Episode 40: Ultra Living with Brian Beckstead
Disrupting an industry is not an easy task, but then again neither is running 100 miles. But that didn’t stop a couple of guys from Orem, UT from doing both. Growing up at the base of Mt. Timpanogas, these cross-country kids spent their youth working at their local running store. After struggling with their own shoe dilemmas, the experimenting began, and the idea of a form-fitting, zero drop shoe was born. After trying to give to the idea away to the top shoe companies and being turned down by all of them, they were so sure they had something good, the trio decided to do it on their own.
And the result is a shoe company that completely changed to the game, particularly in endurance running. Redesigning footwear for the endurance community, Altra Shoes not only created a cult-like following but also found a home with the greater population. Creating a shoe that is actually in the shape of a foot and accounting for the slower gait of a long-distance runner, Altra shoes inadvertently began appealing to the masses and these more casual runners have been buying them in droves. The resulting explosive growth and religious following over the past decade have proven that these guys really have changed the game.
But in the process, the game changer for Brian as well. Going from college grad to company president in an incredibly short amount of time, he had to develop the leadership skills to grow the company to scale despite very little background or executive training. He was up for the challenge and saw the company continue to grow as a result. But, despite all their success and the explosive growth, Brian found himself in a tailspin with the purchase and relocation of the company. With his life now in limbo and his company in flux, Brian did the one thing he always struggled to do…. Ask for help. Both with the business but also for himself as well. In doing so, not only did he get the help he needed, but he was able to finally take the time to craft the lifestyle he had strayed away from. He reevaluated his life, figured out what He needed, and asked for it.
Now Brian has turned the page, has a new role within the company, and lives life on his terms creating a lifestyle we can all be envious of. Hear all about his journey, ultra-racing, and some cool fishing stories. Check out how he has created an Ultra life, in my recent conversation with the co-founder of Altra Shoes, Brian Beckstead.