It’s amazing what you can accomplish once you finally start doing instead of just talking.
Joey Pate is CEO of Easy Access Hunts, an online marketplace that connects landowners and hunters. His company strives to make it easy to find and enjoy hunting and outdoor recreational experiences.
Although Joey has founded his own company, he still works full-time as a Development Team Supervisor for a whole-sale power provider in the mid-west, running a Solutions Engineering team of 6 team members across 4 different locations. There his mission is to empower, protect, and connect his organization through technology. Joey’s team has a focus on the outcome of Power Production by building, implementing and supporting business applications and databases that mainly serve the power plants.
Joey has a passion for investing in people and spending time in the outdoors, making each of these jobs enjoyable and exciting each day. He earned his advancement to leadership at age 26 and founded his own company at 29 where he is becoming more of a visionary leader.
Joey lives in Springfield, Missouri. He always jumps at new leadership opportunities to grow his network and leadership ability through experience. When he’s not at work or hunting, you can always find him enjoying the outdoors with his 5-year-old daughter and wife.
Where did the idea for Easy Access Hunts come from?
I’ve had a passion for the outdoors from the time my father taught me to hunt and fish as a kid. When that passion crossed paths with my career as a developer I had created online communities for hunting without knowing the clear direction I really wanted to take it or the problem I was set out to solve. Once I moved away from my family farm for a job opportunity I began to struggle finding places to hunt and fish and I had found a problem that needed a solution. As I searched for a solution I realized many others are facing the same problem that I was, so I created Easy Access Hunts – an online marketplace that connects private landowners and hunters for hunting and outdoor recreational experiences.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
Being a startup founder and a full-time Development Team Supervisor I start early. I get up and start working on Easy Access Hunts around 6 am each morning, then head to my other job around 7:30 to 4:30. I break for family time and then typically work from 8 – 11 PM on weekdays while putting in full-time hours on the weekends.
To stay productive and keep the startup moving forward I meet with the team twice a week to ensure we have our short-term goals prioritized in a way that will best help us reach our long-term goals while always being agile and able to pivot based on what’s working well for us and what the customers are needing.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I always start with the day in the life scenario with ideas. To get the team to believe in my idea from the start, they have to understand how the day in the life is for a customer today, and how my idea will change the day in the life for the better. This helps paint the picture that is in my head for others to see. Once the team sees the picture clearly, it’s much easier to build on that idea and to bring the ideas to life through execution.
What’s one trend that excites you?
Per day marketplaces. The most common that we all know is Airbnb but it is starting to become more popular for things like insurance, camper rentals, the outdoors, and so on. This gives people the flexibility to try new things without a major investments of time or money. With many of these marketplaces being related to the outdoors in some way is also exciting for me to see.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
Early Riser. Waking up really early gives you hours of focus before any emails or interruptions can happen, and this is always the most productive part of my day. If it is something important that needs to get done, I plan to do it early as I know I have the focus to put my head down and knock it out. After that, I welcome collaborative working for creativeness, but the 2 hour focus to start the day is a must to ensure a good day.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Do it. It’s amazing what you can accomplish once you finally start doing instead of just talking. It took me years to finally take action on an idea and there have been no regrets since.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
You don’t get better by failing. You get better by succeeding, and then growing upon those successes. Failures are a waste of time and you must take them for what they are, a failure. You need to minimize them, not make it okay by calling it a learning experience, and move on quickly to find the successes so you can start getting better.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Pivot. As you’re growing you have to be willing to scrap an idea and try something different. If it’s not working or not being successful, no matter how much you believed in that idea or how much time you have invested in it, you have to learn to let go and move on quickly to find the successes. When you do find the successes, replicate that in every way possible.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Having dynamic equity from the start. Having dynamic equity allowed me to hire employees early in the startup without having the cash to pay them a salary, so we turn their salary into equity as the incentive. The entire operating agreement of dynamic equity is built around being fair, so each member earns what they deserve based on time and capital commitments. You keep your team motivated and the employees that don’t work out or are not motivated end up losing their equity so you don’t have a precious piece of your business owned by somebody not performing to their expectations. Even after salaries are being paid, it’s always a good idea to keep some dynamic equity around for future new hires to have extra incentive to put in the hard work.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
I sent the team on the wrong direction for several months building something I believed the customers would want, but they didn’t really want or need. This was painful for the startup and something that we had to finally decide to move on from and not lose any more time. We now take a much more serious approach to agile development and testing our concepts or ideas with the customers before going all in, ensuring our work is focused on value added items for them. With this new approach we love to start small with ideas and take the ones that are successful and grow them as fast as necessary.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
The real-estate market is flooded with real-estate agents in a long and slow manual and expensive process of scheduling inspections, appraisals, and so on. I recently sold a home by owner and it way easier than I ever expected. I believe there is a new way of selling real-estate coming in the near future that is automated and allows homeowners to not spend 5-7% of their earnings to sell a home. Use software to automate the process while providing clarity and variety to each step in the process while cutting out the expensive people in the middle of it all that guide the process. We all want this, so why doesn’t it exist yet?
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
Allergist doctor visit plus medication. I use this example as I have always been the person that fights through health related issues as “they’ll pass” and that I need to focus on my work instead. Taking care of your health in the small ways pays dividends on your productivity. Don’t ignore it. I feel better today and with more energy than I have in the past year, all from a single doctor visit.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive? How do you use it?
Microsoft Teams has been an awesome tool for persistent messaging with the team. It allows us to keep our meetings, conversations, files, OneNote, and so much more in one place all organized together and helps us stay in sync when we’re remote through video meetings and screen share.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
“Rework” by Jason Fried & David Heinemeier Hansson. It brings a new perspective to the startup world outside the typical business plan and seeking investors to forge your path. It motivates you to ensure everything you do for your small company is adding value and that you don’t take a step that is hard to unwind unless absolutely necessary. They are successful following unconventional ways, so it’s worth the read to challenge your thinking.
What is your favorite quote?
“The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing “- Walt Disney
- Find a consistent time in your day that can be distraction free to focus on the top priority items that need to get done. Not getting this focus time can cause important tasks to extend past their due date.
- Use “Day in the life…” scenarios on new ideas to paint the picture that is in your head in those around you.
- You must be willing to pivot directions quickly when something isn’t working. Go with what the customers are telling you, even if you thought it was the greatest idea that you’ve had in a while you must have a let go point.
- Take the time to take care of yourself. We often get caught up and striving towards success not realizing the negative impact we are making by the lack of sleep, family time, or time spent sick. Find the right balance for ultimate productivity and happiness.
Easy Access Hunts on Facebook: www.fb.com/easyaccesshunts
Easy Access Hunts on Instagram: www.instagram.com/easyaccesshunts
Joey Pate on Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/joeypate/