Chris Pew

Who are you, and what do you do?

My name is Chris Pew and I’m a co-founder and CEO at TREW Gear.

What has been one insight or lesson that has been most helpful in your career?

More experienced and knowledgable people will always help you if you ask for it the right way. Be respectful, be curious, and listen.

What has been your favorite mistake? A mistake that in retrospect led to a great lesson and progress.

Young entrepreneurs are always looking for a “magic bullet” to help take their business to the next level. Whether it’s a new marketing partner, product idea, or fundraiser; it’s hard not to hope that some new effort will lead to massive change. I’ve learned that real change comes from incremental efforts in all part of the business.

Project forward ten years. How will your industry or field be fundamentally different then? What opportunities do you see?

Customers and brands will be even more conscious about the impact on the environment that consumer products have. Brands will be evaluating what improvements they can make to the supply chain, the materials, and the fulfillment packaging. Customers will be deciding what their values will be in the changing economy. What is the environmental cost of convenience and affordability?

What are some bad recommendations you hear in your profession or area of expertise?

If only you made “insert product idea here” you guys would kill it!

In the last two years, what have you become better at saying no to?

Salespeople selling marketing software.

What is the one book you recommend most often and why?

Good to Great” by Jim Collins. There is so much actionable advice for individuals and organizations looking to grow and improve.

What advice would you give a smart and ambitious recent college graduate? What advice should they ignore?

Network and connect with people that you admire. If you’re trying to get into a new profession of community, give whatever you can of yourself freely: your time, your intelligence, your energy. Make yourself of value and compensation and connections will follow.

What is your favorite quote, one you aim to live by?

“One of my favorite sayings about entrepreneurship is: If you want to understand the entrepreneur, study the juvenile delinquent. The delinquent is saying with his actions, “This sucks. I’m going to do my own thing.” Since I had never wanted to be a businessman, I needed a few good reasons to be one. -Yvon Chouinard