I learned that anybody can come up with a good idea; the execution is what separates people with decent ideas from successful entrepreneurs.
Inspiring those around him to think differently and do better drives Brett Maloley, who is a passionate leader. Brett grew up in the fitness industry and is committed to using what the industry taught him to help facilitate the industry’s future growth. Though Brett is fairly young in age, his professional experience is expansive, as he’s worked in a multitude of roles in the health club and commercial equipment spaces. Brett wants more out of the industry that he is so passionately devoted to, and he sees GROW as the perfect vehicle to challenge the status quo and create forward-moving change. A graduate and former Division 1 baseball player at the University of North Florida, Brett Malolely currently resides in Boston’s Financial District.
What are you working on right now?
Right now I am focused on building out and developing Grow Equipment Group, which is the second division of the Grow Fitness family. Grow Equipment Group is a company that serves as a resource for buyers in the commercial fitness industry.
Where did the idea for Grow Development Group come from?
Ultimately, the idea for Grow Development Group comes from a desire to create the premier brand in the fitness industry and to use of that brand to drive forward-moving change. The fitness industry is a quickly expanding space, with everything that is going on in healthcare and the epidemic of obesity. The industry has an opportunity to play a major role in helping the nation. If “we” don’t step up, then someone else will. I don’t want to squander that opportunity.
What does your typical day look like?
If I’m traveling, it really depends, but if I’m in my office in Boston, I usually get up around 6:00 a.m. and go to the gym. I get some of my best thinking done at the gym, because I don’t have to answer the phone and I can focus on one task at a time. (I’m actually responding to this question as I ride the bike!) After that, I spend my day trying to do the two things that I promise all of our employees I will do: 1) I put employees in the best possible positions so they can succeed and 2) I monitor and guide the brand.
How do you bring ideas to life?
Great question! I guess by being steadfast in my beliefs and not listening to the people who tell me it can’t be done. But more importantly, by surrounding myself with people who are smarter than I am!
What’s one trend that really excites you?
I don’t know if it’s a trend or a reality at this point, but I’m excited about technology and how it has changed the way we communicate at the most basic levels. In my opinion, the fitness industry exists to help people become happier. A large part of the fitness experience is social. It’s important to me that we embrace technology and use it to our advantage, but it’s even more important that we don’t use it to a point that it takes away from the overall experience.
What was the worst job you ever had and what did you learn from it?
When I was a senior in high school, I worked in retail at a clothing store. I learned how to fold jeans and put clothes on a mannequin. I also learned that I didn’t like having a boss!
If you were to start again, what would you do differently?
The one thing I would do differently is to more clearly define the roles of our management team. My partner and I work well together because we are very different; I thought we both understood exactly what would be asked of each of us. Now I realize that I didn’t put either of us in the best possible positions to succeed, and for a while the duplication of our efforts was making us very inefficient. We’re all getting better, but I definitely wouldn’t mind a do-over.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Ask questions and read! Growing up, I wasn’t a great student. I feel like I wasted a lot of great opportunities to educate myself, and I’m on a quest to make up for that. I’ll talk to anybody who will listen to me talk about my business and theirs. I especially like to get perspectives from people who know nothing about my industry. And when I say read, I mean read and listen—I have a killer audiobook collection.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
The first entrepreneurial experience I ever had was a complete failure, and I learned a tremendous amount from it. I was still in college at the time and I decided I was going to create a company that focused on the social aspect of fitness for young people. It was called CollegefitUSA—a terrible name. To this day, I actually really like the vision, but I learned that anybody can come up with a good idea; the execution is what separates people with decent ideas from successful entrepreneurs.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
I’m pretty transparent with all my ideas. They’re not groundbreaking or anything, but I really do believe that eventually exercise will be prescribed just like medicine or even physical therapy is today. Fortunes will be made on that delivery model.
If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be and how would you go about it?
I’m not sure how to best go about it, but I think there needs to be more of an emphasis placed on business and financial literacy in schools. Kids grow up idolizing athletes—that will never change, nor do I think it should. But I wish there was a way to create more role models in the business world. You don’t find many middle school kids looking up to CEOs or innovators. There is a lot more opportunity for kids to excel in areas outside of sports than in sports. I was an athlete and the lessons I learned playing sports played a major role in my development. Without athletics ,I certainly would not be where I am today, but I think there needs to be more of an emphasis placed on balance.
Tell us a secret?
There are three or four really basic words that I misspell on a regular basis. Also, I think I hate waiting in lines more than anybody I’ve ever met. I’ve spent an hour grocery shopping, only to leave because I couldn’t handle waiting in line.
What are your three favorite online tools or resources and what do you love about them?
Twitter is something I’ve really fallen in love with. I love the access it gives me to information that is pertinent to my day-to-day life. I also love Uber and OpenTable; they both make my life a lot easier by solving basic problems.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
Start with Why by Simon Sinek. It’s hands down the most impactful book I’ve ever read.
Three people we should follow on Twitter and why?
- Me, @brettmaloley, because I think I have some interesting things to say that you could benefit from.
- @fastcompany because they inspire me to think outside the box.
- @LoMoMarlins because he’s hilarious!
Who is your hero?
I have two heroes: my mom and dad. They have put me in an unbelievable position to succeed, sending me to the best schools and really just being great parents to both me and my sister, Kelsey. They’re both very different, but I’ve learned so much from them. Any future success I have will be mostly due to everything they have done for me.
How do you correlate money to success?
I used to think that success was directly proportionate to the amount of money one earns. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized that is not the case at all. Success is relative to me; it is about building special companies and leading people to be the best they can be. If I can do be successful in that way, the money will always be there. You would be hard-pressed to find somebody who is the best at what they do and not financially rewarded in a way that satisfies them. I often use the analogy of an investment banker or corporate consultant–while, financially, they often earn great livings, they do not usually have the freedom that I feel truly successful people have.
Will you send your children to private or public schools?
I was blessed to attend private schools from first grade through high school. While the exorbitant cost of private education is not something I am looking forward to, I owe a lot to my parents for the opportunity private school afforded me. I went to a very small, all-boys high school, called St. Sebastian’s. At the time, I certainly did not realize the opportunity I had, but in retrospect, I realize how much the school did for me. It taught me how to be respectful, how to talk to people and how to write. Most importantly, it taught me the importance of building strong relationships. To this day, my best friends in the world are guys I met in high school, and I know that is not something most people can say.