Fitness Career Spotlight: Brett Lamb, Fleet Feet Sports
By SARAH KOSZYK, MA, RD on JANUARY 8, 2013
Combining one’s passion for running and one’s passion for being an entrepreneur is exactly what Brett Lamb has done. He’s the owner of a running store where he’s surrounded daily by his colleagues and his need for speed. – Sarah
Sarah: What attracted you to the field of fitness and exercise?
Brett: I grew up as a runner, and was lucky enough to compete all the way through college. As much as I enjoyed running and competing, I have always felt that I connected best with other runners. I majored in entrepreneurship in college, always with the plan of owning my own running retail store. Being able to spend my day with other runners as co-workers and customers seemed like a fun way to make a living. It has proven to be more fulfilling than I ever imagined.
Your Job Title:
Company you are with now:
Fleet Feet Sports – San Francisco
A typical (or not so typical) day-in-the-work-life for you:
Every day I try to be sure to fit a few customers for shoes or orthotics. Although my employees do the majority of customer service during the day, my favorite part of the job is working with customers so I make sure help a few. My wife, Kim is our apparel buyer, and we have two other employees who oversee our footwear and accessory inventory. I work with each of them on budgets, sales numbers, future orders, and new/upcoming products. I also manage our social media marketing. I try to put at least one item out each day about our store, whether it is a photo on instagram or a reminder about race registration on our facebook page.
How did you get your current job in fitness and exercise?:
After college, I began working at a running specialty store in Austin, Texas. After a couple of years in Austin, I took a job managing the Fleet Feet Sports store in Pleasanton. I worked for the store in Pleasanton for about two years, and then worked for Fleet Feet Inc for two years as a consultant. In 2005 I purchased Fleet Feet Sports – San Francisco. The San Francisco store was opened in 1981; my wife and I are the third owners.
What skills were you born with and what skills have you learned along the way?
Over the past seven years I have learned a lot about managing time, inventory, money, and people. I would have to say the area I focus the most on and where I feel I want to improve the most is managing relationships with my employees and customers.
What advice do you have for others wanting to be just as successful and fulfilled as you?
My best advice would be to take plenty of vacation days and unplug from your job or business as often as you can. It’s easy to work two or three weeks without a day off. Forcing yourself to step back from your job and responsibilities fully will make your job easier and more enjoyable.
If you could be paid for your job with something other than a paycheck, what would it be?
Frequent Flyer Miles! My wife and I love to travel, being paid in airline miles would be a dream.