Fitness Career Spotlight on Phil Stern, Zen Planner
By SARAH KOSZYK, MA, RD on APRIL 14, 2015
Meet Phil Stern, Director of Sales at Zen Planner. Phil has found his perfect job fit combining his love of fitness and health with technology in an innovative company focused on promoting health and wellness businesses for all. – Sarah
What attracted you to the field of health and wellness?
I’ve been passionate about health and wellness for many years. I was an athlete in high school and college and now I’m an avid skier, mountain biker, runner and hiker post-college. I’m also always focused on what I’m eating and how I’m training and performing.
Moving to Zen Planner, a technology company that is specifically focused on helping fitness business owners, was a perfect blend of my passion for health and wellness, along with my love of technology.
Your Job Title:
Director of Sales
Company you are with now:
– Facebook: www.facebook.com/ZenPlanner
– Twitter: @zenplanner
A typical (or not so typical) day-in-the-work-life for you:
My work days start early as I’m usually in the office around 7 a.m. My day ramps up as the entire team arrives in the office. Once we’re rolling for the day, it’s a mixture of meetings, 1:1 coaching time with my team members, interviewing potential team members (did I mention that Zen Planner is hiring for our sales team?) and following up on my own administrative tasks. Because we’re all fitness enthusiasts at Zen Planner, there are frequent breaks for stretching, foam rolling, hand stand practice and the occasional ping pong match. When possible, I hold my 1:1 meetings with my team members outside, either on a walk or a run. Some of my most productive meetings have been during runs.
I try to fit a workout in during lunch or directly after work most days and then try to get home with some daylight left to spend time with my wife and our dog.
How did you get your current job in health and wellness?
As has been the case for me many times along the way, my personal network played a huge role in landing my current job. A friend knew my wife and I were interested in making a lifestyle change to leave city living on the East coast for much more time in the mountains. He connected me with the leadership at Zen Planner and we took it from there.
What skills were you born with and what skills have you learned along the way?
I was born with a strong need and ability to be organized at all times. This is definitely true in how I operate at work and how I am at home. Along the way, I’ve picked up a ton of skills that have been really useful: How to have a tough conversation with a team member, how to keep my team motivated and excited, and how to balance the specific emotional needs of each of my team members; to name a few.
What advice do you have for others wanting to be just as successful and fulfilled as you?
Always be focused on change and improvement. It’s easy, especially in your best months, to convince yourself that you have it all figured out. Know that you can do better and look to your peers and the industry for fresh ideas.
If you could be paid for your job with something other than a paycheck, what would it be?
Time outdoors! I would gladly accept powder days off and days off with perfectly tacky single track as compensation.