Often it’s the basics of business that cause us to fail. Hear how Mac Prichard learned some tough lessons about the importance of details but rebounded to success.
Mac Prichard is the founder and publisher of Mac’s List, an online community for people looking for rewarding, creative, and meaningful work. More than 80,000 people a month visit the site, which includes a job board, and a blog and courses about the nuts and bolts of job hunting and career management.
Mac is proud to own two registered B-Corp companies, which use the power of markets to solve social and environmental problems. He is the author of Land Your Dream Job Anywhere and hosts the weekly podcast, Find Your Dream Job.
Time Stamped Show Notes
[3:20] A B-Corp (Benefit Corporation) is a company that manages profit but also looks to benefit the community. It goes through a process done by B Lab for transparency and social and environmental performance.
[5:25] A common denominator was always wanting to make a difference in issues he cared about in the community, so when Mac transitions to starting his own business, that was fundamental.
[6:30] We all have our setbacks and there’s always peaks and valleys in our journey, we just have to go through all those processes.
[7:36] Prichard Communications started in 2007 as a small public relations agency for purpose-driven nonprofits and foundations. In 2014 it had grown from a halftime consultancy firm to having 8 employees.
[9:06] The primary source of Mac’s success are the relationships he’s built all throughout his career.
[9:57] To stay connected with his professional network, Mac started sending out job postings as a kind of networking. In 2011 he started charging for those job postings and by 2015 that accounted for a third of his annual revenue.
[11:30] Mac’s businesses were growing but it wasn’t clear where the growth was coming from so he couldn’t focus his people to where they would work best.
[12:18] Prichard Communications is service based and Mac’s List in an ecommerce site with an online community.
[13:20] It was only Mac sat down to organize a separate budget for each company that he knew Mac’s List was very profitable and Prichard Communications was losing money, so it became clear that he needed a new business development plan for his PR company.
[14:25] Total loss for not having separate budgets for each company was of several thousand dollars for Prichard Communications. But it wasn’t until he knew the facts that he could fix the problem.
[17:33] Failing Forward Segment
- Why did this failure experience happen to you? – “Because I didn’t have the financial reports in place that I needed to understand the true picture of how my company was operating.”
- What is the single most important lesson you learned from this? – “Pay attention to your numbers and understand your industry and learn from the leaders in that world. If you do those things, you will have success, and as I said earlier, it might not be a straight 45 degree angle but it will come.”
- How do you protect yourself from failing in this way again? – “We have very good financial reports in place now and I look at them on a monthly basis. I also hired a part-time finance manager and I have gotten much better as a business owner about learning how public relations agencies work and why they’re successful.”
- Who do you turn to when you need help? – “I have a business coach for Prichard Communications, I also have peers in the PR world that I turn to. For the Mac’s List business, I have started building relationships with people in the ecommerce world, particularly in what’s called the job board world.”
- What advice would you give to someone in a similar position? – “Know your numbers, make sure you put systems in place so that you can avoid that problem happening again. Knowing what you need to do in advance, allows you to plan ahead.”
[23:28] Mac’s List is now an online community that attracts 80,000 visitors a month and sends out a newsletter to 25,000 people. There you can find information about job hunting and learning how to look work in the hidden job market.
[28:00] The book “Land your Dream Job” shows you how to do a job search, set goals and find hidden jobs. Download the first chapter of for free by visiting www.macslist.org/howtolosemoney.
[29:05] Mac’s final thought: “Know your financial systems. You gotta know your numbers. And about job hunting: don’t wait to be picked. Once you know what you want, go out and talk to people, step away from the computer.”