Nick Saab: A Focused Career
By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter
FREMONT — A budding entrepreneur, Nick Saab was in search of a business to get involved in, so when a unique industry caught his eye, he knew he’d found his professional focus. “I was attracted to the eye care industry for several reasons,” he says. “First, it was stable; after all, most people need vision correction at some point in their lives. Also, I liked the fact that it involved both health and fashion, which is a pretty unusual combination.”
After starting his first eye care business in Southern California in 1997, Nick moved north to expand his professional prospects. “I owned a couple of optometry practices down south, but I saw more opportunity in the Bay Area, so I relocated. In 1999, I opened Site of Sore Eyes – Fremont, and since then we’ve expanded to four locations around the Bay Area.”
Today, Nick says his favorite part of his job is having an impact. “I like making a difference in people’s lives by improving their vision and helping them look their best in the process. Whether a client needs contact lenses or eyeglasses, when they’re able to see clearer, it’s a life-changing dynamic, which is very rewarding to be a part of.”
A resident of San Ramon (where he lives with his wife, Rola, and their children), Nick expresses his appreciation for Bay Area life. “The Bay Area is a lot of fun. From sports to outdoor activities, there’s a lot to do, and the great weather just caps it off. I also enjoy the diversity. Plus, living in San Ramon, I’m pretty centrally located, which makes it convenient for me to visit my business’ different locations.”
Outside of work, Nick spends his free time engaged in a variety of pastimes. “I like playing tennis, dining out and seeing live music,” he says. “I also read a lot—mostly business-related books—and enjoy spending weekends with my family.” Additionally, Nick does a fair amount of traveling, both domestically and internationally. “I travel about three times a year. My last trip was to Beirut, Lebanon, which is where I’m from originally.”
In his life and career, Nick espouses the importance of maintaining open connections. “One of my principles is to never burn bridges,” he explains. “By keeping connections open, you can always reach out and reconnect with people. In regard to my business, that means making sure customers never go away unhappy. Even if there is a problem, we go out of our way to make it right, with the hope that the customer will come back in the future.”
When asked the first thing he’d do if he were to retire tomorrow, Nick simply replies that he wouldn’t. “I honestly enjoy my work and have no desire to retire. Why do you think I read so many business books in my spare time? This is fun for me!”
Ask Me Anything!
Q: What’s your favorite sports team?
A: The Golden State Warriors.
Q: What’s your favorite book?
A: “Barbarians at the Gate: The Fall of RJR Nabisco” by Bryan Burrough and John Helyar. It’s an in-depth account of the buyout of Nabisco back in the 1980s, which at that point was the biggest corporate acquisition that had ever taken place.
Q: Music or talk radio?
A: Talk radio.
Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?
A: Barcelona—it’s a beautiful city to visit.
Q: What’s your favorite snack?
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A: Potato chips.