How Robert Jordan Went From Truck Driver To Entrepreneur

Robert Jordan went from the restaurant business to electrical work to trucker-turned-entrepreneur. Spending long hours on the road allowed him to think of new inventions to help make his job better.

Credit Photo courtesy of Robert Jordan Robert Jordan spent 20 years as a trucker, driving loads of cheese and other dairy products across the country. Over the miles he educated himself by listening to books on tape and spent hours thinking about how to solve some of the problems he encountered on the road.

One of those problems was the enormous cost and environmental damage related to idling, when truckers run their engines all night at truck stops and rest areas to warm or cool their cab while they sleep. “I felt I had some good ideas. I started to share them, other people weren’t as excited as I was about it, and I thought, ‘Well maybe I can make this happen.’ So I started inventing things,” says Jordan. 

He then invented a way to harness power from his refrigerated trailer and store it in batteries for later use. That technology was the foundation for Idle Free, a company Robert founded in 2003 and successfully sold in 2014 to Phillips and Temro Industries.
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Robert Jordan’s Tips for Other Entrepreneurs:

  • The number one thing is to be honest with yourself.

    Don’t make believe you have a good idea.

  • 100% focus on the problem that is in front of you.
  • Find a big market.
  • I never considered myself a good salesperson or good at running a company.

    Stay focused on what you’re good at and hire others who can fill in those gaps.

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