The Entrepreneurial Track
In this episode, Ryan and Chris talk to Ryan’s good friend and entrepreneur, Scott Tantino, who owns North Wales Running Company in PA. The topics range from how Scott decided to invest in opening a running store to his work/life balance, the value of great service in retail, how he navigated the pandemic shutdown, hiring challenges, and much more.
A break from school became a new life direction
Scott was previously on track to become a clinical psychologist. He was working on his doctorate and needed a break from school. A naturally risk-averse person, Scott took a calculated risk by opening a running shop in his hometown.
”I was pretty confident that the area could support this type of business. I mean, I grew up here.Scott Tantino
Views on money growing up
Scott’s parents instilled in him the concept of saving. He had his first job at 12 or 13.
”I grew up in a family where money was something that was respected and something that you had to save.Scott Tantino
Maintaining the work/life balance
Scott and his wife recently bought a cabin to spend time with the kids in the outdoors, fishing, hiking, having campfires, and just really enjoying some quality time together.
”My wife and I really value time with our children.Scott Tantino
All about great service
Scott’s store is known for its service. He recognizes that great service and knowledge is why someone buys shoes from a brick-and-mortar store, rather than just buying online.
”Our staff is our most valuable commodity.Scott Tantino
Comparing runners and entrepreneurs
You see a lot of runners who are self-starters. If they’ve grown up competing they’ve learned to push through hard times without quitting. Both runners and entrepreneurs seem to share that independent streak.
”So you're having a bad day out on the cross-country course... you can continue to have a bad day in front of everybody or suck it up and really learn something about yourself.Scott Tantino
When Scott had to close his business due to the Covid lockdowns, it was very challenging. He and his wife had to live on her salary for a while. But Scott turned the challenge into an opportunity to improve the business.
”I saw trends coming... we saw a lot of people who weren't going back to the gym but wanted to stay fit.Scott Tantino
Staffing is a challenge
Scott has high standards in choosing employees because of the quality of service his customers expect.
”When I'm talking to a potential coworker.. I'm asking myself in my head would I want this person to fit my mom for shoes.Scott Tantino