The Rubin file Featured

4:58am EDT March 1, 2006
Born: Lafayette Hill

Education: One semester at Villanova University. Dropped out of college to pursue a retail career. A ski-tuning business he started in his parents’ garage when he was 13 grew to Mike’s Ski Shop, a five-store, $2 million enterprise by the time he graduated from high school.

First job: I worked at The Gap (as a teenager). It was the only time I ever worked for anyone else. I didn’t last long there, but I did win a lot of contests for selling corduroys.

What is the most important business lesson you’ve learned?
Hire the right people. Through time, you learn that the whole business is people, and you have to have the right people.

What inspires you as an entrepreneur?
Having fun learning and growing. I’ve always been a focused individual, and as long as I’m in here every day growing the business, I’m having fun.

What does it take to be successful?
You have to be a risk-taker. A lot of people talk about great ideas, but they never do anything about them. You have to take the risk and go after your goals.

What has been your toughest business challenge?
Making the change from Global Sports to GSI, from a market leader in sporting goods to a market leader in e-commerce. Our strategy was right, but sporting goods didn’t have the greatest opportunity in total e-commerce.

Describe your leadership style.
Entrepreneurial. I’m a good listener and I’m street smart, and I give people the ability to do their jobs. Examples are some of the e-commerce capabilities we’ve added and the way we continue to add more value for partners.