Amaze the customer: entrepreneurial rule No. 1 (for every industry)

When I interviewed at Metis, I met with Courtney, one of our founding partners. I was nervous about starting a new job, switching to the PR industry and making a good impression. I also hoped to find out if I fit into the company’s culture.

After our conversation, I asked why Courtney loved working at Metis. She answered with some background about her career – she’d been an entrepreneur throughout her life, spent years in the food service industry and even opened a restaurant in her hometown of Provincetown, Mass., and co-founded Metis with Cathy Atkins, intent on running a business on their terms. Everything she said resonated with me, and I started working for the company two weeks later.

That first impression of Courtney (and Metis) hasn’t changed in the years I’ve worked here, and neither has Courtney’s dedication to both entrepreneurship and Provincetown. She and her husband operate a commercial fishing business based out of the town, and she sits on the board of the local Pilgrim Monument and Provincetown Museum. And when Courtney recently heard that Mojo’s, an iconic local restaurant, was for sale, she followed an instinct and offered to buy the business.

“I grew up eating at Mojo’s,” she explained. “It’s an institution, and it’s important to me that I help preserve Provincetown’s icons if and when I get the chance.”

As Courtney shared during our first meeting before I started working at Metis, some of her career’s most important business lessons came from working in restaurants. Owning her own “was like going to business school in one summer season,” she told the Huffington Post last year. Recently, she elaborated on the connection between Metis and Mojo’s:

“My approach to business is always to follow my gut, and then be open and aware enough to know when something’s right or needs to be changed. No matter the industry, the core tenets of any successful company are the same: surround yourself with the right team, be meticulous with your numbers, deliver excellent customer service and keep your team happy. When you’re passionate about something, you make it work.”

Another Metis lesson that will double at Mojo’s will be setting realistic business goals while putting customers first. Mojo’s has been a Provincetown staple since 1973, and Courtney is inheriting its menu, recipes and much of its kitchen crew. One of her goals for the first year is to simply make customers happy through the high-traffic summer, improving upon the restaurant’s established workflows and reputation before proposing other changes.

Click to tweet: “When you’re passionate about something, you make it work.” -@CourtneyHurst via @MetisComm 

Courtney is aiming to meet Mojo’s 2015 record of more than 9,000 customers served on July 4 – and then break it.

“I never want to stop learning,” says Courtney. “Taking on new challenges while managing current ventures is essential for any entrepreneur.”


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