Momentum Education’s Executive Director Robinson Lynn would never have imagined that 11yrs after the passing of his mom, the groundwork she had laid out would prepare him to become interim Executive Director and help so many people globally deal with traumatic situations. By age 25, Robinson Lynn had assumed leadership of a Manhattan training and development company, acquired a second location for it, doubled its client base, and reinvigorated its philanthropic activities. Today, he is Executive Director of Momentum Education, providing experiential learning and life coaching with a focus on leadership development for thousands of individual and organizational clients in multiple different US markets and internationally. Momentum currently has a graduate base of 30,000+ and growing with offices in NYC, DC, Seattle and Los Angeles. Momentum Education, under Robinson’s direction, has also focused on providing millions of meals to people domestically experiencing hunger, while supporting its clients and graduates in reuniting relationships, and raising millions for charities and nonprofits.
Robinson and his team have been sharing and implementing virtually a few simple practices that will create an experience of stability and direction due to the challenges brought on by the spread of COVID-19.
We had a chance to interview Robinson and asked about his story, how he started his business and the future of Momentum Education.
Tell us your story. Why did you start your business?
In many ways, I became a speaker, trainer/facilitator, and business owner from following the direct example of my mother, Robin Lynn. Through observing my mother’s choices, I was able to see how much of a difference one person could make. She was an international facilitator and spoke all over the world from Russia to Spain to Canada and throughout the United States. She relocated our family to Cape Town South Africa to support the healing of the country after the end of the apartheid system.
Eventually, my mother grew weary of the amount of travel she was doing for her work, although still in love with the content and impact of her work. That is when she decided to start Momentum Education in 2003, as a way of bringing the workshops she had delivered internationally without having to leave her home base of New York City. I became the Executive Director of Momentum Education at 22. My mother had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer on a Wednesday, that Thursday we received a second opinion, and on Friday I went to work.
At that point, I was a few months from having graduated College, with little to no applicable professional experience. Unfortunately, she passed away a few months later. I have now been a business owner and CEO for over 10 years and one-third of my life. I am proud to say that for the first four years as a business owner, I doubled our clients each year from the previous year.
We currently do about five times as much business in a year that we did in my first year. Ironically, we have expanded to providing workshops outside of New York city domestically and internationally. During this time, I have learned a lot, while also making a ton of mistakes, but I am incredibly proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish and the team of people I get to partner with.
How did you come up with your business name?
That is a great question. We have tens of thousands of graduates who have gone through our programming, but very few know where the name Momentum Education comes from. The name comes from a coaching client who had worked with my mother.
About 18 years ago, she reached out in an email saying she was requesting coaching to get the momentum back in life. That terminology inspired not just the name of the company, but also so much of our decision making since then has centered around giving individuals the momentum they need to accomplish and achieve their heartfelt goals.
Tell us about your products and services. How do you help clients?
Primarily Momentum Education provides results-driven coaching, dynamic personal development workshops, highly experiential team building, and professional development courses. We empower you to design your greatest self through coaching and continuous learning.
You leave with renewed passion, inspiration, and clarity around what's working, what's not working, and what's next in your personal and professional life. Through our successful experiential learning methods, our clients break through old fears and procrastination; discover how to create the world they want to live in and implement new methods to fulfill their goals and dreams.
Our signature course is our 90-Day Leadership program where our clients receive a personal coach and are a part of a team of people who are looking to accomplish specific and tangible goals and results within their families, relationships, careers, finances, and community. We don’t tell our clients what goals to have but we excel in giving them the tools to achieve the goals that matter to them.
What makes you unique? What is your unique selling proposition (USP)?
I think there are a lot of aspects that make us unique, from how hands-on our courses are, to how diverse and experienced our coaches and trainers are. Overall, though, I think the two biggest things that make us unique, is our community of graduates and our curriculum.
At this point, we have tens of thousands of alumni who have gone through our curriculum and continue to stay involved, network, and mentor others within our community. I believe the curriculum of Momentum is extraordinary, but the leaders and individuals who make up our community; is something I am inspired by on a daily basis. These are people who want to make the world a better and more equitable place. I also think the most unique thing about what we offer is that it’s not just courses to accomplish tangible results (even though those goals are important).
