Bob and Blake knew how to Motivate

Michael Normart
3 min readJan 15, 2021

My Journey in the Footwear Industry that lead me to Zappos #142

Blog #141 I talked about people that made a difference plus fun stuff as well. In this blog I want to talk about how Bob and Blake knew how to motivate.

Two Peoples names would send shivers down most people’s spines. All you had to say was either Bob Nunn or Blake Nordstrom were coming in for a visit and the blood pressure would raise immediately. I must admit I was nervous too because no matter how good you were prepared they were smarter…

The questions they would ask sometimes were always thought provoking or sometimes really simple. “Where’s your black polish” Blake was famous for asking people. I asked him why as I said in an earlier blog and the answer was perfect. If they miss something as simple as black polish you know you need to dig deeper.

Bobs Visit

Bob came in one day to tour the stores and partake in the recognition meeting with Blake. He was semi-retired at this point but was a big figure still in the Nordstrom Universe. I had met with him countless times before and always learned something from him which I liked. He would say something this time that stuck with me and I’ve even passed it on to others.

He came in early as he usually did and we walked the front line. At each table he’d ask me about the brands and how they were doing. We talked about my strategy of Nickels and Sudini and how we grew Munro. We went into the backroom and I reminded him of the visit in Arden Fair and the comment he made about “You can learn a lot about a department by just listening in the stockroom”. I told him I wanted to avoid that this time. We both laughed.

We get back to the floor and he complimented me about the department and our business. I told him it was tough at first and didn’t know if I’d survive it for a while. He looked at me with a very intense look. Then he said “Remember you were put here for a reason…don’t ever let anyone make you forget that…” Mic drop. It was an amazing thing to say. It also lifted me so high, I’ll never forgot those words. I’ve said that to others when they struggle too. It’s a good reminder to do a self-check.

Blakes Visit

Michael Normart

This is my story, from Shoe dog to Entrepreneur Here are my Sites: Doggy Daddy Site: Footwear Blog: