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May 2, 2024

Trade Secrets: How to say yes to opportunities

Featuring Professional skier and ski movie producer Stan Rey

Home Base / Whistler, British Columbia

Activities / Skiing, backcountry skiing, mountain biking

Even though he comes from a family of professional skiers and spent his childhood ski racing, when Salomon athlete and Blank Collective co-founder Stan Rey chose to pursue a career as a freeskier, he started at the bottom, saying yes to every opportunity that came his way. 

He said yes when photographers asked him to shoot photos. He said yes to marketing department requests for videos. He said yes to a startup sock sponsor asking for content. 

Just put in the effort and have a good attitude and I feel like good things will come.

Salomon named a ski after the Blank Collective.
A key to Stan's success is doing what he would do anyway.

Whenever Stan was working with professionals and creatives in the ski industry, he was a sponge for knowledge. He learned quickly and pretty soon one opportunity snowballed into the next, leading to enough work that now, as an established and seasoned pro skier, Stan can afford to be more selective with what he says yes to, restoring balance between work and life and honoring what his body can endure as an athlete.

“Once you get more established, you can pick and choose, because if you say yes to everything all the time you’ll get burned out,” he says. “But especially when you’re younger and you have the energy and the passion, I would for sure try to jump at every opportunity you get.”

Taking advantage of opportunities has worked out, OK.

Quick Tip

Stan borrows a quote from his wife, a ski cross Olympic medalist, when he says that “hard work will always beat talent when talent doesn’t work hard.” 

For Stan, hard work translates to putting in the days on snow, even when conditions aren’t that great or motivation runs low. It’s focusing on improving technique: getting a better turn, spinning left and right. It’s strength building and logging hours in the gym to be more resilient in the backcountry. And it’s also about dedicating the time to recovery: Stan starts his mornings with a 45-minute meditation and warm-up routine that he’s come to depend on to make the most of his days.

“Taking a bit of time for yourself and not having any screens or thoughts,” he says. “Just breathing can help you be more clear, day to day.”