Business In:Brief with Mike Pritchett (Shootsta)
CEO and founder of Shootsta, 2014–present
Mike Pritchett is the CEO and founder of Shootsta, a video production company that gives businesses the training, equipment and resources they need to shoot and create their own video content. Shootsta then provides editing, mixing and grading to create a professional video within 48 hours.
Before founding Shootsta, Mike spent 16 years working in the video industry and is also the director of Sydney-based production company Trapdoor Productions.
What was your first job?
My first "business" was when I was 12, I purchased a DIY worm farm and sold worms in takeaway containers to our local nursery. Not a great money spinner, but a good start. My first job was on the checkout at Woolworths. I have to be honest, I didn't last long. Hourly wage and no incentive for better results or harder work have never really sat well with me.
What's your proudest achievement?
I hate to sound soppy, but my daughter is easily my proudest achievement, I don't think anything in life really surpasses children. However, in business, I feel my proudest achievement would have to be the fact that I've never given up on trying to find a model that I could scale.
The term "overnight success" is a complete lie and the most misleading term possible for young entrepreneurs, in fact I still don't consider myself to be "a success". Fortunately I can confidently say that I'm on the path that I have always wanted to be on. However, this has taken over a decade and a half to even be able to say that I'm on the right path. Through many ups and downs and complete curve balls, I've always come back for another swing, if nothing else, I'm resilient. Or maybe just stubborn.
What's the biggest lesson you've learned?
"You can't flog a dead horse". I see so many small business owners trying the same old thing and expecting different results. We all know what that equals, however it's an easy trap to fall into. If you're not in love with your life, change it! The beauty of the age that we live in, is that for most people in first world countries right now, we have choice.
If your job or your business is draining you and you're not on the path you want to be on, keep dreaming up ideas and believing they're possible. The easiest way to believe they're possible is by hanging around people that have already achieved what you're trying to achieve. Pivoting my business into a model that I could scale globally is the best decision we ever made, but it wasn't easy.
What other business leader do you most admire and why?
I met Richard Branson when I was filming him for Money magazine about a decade ago. The shoot finished and I assumed he would be whisked off to another meeting. He stood up, walked right over to me, shook my hand and said "Is this your business?". I Nervously responded "yes" thinking, "sure if me and an intern constitutes a business". He then proceeded to walk and talk with me about business for 20 minutes. I've never forgotten the time he gave me, the fact that he remembered my name and genuinely showed interest in my ideas and what I was trying to achieve. He's one of the original "rock star entrepreneurs" and I have a lot of respect for him.
What's the best piece of business advice you've ever received?
This is a big question, I have received a lot of advice over the years. I actively seek it out from people who have built successful businesses. However, one that stands out is a line from the good ol' "Sunscreen Song" from Baz Luhrmann: "Don't congratulate yourself too much, but don't berate yourself either. Your chances are half luck, so are everybody else's".
Building a business is a crazy rollercoaster ride, you don't want to exacerbate the problem by being too emotional as you go. It's a marathon that takes everything you've got and then some. The rest of my advice has been mostly unspoken. I hang around people that have a higher belief in themselves and in me than I do, therefore that transfers and we all grow.
Business In:Brief is a regular interview feature that profiles a notable business leader each month. It is also included as part of our business newsletter, which you can sign up for below.