Todd Frank

Who are you, and what do you do?

Todd Frank, I own and operate 3 Stores in Missoula, The Trail Head, The Trail Head t9 in Southgate Mall and Trail Head River Sports in Mid Town Missoula. I grew up in Billings and attended the University of Montana graduating in 1984 with a BA in Geology. Right Geology, only took one business class in 4 years on campus so my business education came from working. That said my education gave me skills at evaluating situations and working through problems and while geology may not seem connected I would not trade the education for one focused on business.

What is one habit of yours that helps you be productive?

Because I depend on so many folks to make things happen for me I approach attempting to be productive by making sure that I empower the people around me to have ownership of their Job. By that I think staying productive means, I need to not get sucked into all the tiny details of the business operation. I can and have done every job in my business so I understand the workings reasonably well but I do try to let staff do the job. My mantra is work on my business not “in my business”

What is your morning routine and how does it help you get the most out of your day?

Coffee and emails at home in the morning. I currently get around 100-150 emails a day, many are reading (industry updates etc.) and some need direct attention and a response. I work on all that before I ever get to work, answering and forwarding communications that need a response asap.
Then when I get to work I am ready to deal with what is happening and be in the moment here, By afternoon that is my time to work on bigger projects and longer term things that cannot be dealt with 100% at that time.

In the last few years, what lifestyle, habit or behavior change has had the biggest positive impact on your life?

Committing to working on the business not “in the business”

When you feel unfocused, what do you do?

Make sure I get enough sleep

What is one piece of software or a web service that you get immense value out of? How do you use it?


best business communication tool I have ever used.

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

The Long emergency—
it is the best reality check for our civilization I have ever read.

Learning to fall. Author with ALS distills life into 4 concepts as he is dying of the disease
1. Life is Hard
2. Its not about You
3. You are not in control
4. You will die
understand those and you can move forward living

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

Do the work, don’t be afraid to commit to doing the hard work, no short cuts will get you what you really want.

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

I have 2 🙂
“Commitment sets you free” (once you commit to something you do not need to worry about anything else that might be a distraction) like when you commit to a job and all your friends are going skiing…..

“The best thing you can do for a group is to take care of yourself” From Cal Tassinari, who taught wilderness classes through the university. I got it second hand from a student of his in the 1970’s it was in context to wilderness rescue, You cannot Help someone else if you don’t take care of yourself first, ie don’t make it worse…. Here is an interview form the UM archives