Conshohocken, PA: Serial entrepreneur, Gary Nealon, has a notebook of ideas that any wannabe entrepreneur would covet. It’s from this notebook that the countless companies he’s founded were born and he’s just getting started.
Gary’s largest company to date, RTA Cabinet Store, which he founded in 2007, just landed on the Inc. 5000 list of fastest growing privately held companies for an impressive 7th year in a row. The leading online distributor of kitchen cabinets and home improvement products landed at #2358 on the list. The company was created when he saw an opportunity to sell entire kitchens online and in the end, Nealon spun-off a marketing company, Nealon Solutions, from it to improve efficiency and solve RTA Cabinet Store’s pain points. Today, Nealon Solutions continues to thrive as Nealon’s digital marketing consulting company.
“I often find myself looking at things and asking myself, ‘How can I improve that?’ or ‘How can I do it bigger and better?’” explained Gary Nealon. “With RTA Cabinet Store, we were searching for solutions to help us grow, solutions that didn’t exist or if they did, didn’t serve us in the way we needed. So we developed software to solve the issues we were facing. Creating Nealon Solutions was simply a byproduct. Every single one of my companies arose from an opportunity to do better.”
Doing better doesn’t just apply to building a product. Gary is incredibly passionate about giving back and helping those in developing countries live better. He recently published his first book, Notes to a Young Entrepreneur, a book written just for high school students who want to run a successful business. All proceeds from the sale of the book are given to B1G1.org, ensuring young girls are giving proper literacy education and they’ve already been able to help over 2000 girls.
This past year, Gary founded Usawa.io, a stable, and liquid blockchain solution that is backed by hard assets in the form of US real estate. After researching the top 10 currencies used in Africa and how they performed against the US dollar – the results were unsettling. “Some African countries have lost more than 40-50% of their currency’s value in the past 3-6 years alone,” shared Nealon. “That makes it incredibly difficult for residents to confidently and securely invest for their futures.”
Using smart contracts, Usawa.io solves the problem of global inflation by creating a trustworthy and fully transparent way for citizens of these countries to invest their money with confidence and ensure a rate of return that is greater than global inflation. “We saw a huge opportunity to help people in these countries get access to a stable investment tool immune to their currency depreciation and with a value that would increase massively – 5-8% a year.”
Like many other smart entrepreneurs, Gary is focused on diversifying revenue streams as much as possible, and a quick look at his portfolio shows that his interests are broad. His company Wine Trail Adventures, the social network and online store for wine connoisseurs, just announced a marketing partnership with Craft Wine Association to fuel digital expansion.
He recently founded Carrier Pigeon Effect, a boutique social content distribution platform that provides content creators, looking for long-term ROI, with a stress-free way to create and share content online. He also just acquired Sidekicks.co, an on-demand virtual assistant company that provides everything you need to make your business work.
“I have used multiple VA services over the years, and still use several across my businesses,” said Nealon. “Sidekicks.co was by far the best structured VA company I have used, and it was a perfect fit to help with the scaling of the other businesses.” Gary is now working on setting up processes for several new service offerings and has plans to partner with other service companies and to scale quickly.
With so many companies to his name, it begs the question of whether or not downtime exists for Nealon, but he admits he’s lucky that many of his businesses can run themselves, allowing him to take time off and unplug as needed. “It’s hugely important to disconnect. Being able to do so has had a massive impact on my health and mental sanity.”