If you’re reading this it’s too late.
No, no, no, just kidding. If you’re reading this you are probably exactly where I was for the past three years.
Trying to figure out how to break into Product Management!
Let’s start with my story.
How I went from selling products to managing them.
What do you mean “selling products”?
Well for the past 17 years my number one focus building high performing teams that sell athletic retail products.
Think shoes, apparel, backpacks, shoe laces, etc.
Back in 2003 I started out in an entry level Seasonal Sales Associate position at a mall based shoe store.
And I loved it!
In fact, I loved working at Finish Line so much, that I decided to hang around and see how far I could grow with an incredible work ethic, phenomenal sales skills, strong leadership, and just plain old charm and charisma.
Fast forward 17 years and I have relocated for promotions four times, ran multi-unit business units across 11 different states spanning from California to Nebraska, and won numerous performance based awards.
But something was missing…
Sure I was a leader in the organization and had built up a long resume of achievements but some of the most enjoyable times that I can remember didn’t produce immediate or tangible results.
My favorite moments were the times that I spent listening to my peers and direct reports, understanding their pain points, then building a kick ass spreadsheet or working on a cross-functional team to deliver a tool that solved a pain point.
Now before we move on, let me be clear.
I’m not just talking about some “normal” spreadsheet that is easy to digest with cool formatting, and frozen rows. I’m talking about the MOTHER OF ALL SPREADSHEETS! Microsoft Excel and Google Sheets documents that string together multiple formulas to create masterpieces!
I was able to take ugly ass .csv files and automate data insights that would take a “regular” person hours upon hours to organize.
This is what I loved!
But…. What is “this” job called?