Company: Massage Envy
First Job: Working on the farm
Describe your very first job.
Growing up, I spent my summers working on the farm with my grandparents. I loved it, but you definitely learn what hard work is … But it slowly sunk into me that it might be a good idea to study a little harder in school, so I wouldn’t have to hoe weeds out of the seed plot the rest of my life.
Describe your first job in your industry.
I entered the wellness industry through a side door; I transferred from another division into the personal care division of Philips Electronics. … I learned that the best-managed companies listen very systematically to both their employees and their customers.
What were your salaries at both of these jobs?
I don’t remember my Philips salary anymore; maybe $30,000. On the farm, the compensation plan was “all the fresh vegetables you could pick.”
Who is your biggest mentor?
Ad Veenhof, who I worked for at both Philips and Tree of Life, showed me that the key to building a truly sustainable competitive advantage is “changing the rules of the game” in your industry. I’d like to think that Massage Envy has done that.
What advice would you give to a person just entering your industry?
Listen to your customers. Wellness is no different than any other business: you’re successful when you satisfy genuine customer needs and your product or service represents a real value.
If you weren’t doing this, what would you be doing instead?
I’m afraid my dream job — playing left field for the Red Sox — is probably out of reach at this point. So I’d probably be a nature photographer. I love the Arizona landscape.