I believe the tools and mindsets we provide people with, create before and after moments in their lives. We support people in living fully expressed lives, authentically, and joyfully. I’m personally so proud of the clients we support who take dreams and items off their bucket list and get to experience and accomplish them in real-time.
Where do you see your business in the next 3-5 years?
For the first 16 years of Momentum’s business, we specialized in producing in-person gatherings for our workshop experiences. As we’ve had to adapt in 2020 we’ve been able to explore how powerful, intimate, and valuable virtual and digital workshops and gatherings can be. This has led to us expanding what we’ve thought our traditional impact can be by removing the barrier that can exist when dependent on physical proximity. During the past few months, we’ve had workshops take place that have featured people from several different continents and countries participating at the same time and creating an inclusive and memorable experience.
In the next 3-5 years, I see our ability to impact people virtually with the same level of value created to continue to grow. Also, our biggest expansion in the past few years has been through our professional development for businesses, nonprofits, and educational institutions. I believe this area of our business will only continue to grow as organizations realize the increased value that is directly correlated to continuous development and investment in their employees and staff.
Any advice you would give to entrepreneurs and business owners?
I think it is key for business owners and entrepreneurs to identify what are the key things for their business that can only be done by them given their role and/or skill set. Once you have identified those specific duties, make sure you have the time and energy to fulfill them rather than doing things that are not vital to your role.
For all other tasks, I recommend trying to find people who can do those duties better than you can, just as good, or even in some cases a little worse as long as it frees you up to be the leader that is needed by your team and business. I also believe it is very important to be clear on your “why” that is motivating you and driving you to move forward. Maybe your “why” is to be the type of employer you’d like to be, or maybe it’s wholeheartedly believing in your product, or it’s connecting to the legacy you’re leaving behind.
But if your why is not big enough to inspire you I think it will be too easy to be discouraged and give up when facing the challenges that all CEOs and entrepreneurs go through. The easy things for the most part don’t get brought to the CEO or business owner, so my invitation is to know that upfront and have a “why” so powerful you don’t get deterred with the challenges that are on their way to you.
What is your favorite business quote and why?
“The most important aspect of any business goes home when the workday is over.” That quote to me means the people who work at a company are the most important aspect.
That regardless of your product, every business is a people business because the company’s vision relies on the people and employees to carry out and succeed in that vision. How you treat your employees, and team, and invest in them not just financially but as complete people will say a lot about your company's impact and ability for sustainable success and growth.
What have been some of your achievements that you are most proud of? Why?
Besides being proud to have been a business owner for the past 10 years, and proud of the people I get to work with and learn from on a daily basis, I’m most proud of how Momentum’s Leadership curriculum has given thousands of people per year additional tools to not just dream but to bring the life they dream about to fruition.
Over my time as Director people who have participated in our workshops have collectively raised over 16,000 million dollars for charity and nonprofits. We’ve raised enough money in partnership with Feeding America to provide meals for over 10 million people. We’ve also inspired many people to go after dream jobs or new businesses with over 1,500 businesses started by people participating in our curriculum since 2013.
Those are tangible results, but some of the experiences that have most touched my heart can’t quite be measured. I’ve coached people who have forgiven loved ones and reunited relationships, found confidence in themselves and become parents, and people who have created dream moments they’ve imagined since childhood.
Anything else additional you want to tell our readers?
This is a challenging time, but some of the world's greatest innovations have come from the most challenging circumstances. CEOs and entrepreneurs who are going to be able to adapt quickly, shift/pivot, and learn and figure out the best ways to continue to serve their clients will find ways to soar.
I invite all business owners to look at what it means for them personally and professionally to ride the current tides of change.
I also feel that given the challenges people are experiencing, they will remember the leaders and brands that made a difference for them in a positive fashion in the years to come. If any readers feel like they could use some support in navigating these times and or taking their business to the next level check out www.momentumeducation.com