NEA Women in Business: Amanda Herget

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 88 views 

Amanda Herget
Gearhead, Rock/Creek, and Uncle Dan’s Outfitters co-owner

Residence: Jonesboro
Education: B.Ed., Arkansas State University; M.Ed. educational administration, ASU
Professional background: Herget has spent many years as the co-owner of Gearhead Outfitters. In 2019, the company acquired Rock Creek and Uncle Dan’s. Herget has a previous background in education and served as the Race for the Cure director.

What was your dream job as a kid and why?

To run my own business and be a school teacher. I have been fortunate enough to experience both. I knew both paths would allow me the opportunity to impact the lives of others.

What has been the most fulfilling moment of your career so far?

One of the most fulfilling things about being a business owner is watching our team grow personally and professionally. We’ve been able to give opportunities to young people right out of school who have helped lead our business to where it is today. Many of our leaders began as sales associates or other entry level positions and now manage their own stores or lead whole divisions of the company. It’s been incredible to see how much they’ve grown and learned about leadership and business. They continue to inspire me everyday with their determination to grow and develop our business.

What advice would you give young women who are at the beginning of their careers?

Everyone has their own definition of success. Mine is living a life I can be proud of. I would encourage young women to always be confident in themselves and their abilities. Don’t be afraid to get out of your comfort zone and always challenge yourself to learn new things. You have unique strengths that will add value to your team, don’t be afraid to share them with others. You can spend a lifetime trying to improve your weaknesses or a lifetime focusing on your natural abilities and talents. Always recognize the wins and be proud of your accomplishments.

Amanda Herget.

How do you spend your time away from work? What are your hobbies?

Getting outdoors has proven to be extremely beneficial for me mentally and physically. I love to ride my bike on the road and trails, oftentimes with my husband Ted running next to me. I also enjoy hiking, walking, and running. I love to challenge myself and try new things. Last year, a group of friends and I hiked through the Grand Canyon, and this experience taught me a lot about myself and the power of the outdoors. I’ve practiced yoga for several years and have found this is also a great way to challenge myself — especially if I’m on a paddleboard! Poetry has also always been a creative outlet for me and a great way for me to express how I feel. Thanks to the pandemic, I have recently discovered I also enjoy yard work.

Can you share what you have learned about your business from the COVID-19 pandemic?

The global pandemic forced us to re-evaluate everything about how we do business. We have closed the majority of our stores, reopened stores with new standards and expectations, created new protocols to keep our staff safe and adapted to living our lives in masks. One of the biggest lessons we’ll take away from this year is the importance of flexibility, adaptability, and the ability to pivot when needed. We’ve also learned the value of having people on your team that are willing to fight through the hard times with you. Despite all of the challenges thrown our way, our team continues to show grit and determination that’s kept us going.

What’s the last good book you read?

“Where the Crawdads Sing” by Delia Owens. I can’t wait to see Reese Witherspoon’s movie version of the book.

What’s your favorite app at the moment?

Pinterest. I am always looking for personal and professional inspiration. I love finding new recipes to try, new workouts, and photo shoot ideas.

If you have a bucket list, what are the top three things on it?

I recently watched a podcast interview with a runner who was dying of cancer. Her doctor told her to get out her bucket list. She replied by saying, “My entire life has been a bucket list.”

Honestly, I try to live that way as well. In college, I studied abroad and toured Europe. I have hiked the Grand Canyon rim-to-rim, I have run marathons and triathlons, I am raising two children with my husband, who is also my business partner. At the end of each day, I am physically and mentally exhausted, but I am always excited to start a new day.

Three things I still want to check off the list are mastering pull-ups without assistance, skydiving with my son, and I want to continue to travel and see the world.

What’s the next big personal or career challenge you plan to take on?

I have started a children’s book I would like to finish and publish one day. I am also the director of our company’s online running program, Project 90. I’m focused on continuing to develop this program, expand our marketing efforts, grow participation, and help more people run injury-free. Part of our mission at Gearhead Outfitters is to help people live active, fulfilling lives, and I’m really excited to have the opportunity to do that through this program.

What character traits do you feel have benefited you in your success?

Our company puts a big emphasis on the utilization of each person’s strengths. Every member of our leadership team has taken the Gallop Strengths Finder Test so we can truly understand what makes each person who they are and can put them in a position to succeed. One of my strengths that’s been most prominent for me in my career is empathy. Everyone responds differently to stress and adversity and my ability to better understand what people are going through has allowed me to build trust with my team and help them reach their full potential. Believe it or not, my education degree has been invaluable in helping me run a business. I learned early on that every person learns differently and must be led differently. The ability to take a more individualized approach to leadership has proven to be successful for us.

Of all the mentors in your professional career, who has been the most influential and why?

My husband, Ted. He believes everyone has the ability to make a difference if they just show up and put in the work. He has always pushed me out of my comfort zone and taught me that you learn the most when you’re uncomfortable. It’s because of him I’ve been able to overcome my fear of failure. The failures are sometimes what teach us the most. He challenges me to not make excuses, try new things, make mistakes, learn from them, get up and try again.

What’s your biggest passion and why?

Helping others live a healthy lifestyle. Our mental and physical health is more important than ever. The idea of getting healthy can be overwhelming for a lot of people. I want to show people it can be as simple as moving your body every day, finding enjoyable ways to manage stress, and fueling your body with the nutrients it needs.

What is something distinctive people would be surprised to know about you?

I am scared of heights, but I love roller coasters and have bungee jumped twice.

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