Podcast

How a Distance Runner Turned a Shoe Company into a Billion-Dollar Brand with Angel Martinez

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You probably haven’t heard of Deckers Outdoors Corporation.  But you probably have heard of Ugg (think boots). And Teva (hiker sandals). And Sanuk (beach flip flops).

So, indirectly, you’ve heard of one of the most successful footwear brands in existence right now.

Today on The School of Greatness you get you hear the amazing story of how this billion-dollar footwear company, Deckers Brands, came to be from the CEO himself, Angel Martinez.

If you haven’t heard me mention it yet, I’m writing a book (and it’s going to be big).

I wanted to interview Angel for part of my book, so I got the privilege to sit down with him a few months ago to hear his story.

After being left by both his parents as a toddler in Cuba, Angel was brought by his guardians to New York City, where he grew up as a distance runner.

He later became one of the first running store owners on the West Coast, but his real talent for building something big happened after that.

He became a sales rep for Reebok in the eighties (when it was nothing) and turned it into a more successful brand than Nike.

But his accomplishments and wisdom go far beyond that.

Angel’s story is a fascinating one, and in this interview he opens up and shares both personal and business insights that are invaluable if you’re trying to build something big.

I want you to take notes because there’s no one better to learn solid business and life principles from than this man.

Welcome to the incredible story of Angel Martinez in Episode 124.

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The School of Greatness Podcast

Angel Martinez on The School of Greatness

“If you don’t understand what it takes to live a life with some integrity, you’re not going to be successful in business.”

Some questions I ask:

  • What was the dream for you growing up?
  • Do you apply the same principles from running to your business?
  • Who was your most valuable mentor growing up?
  • How do you get people to do what you need them to do without being loud about it?
  • How does a great leader continue to have a huge vision and be successful when they go through an extremely emotional experience?
  • How do you keep from getting comfortable once you’re so successful?
  • What are some of your blind spots as a leader?

In This Episode, You Will Learn:

  • What running in school taught him about having no limits
  • His opinion on why long-distance runners are so self-directed
  • How the two rules of cross-country running have stayed with him:
    1- No walking
    2- You can’t drop out of the race

“Running is that constant confrontation of a challenge every day.”

  • About his involvement in the very beginnings of the running shoe industry in America (before Nike was called Nike)
  • How he got the job of managing the first running shoe specialty store on the West Coast
  • The story of how he got introduced to Reebok and took their sales from $13 million to $300 million in a year and a half

“It’s easier to come to a place than come from a place.”

  • That women bought eight times the amount of shoes men did in the 80s (probably still true)
  • How aerobics was a vehicle for women to discover the power they could get from physical activity
  • His thoughts on how Reebok lost its lead over Nike
  • About the product he created and sold to 3M (who invented Post-Its)
  • Plus much more…

“We need to become more givers, not just takers and makers.”

Continue Seeking Greatness:

Have you signed up for The School of Greatness Academy yet? This is my six-month online course and mastermind that will change your life and business. If you have what it takes, apply today! I want to see you make something great. 🙂

School of Greatness

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Did you enjoy the podcast?

It was a big privilege for me to sit down with Angel in his beautiful campus and have this conversation. He is so wise and I could sense his greatness developed over years of experience. What did you learn about running a business from him?

 “You might just be looking at your life through the wrong end of the telescope.”

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Trackbacks

  1. […] post How a Distance Runner Turned a Shoe Company into a Billion-Dollar Brand with Angel Martinez appeared first on Lewis […]

  2. […] Listen to an amazing discussion Angel has with Lewis Howes on his School of Greatness Podcast. […]

  3. […] How a Distance Runner Turned a Shoe Company into a Billion-Dollar Brand with Angel Martinez – I found a new podcast that I love – Lewis Howes’ The School of Greatness. He interviews people who have had a considerable measure of success in various areas of life, and in this edition he speaks with Angel Martinez. I wrote about the priorities Angel has set for his company, but there is so much more greatness in this interview. For example, Angel requires every member of his executive leadership team to serve on the board of at least one charitable organization. […]

  4. […] How a Distance Runner Turned a Shoe Company into a Billion-Dollar Brand with Angel Martinez […]