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A deeply personal story.
A collection of valuable lessons.
An essential guidebook for
anyone with a dream.

A deeply personal story.
A collection of valuable lessons.
An essential guidebook for
anyone with a dream.

All author proceeds go to charity.

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No One Succeeds Alone is the inspirational story of Compass founder and CEO Robert Reffkin and the lessons he learned from his mother, his mentors, and his search for belonging.

No one expected a dreadlocked fifteen-year-old who cared more about his DJ business than his homework to grow up to become one of the youngest-ever White House fellows, create multiple nonprofits, and found a multibillion-dollar company. But Robert Reffkin — raised by an Israeli immigrant single mother, disowned by his maternal grandparents for being Black, and abandoned by his father — has always defied the odds.

Compass’s mission is to help everyone find their place in the world, and in this book, Reffkin distills the wisdom he’s gathered along his journey. Each chapter offers a part of his life story and a practical lesson, such as: 

  • Love your customers more than your ideas
  • Find someone to give you the critical feedback others won’t
  • How to create your own “rich-kid’s network”

The advice in No One Succeeds Alone will inspire you to dream bigger than you ever have before, realize your full potential, and give back by helping make someone else’s dreams come true, too.

No one expected a dreadlocked fifteen-year-old who cared more about his DJ business than his homework to grow up to become one of the youngest-ever White House fellows, create multiple nonprofits, and found a multibillion-dollar company. But Robert Reffkin — raised by an Israeli immigrant single mother, disowned by his maternal grandparents for being Black, and abandoned by his father — has always defied the odds.

Compass’s mission is to help everyone find their place in the world, and in this book, Reffkin distills the wisdom he’s gathered along his journey. Each chapter offers a part of his life story and a practical lesson, such as: 

  • Love your customers more than your ideas
  • Find someone to give you the critical feedback others won’t
  • How to create your own “rich-kid’s network”

The advice in No One Succeeds Alone will inspire you to dream bigger than you ever have before, realize your full potential, and give back by helping make someone else’s dreams come true, too.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

ROBERT REFFKIN is a husband, a father, and the founder and CEO of Compass, a real estate technology company that is now the largest independent brokerage in America, having helped clients buy or sell homes worth more than a quarter-trillion dollars since its founding. Reffkin graduated from Columbia in two and a half years, earned an M.B.A. from Columbia Business School and worked at McKinsey, Lazard, and Goldman Sachs. He ran fifty marathons, one in each U.S. state, to raise $1 million for charities — including for America Needs You, the nonprofit he founded to serve young people living below the poverty line who are the first in their families to go to college.

Endorsements for No One Succeeds Alone

No One Succeeds Alone is a tribute to the power of human connection and mentorship. Throughout his personal life and business career, Robert has been the beneficiary of many mentors. In the book, he shares the learnings from those important relationships, together with his own experience as a successful entrepreneur. Resilience, intellectual curiosity, optimism, and a commitment to making an impact have paved his personal journey, which is nothing short of inspirational.”

Ken Chenault

Former Chairman and CEO, American Express;  Chairman and Managing Director, General Catalyst

“In acknowledging so many of the people who have helped him on his journey, Robert has shared a deeply personal, beautiful, and relatable human story about finding your purpose, utilizing resources, and ultimately creating success! My own life is a testament to the same principles that animate this book: that if you keep your eyes and ears open, and take initiative, the possibilities are endless.

Misty Copeland

Principal Dancer, American Ballet Theatre; author, actor and public speaker; one of TIME’s “100 Most Influential People in the World”

“Whether you’re running a multi-billion-dollar public company or a neighborhood restaurant, the principles of entrepreneurship are the same. Robert’s book lays out what it really takes to pursue your passion and grow your business, interwoven with beautiful moments from his remarkable personal story. Every entrepreneur — and really, everyone with a dream — should read this book.

John Foley

Chairman and CEO, Peloton; former President of eCommerce, Barnes & Noble

“The story of how a 17-year-old kid, with no connections, went from DJing Bar Mitzvahs to graduating from Columbia, working at Goldman Sachs, and then founding a multi-billion-dollar tech startup is already a great read. But what makes it all the more compelling is Robert Reffkin explains in detail just how he pulled it off, so anyone with a dream and the courage to chase it can follow in his footsteps.

David Solomon

Chairman and CEO, Goldman Sachs; founder, Payback Records; music producer

To understand Robert’s journey is to understand the American dream. And to go through this book is to know that we now have a blueprint for more people to achieve it. I have long admired and respected the pathway of my friend Robert. Reading this book I fully understand why. You will be moved and inspired by these words and will leave with an energy to inspire change in your life and the lives of others.”

Wes Moore

CEO, Robinhood Foundation; New York Times bestselling author

“Robert Reffkin believes that the only way to be your best self is to be your authentic self. No One Succeeds Alone showcases his brave, inspiring, and very real search for belonging, fulfillment, and authenticity. This book is an indispensable guidebook for anyone who’s ever felt lost or out of place on their way to achieving their full potential.

Reshma Saujani

Founder and CEO, Girls Who Code; New York Times bestselling author; podcast host; attorney; activist

FOREWORD, BY MARC BENIOFF

Chairman, Founder and Co-CEO, Salesforce; Forbes’ “Innovator of the Decade”; philanthropist

When I first met Robert Reffkin, he was just starting Compass. I had already heard about his spark and passion from others I respected. He had a bold vision for reimagining the real estate industry by creating a technology platform to make the searching and selling experience seamless and intelligent for agents and their clients.

I could relate to that vision and his passion, and felt a kinship with Robert. More than two decades ago, I dreamed of reimagining the software business by making it as easy to purchase and use business applications as it is to buy a book on Amazon. The result was Salesforce, and today the company is the world’s number one customer relationship management platform, with more than $20 billion in annual revenue.

Robert and I have followed a similar path in some ways. We were both entrepreneurs from an early age, earning enough in high school to help us pay for college. We both had mothers in our lives who encouraged us to pursue our passions even when they took surprising turns—my wanting to visit the UK as a fifteen-year-old to learn about castles for a video game I was building or Robert’s needing to stay out past midnight several nights a week for his high school DJ business.

And as they did in my case, not many people understood why Robert would leave his comfortable perch at a well-established company for the high-risk start-up world. But Robert was able to prevail, and this book is a testament to his exceptional ability to transform adversity into energy that has propelled him forward throughout his life and work.

It’s clear that Robert’s approach to business comes from his unique life story and values. Growing up Black and Jewish in Berkeley, California, he was inspired by his single-parent mother, Ruth. He was able to see every obstacle and setback as an opportunity and way to hone his particular strengths.

Robert possesses critical traits that every leader aspires to have—the ability to listen, empathize, and learn from others. Robert deeply understands that no one succeeds alone. He has sought out mentors throughout his life, and now, through this book, he can be a mentor to anyone who dreams big. And he is committed not just to doing well but also to doing good in the world through his personal actions and his company.

Whether it’s his collaborative approach to innovation, his strategy for connecting with mentors, his unwavering focus on customer needs, his way of building a company culture anchored in a sense of belonging, his beginner’s mind open to endless possibilities, or his boundless optimism and persistence, everyone can learn from the way Robert engages with the world with gratitude, passion, and humanity.

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For media inquiries, please contact Michelle Triant, Fortier Public Relations, 617-304-4218, michelle@fortierpr.com