Name: Martin Babinec

Learnings 1 with Martin Babinec

Learnings 1 with Martin Babinec


From bagging popcorn in the park to running @TriNet @MartinBabinec never thought he’d be an #entrepreneur #insights [Click to Tweet]

When you are selling your time, it’s not the same as building a company. #Insights [Click to Tweet]

Martin’s first company was @Trinet which today is the largest independent professional employer organization #Insights [Click to Tweet]

Dave Carvajal: As far back as you can remember, Martin, what was maybe your first entrepreneurial venture or what were some of the things that you did early in your childhood that made you realize that you were different, that you were self-aware, that you understood things in a different way in an entrepreneurial way?

Martin Babinec: I never thought of myself as an entrepreneur when I was growing up. I did grew up in a working class family.  My dad worked in factories and my mom was stay-at-home because together they raised seven children.  There was not a lot of resources to spread around.  We all just did what we could to put any extra bread on the table.

Martin Babinec: Probably I was seven years old when my mom helped me bagged popcorn that I would sell in the park on band concert day. Maybe that was the first entrepreneurial venture.  From there, paper routes and shoveling snow, you name it.

Martin Babinec: When you don’t have a lot and you’re trying to do more with what you have, you learn to be industrious.  My background was probably not different. I certainly did not think of myself as an entrepreneur.  But my opportunity to go down the entrepreneurial path took probably the most significant step up when after college I worked for the government for about 11 years and spent most of that time outside the US.

Martin Babinec: It was a wonderful experience that I would never trade again because I learned so much about the world.  It was wonderful cultural experience living both in Asia and Europe.

Martin Babinec: Sure enough when I retuned back to the US after being outside the US for almost seven years, then I was unemployable.  That’s what happens sometimes when you worked for the government for too long. Even though I had certain skills and believe I have certain value in the marketplace, nobody would hire me.

Martin Babinec: My background was in human resources and my experience was not valued.  That’s what lead me to consider other alternatives.

Martin Babinec: When I initially thought about becoming an entrepreneur many people in my line of work of human resources would become consultants.  I didn’t understand very much about the consulting business.  I mean, I had the expertise but somehow even though I did not know much about business models then, I realized that when you are selling your time, it’s not the same as building a company.

Martin Babinec: And so, I kept looking at models that might be able to leverage the expertise that I had in human resources but build something that could have some value beyond the time that I would spend.  Ultimately that lead to helping create what today is the industry of companies that are professional employer organization. My first real company Trinet, today the largest independent professional employer organization.