#AtTheBar Episode 14: Mike Pritchett – Staff Engagement | Sacrifices | Mentors

Join Chad Lakin, Director of Strategy and Mike Pritchett, Founder and CEO of Shootsta, in this special December edition of At The Bar.

Episode 14

Transcript

Chad
Hey, welcome back to At the Bar part 2. We’ve got Mike Pritchett the CEO of Shootsta.

Mike how are you?

Mike
I’m very well, always love being in the passenger seat.

Chad
Well enjoy this it’s going to be a bumpy ride. Look we’re going to get right into it mate.

We’ve got a lot of young staff at Shootsta, as a startup a lot of people are really interested in being part of something that’s so disruptive.

How do you keep the staff motivated in an ever changing environment?

Mike
Our desk actually has electric shocks that kick through every 10 or 15 minutes

Chad
He’s not lying.

Mike
Sad thing is I’m actually not lying, but that is not how we keep them motivated.

Look, I could throw things out there like table tennis and flexible work hours and everything else but I think that the reality is that young and old, people want to have a place they can come to and feel like they actually are achieving something. Being a part of something that’s growing, something that’s going somewhere and not wasting their time being here.

You spend most of your waking hours at work; you may as well enjoy what you’re doing and actually feel productive. So we want to make sure that every one of our team members actually feels like they’re doing something each day and going home feeling like they’ve accomplished something.

Chad
Look, I think the free booze… helps immensely.

Mike
Even if drinking is all you have accomplished…

Chad
We’re creating a lot of alcoholics, but that’s not our fault…

Excellent mate, so Shootsta is your baby it was your brainchild and obviously partnering up with Tim to bring that baby to life [laughs].

Mike
That sounds awkward…

Chad
I don’t know if that is going the right way, but what I wanted to say was how do you…

Mike
Create babies with Tim, well I can’t tell you… [laughing]

Chad
It’s a different segment mate, it’s a different segment.

You know, this is your brain child so, as more people come into the business you need to obviously have to let go of more things, how do you handle that?

Mike
I love letting things go. It’s less work for me.

In reality, it’s about finding great people and then lettings go. Back to that earlier question about keeping people motivated, if you let somebody come on board with the idea that they’re going to be achieving something and accomplishing something then you try and do their job for them the whole time. It’s a complete waste of time for them and it’s a complete waste of time for you and you’re just going to have massive churn and not move anywhere particularly quickly.

Having five people sign off on the one thing drives me insane and I think that’s what holds a lot of big corporates up and means that companies like us can disrupt and move very quickly.

I have goals obviously for the company and I also have goals for myself and a lot of those personal goals are; can’t wait until the company see’s X happen without me being involved. So, one of my first dance around the kitchen moments was a client came on board that had nothing to do with me and doesn’t even know who I am. And I think every CEO and every startup founder should be having that kind of goal.

Obviously it wasn’t hard to hand a lot of the IT stuff over to Tim when we first partnered up because he knows that space better than I do and it’s about surrounding yourself with great people who can do those parts of the process.

Chad
Yeah, excellent. Now, I would imagine running any sort of size business, that mentorship is very important. I mean, we’re taking some big steps, what kind of role have mentors played in your life?

Mike
A big role, I’ve got a few mentors and all of them have backgrounds in business, in what we’re doing. I think it’s important to have a coach that can walk you through particular steps, but a mentor is someone that’s been there, done that. And even better if they’ve been there done that in a similar type of space so they can really tell you what to expect. At the same time, they can never tell you what to expect because that’ll be one of their pieces of advice; you never know what’s going to come around the corner.

The biggest thing is just expanding your headspace. Somebody told me a while back that a business will never outgrow your own head. If you believe that your business can be 10 million dollars, that’s where your business is going to cap out. And that’s just the reality of it.

If you are speaking to somebody who ran a business up to a 50, 100, 200 million, 3 billion dollars they can give you a lot bigger headspace on where you can take that opportunity.

Chad
And I think that really trickles down to the staff in this business as well. You know I think you’re being mentored and they are also reaping the benefits of that so I guess that’s another quality of attracting good talent.

Mike
Yes, definitely, you know I want to make sure, and even our team members having their own mentors outside the business as well and what they can do and what they can do bigger and better and bring that into the fold as well.

I think the team members here that are coming up through the ranks and starting young can learn a lot from what we’re doing at a slightly higher level and definitely a lot of that comes through from mentors teaching us as well and the senior staff on where they can take the business.

Chad
That’s awesome, thanks for your time Mike.

Mike
I’m here all day.

Chad
You are, every day. All day, every day.

So think big? Yeah?

Mike
Yeah definitely, think big and go for it.

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