• Tue. Jul 16th, 2024

Getting to Know You: Rex Barr, Founder and President of Catan Strategy Group


Aug 30, 2022

Rex Barr is a successful entrepreneur who thrives on helping and supporting others on their journey to success.

Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Rex Barr, Jr. grew up in a small town called Laverock in that same state. He thrived during his time at Bishop McDevitt Catholic High School, embracing the competitive nature of the academic environment as a foundation for his future in business. After graduating, Rex earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Pittsburgh, and then proceeded to earn his Master’s in Political Science from Fordham University.

After college, becoming an entrepreneur came naturally to Rex. Initially, he founded a home health care agency, and in doing so, learned a great deal about the regulatory environment, people management, and the challenges associated with developing an organization that positively impacts the community. In the years since, Rex Barr has launched several other business ventures, including a first-time homeowner organization and a property development enterprise. Currently, Rex Barr serves as the Founder and President of the Catan Strategy Group, a small consulting firm he started during the pandemic that is dedicated to developing and optimizing systems for small businesses.

All totalled, the companies Rex has created have grossed more than $100 million, as well as employing over 4,000 workers. During the same time period, he has also developed more than $3 million worth of real estate in distressed areas. Even considering these facts, Rex Barr views his greatest accomplishment as helping several of his colleagues become millionaires in their own right.

When he is not working, Rex enjoys bicycle riding, piloting drones, and spending time with family and friends. He strives to live every day with dedication and purpose.

What do you currently do at your company?

My day-to-day duties at Catan Strategy Group include preparing programs and systems to help small businesses. For example, right now we’re working on something that we call our ‘Mansa Program,’ which will allow clients to have access to a dedicated real estate agent, personal trainer, and certified public accountant, as well as legal assistance, our immediate support systems, and our media access. They’ll be able to talk to an expert regarding anything to do with their business practices, policies, or any concerns or operating questions they might have. Right now, I’m putting that program together, figuring out the appropriate pricing, and conducting research into our target demographic. Catan Strategy Group is also in the midst of identifying some other fringe benefits we can tie our services into. Once that’s done, the company will begin offering the program to our clients. Besides those future projects, I also help existing clients with the programs and projects that we currently offer.

What was the inspiration behind your business?

When I started my home healthcare agency in 2012, I had no one to really help me navigate the details of operating a business. My mother was a brilliant businesswoman. She knew her industry, and she passed that knowledge along to me. Unfortunately, I had no support in matters of accounting, legal strategy, or overall policy and decision making in public and human relations. I had to learn all of that on my own. As such, my inspiration behind Catan Strategy Group was to provide services designed to help others in those areas where I didn’t have help back then, and where so many business owners don’t have it now. We’re a supplement; a back-office support structure designed to allow people to get the most out of their business and time.

What defines your way of doing business?

My way of doing business is aggressive. I choose that adjective specifically because I view business as a constant competition, especially for small businesses. When you run your own small business, you’re in it; you’re in the big competition that is American capitalism. Often, you’re alone, or one of just two people running your business, and because of that, it’s a grind at all times. It’s a daily measure of your strengths and weaknesses. You can’t afford to not be aggressive.

What keys to being productive can you share?

In order to be productive, the first thing I focus on is determining what my goals are and which ones most need my attention. Productivity starts with organization and consistency, which you can then leverage to overcome a lot of obstacles and deficiencies.

Tell us one long-term goal in your career.

That’s a tough question, because I don’t look at what I do each day in terms of my career. As an example of this mindset, I didn’t realize I was an entrepreneur until someone else told me so. I just like to run businesses and help others run businesses. Before I started Catan Strategy Group, I didn’t even charge for my services. So, I suppose my long-term goals are to simply keep running my company because it makes me happy and to keep having fun in everything I do.

How do you measure success?

I’m a capitalist through and through. I do measure success for my clients and for myself, and I think it’s very important to be clear and objective about it. Money is not the end goal ultimately, but it’s a good measuring stick in business. The more successful a business, the larger their client base will be. That increases their revenue, which will increase their bottom line, as well. So, that’s how I measure success. One client at a time. Their success is my success.

What’s the most valuable lesson you’ve learned through the course of your career?

Be patient. Sometimes you just have to wait and let a situation or an event or a moment play itself out.

What are some of your favorite things to do outside of work?

I love mowing my lawn. I live in the city, and I have a small plot of land that I call “my little piece of earth,” and I just enjoy cutting my grass. It wasn’t something I had ever learned to do until I bought my own home, but since then, I’ve found that it’s something I really like to do. I’m also an avid drone pilot, and I ride my bike a lot, both for fun and exercise.

How do you maintain a solid work life balance?

I know how to organize my day, and I do so in such a way that I always set clear goals for myself for any particular day. Unexpected things happen, of course, but setting those goals allows me to also set a stop time when those goals are accomplished.

What is one piece of technology that helps you the most in your daily routine?

If you look around, you’ll find that ‘technology’ means a lot of different things to different people. My biggest help is anti-technology. It’s a little white notepad, four inches by six inches, on which I write down all my tasks for the day. I’ve been doing it for three years, and I now have a box full of notes with my daily tasks written on them. That’s the ‘technology’ that helps me the most because it keeps me organized and keeps me grounded.

What has been the hardest obstacle you’ve overcome?

The urge to be everything to everyone, and to say ‘yes’ to every client. I have a level of hubris that most successful entrepreneurs probably also have. I think I can help everyone. This mentality is ingrained in me. But just because you think you can help everyone, that doesn’t mean you should say ‘yes’ to everyone. It’s not good for yourself as a person and it’s not good for your company.

Who has been a role model to you and why?

My biggest role model would be my mother. As I mentioned earlier, she was a fantastic businesswoman. I think it’s so important that people look back at the business leaders they knew when they were growing up to see just how hard it was for them and to see the things they were able to accomplish despite that hardship. You can only move forward by standing on the backs of others, and you can only see what you’ve been shown is possible. I think my mother is a shining example of that kind of role model. She was able to show me so much and taught me to see so much more.

What is one piece of advice that you have never forgotten?

“Fake it ’til you make it.” There is no truer saying in business. You are never going to know everything, especially in detail, but you fake it until you figure it out. Put another way, you work hard to build your company and further your understanding of business until you become successful.