
He would be the first to admit that his transition to employer was severely rocky, without having the mentorship or conditioning, from childhood, of entrepreneurship. Once he figured out the inner workings of what it takes to be successful in business, he began expanding his operations and made another vow to teach others how to avoid similar mistakes he made that cost him time and tons of money. He affirms that “Too many aspiring entrepreneurs are focused on making money instead of building businesses. This causes them to never create generational businesses.”
In 2012, Professor Devin founded Urban Business Institute to assist urban entrepreneurs develop their ideas or improve their businesses through the company’s SMART Business Academy. In 2014 the academy received a grant from the Obama’s Administration Federal Economic Development Agency to train small business owners in disaster areas. The academy has since trained thousands of student entrepreneurs and is now available in 14 cities across the United States and Caribbean.
To date, Professor Devin has opened over 125 black-owned storefronts and has generated over $15 Million in revenues for urban communities. He continues to serve as the CEO and Program Director of Beauty Supply Institute (www.BeautySupplyInstitute.com) and Urban Business Institute (www.UrbanBusinessInstitute.com). For 6 years he taught over 100 students every semester in his business & economics courses as an adjunct professor. He is a former entrepreneurial columnist for billionaire Bob Johnson’s website www.OppsPlace.com and a former 7-year columnist for Pulitzer prize-winning Daily News newspaper. He holds a Bachelors in Business Management, Masters in Business Administration but decided to abandon his PhD studies with a few classes left.
Professor Devin’s communications skills have made him a sought after speaker, consultant and trainer on business and community development. His largest accomplishments began after a less than favorable experience in 2005 while shopping at a beauty supply store for his salon and barbershop, caused him to open his own beauty supply store. Once he was able to get pass industry obstacles and understand the dynamics of this business, he opened two other locations in Atlanta, Georgia over the next 12 months, where he forced 2 competing stores to close their doors. His store motto and success secret? “Treating You with the Respect You Deserve.”
After realizing his sweat equity was larger than the community his stores were serving, in late 2007, he decided to sell his barbershop and salon and in 2008 his retail chain to (on a full-time basis) help other aspiring owners get into the beauty business. By the end 2008, he founded Taking it Back University, an institute that educates aspiring entrepreneurs on how to successfully open beauty supply stores, avoid industry pitfalls and losing money while doing it.
Professor Devin appeared in the “Black Hair” documentary as a store owner in March 2007, which led to him writing the book “Taking it Back: How to Become a Successful Black Beauty Supply Store Owner” in November 2007 selling over 25,000 copies independently. He has appeared in many publications, including Ebony magazine, TV One’s News One, Black Enterprise and the NY Times newspaper. He was also a recurring SME on the formerly nationally syndicated “Michael Baisden Radio Show” where he shared tips on business with the show’s 6,000,000 listeners.
In 2010, Taking it Back University rebranded into Beauty Supply Institute, which lead to it expanding into international countries. Later that year in 2010, the company held its first Beauty Supply Entrepreneurship Conference in four different cities attracting attendees from across the United States. Now, every year the conference has a Winter date in rotating locations and a Summer Conference in Atlanta, Georgia. Under Professor Devin’s leadership, Beauty Supply Institute trains thousands of entrepreneurs annually in the United States, the Caribbean, Africa, London, Switzerland, Canada and The Netherlands. Beauty Supply Institute has become the #1 resource for the beauty retailing industry entrepreneurs’. Beauty Supply Institute received the 2013 Best of Atlanta Businesses award by the Atlanta Tribune.
Professor Devin understands business well and understands the anxiety of individuals wanting to quit their jobs. Today, he continues to teach the general public on the fundamentals of entrepreneurship using the Power M.O.V.E. Principles teachings from his latest book.
He has 3 rules in business:
Rule #1: Invest the money in yourself, your business and your idea.
Rule #2: Grind.
Rule #3: No one owes you anything.
If you expect to go into business and last, the last thing you want are hand-outs or “free”. Get used to putting the time, money and energy into your own business. You will see how much better you flourish.
Professor Devin resides in Atlanta, GA.