Student of the Week: Sam Fox of Next Adventure

When did you first know you were on the right path in your industry?
When I started working at Next Adventure, I was basically a climbing bum who wanted to get cheap gear. I quickly realized that the culture that the two owners (Deek and Bryan) had created was fun but also inspired hard work and a commitment to not being that “snobby” outdoor store. In the span of a couple of months I transitioned from sales clerk to the climbing/footwear buyer and knew that I was part of something special.

What’s your favorite part of your job?
Being the warehouse manager gives me an over-arching view of our business, from receiving to shipping to all of our sales floors. There’s a lot of variety in my day-to-day routine, which keeps things interesting and fun.

What’s the most valuable lesson you learned through Mann U?
It can be hard sometimes trying to manage a challenging employee. However, most of the “challenges” that employees present to you are from lack of a clear direction and purpose. People want to succeed and do well, whatever it is they may be doing. Setting people up for success is the key to a healthy staff.

Give us one pointer for developing a genuine relationship with your customers.
People/customers just want honesty from sales associates. It’s something our company does well and is a big reason we have so many lifelong customers.

Your bumper sticker would read, “I’d rather be… ___.”
I’d rather be … powder skiing.

What was your favorite part of working with the Mann Group?
I had a great time with the group role playing. Practicing the challenging moments that arise with employees and how to best handle them was very valuable.

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