AMA: Patrick Wells, founder of Booth
Inclusion and diversity in business matters. And diverse organisations perform better. We spoke to Patrick Wells about his company Booth which was founded in accordance with Broad-based Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE).
Hi, Patrick! Tell us about Booth.
Booth is a B2B/B2G marketing and communications agency. We specialise in below-the-line marketing for corporate and government enterprises in South Africa and the United Kingdom. We have more than 25 years of combined industry experience and 51% female diversity ownership.
Good to hear! Speaking of ownership, do you have a share or option scheme in place for your team? If so, what difference has it made?
Being a small team, we all have shares in the business and the sense of ownership has helped drive the business forward.
So, how did the idea for your company come about?
Coming from South Africa, I have the drive to create a business centred around diversity and a drive for doing things differently. We changed over a short period of time which we’re happy about.
What does company culture mean to you?
Short answer, everything. I’m all about honesty, and I believe if you can get that right, everything else follows.
Love that! How do you keep your team aligned?
We’re fortunate to be a small enough team that communication has never been a problem for us.
Can you share any practical tips or processes to help people work remotely?
I can only speak for myself, but what’s worked for me is to establish a daily routine. I end my day with a checklist for the following day that includes things from exercise and meditation to meetings and emails.
I try to start my day with exercise and take it bit by bit from there. It’s important for me to have time away from the screen and to stick to specific start and finish times.
This would be my ideal day, and working from home has its challenge; we have a crazy puppy that requires a lot of attention!
The important thing is to have a structure and try to stick to it as much as possible and don’t beat yourself up when you slip. Just keep trying.
Great advice. What's the biggest mistake you've made as an entrepreneur?
Getting into business with friends. Unless you have specific skills that each of you can bring to the table, it’s never worked out for me.
Did you ever experience a business disappointment that led to
Absolutely, I think it goes hand-in-hand with being in business. Losing deals can be incredibly disheartening. As long as I can learn from the disappointment and be honest and nimble enough to change, it makes it much easier to deal with.
Give us an interesting fact about yourself that the business community doesn’t know.
I used to be in a psychedelic rock band in my twenties, and three of our songs have just been used in a documentary called Everything In Between where two cyclists ride from London to Tokyo. Keep an eye out. And, I also have made up language for my dog, Baloo.
We certainly will! Finally, here's a fun question to finish on. Who would play you in a film of your life?
I’d love to say Anthony Hopkins in a film about my life 50 years from now looking back at all the ups and downs and that no matter what’s happened, things are going to be okay.
Fantastic. Thank you so much for your time, Patrick. It's been a pleasure.