Ross Andrew Paquette, CEO of Maropost, shares some of the insights he gleaned from the Coronavirus pandemic as well as other nuggets.
What are the biggest challenges you face while running an international business amid the COVID-19 crisis?
Ross Andrew Paquette: Our biggest challenge at this time is ensuring that our employees and customers are healthy and in safe environments while we do all that we can to support them as they work through their own struggles.
While the crisis has had untold challenges for other businesses, Maropost is fortunate enough to be one that falls under the business-critical environment, and one that businesses rely upon during a crisis more so to indirectly get their message out, sell their products, communicate with their customers, and so on, than anything else.
How have you adapted your daily routine to stay productive and focused?
Ross Andrew Paquette: I certainly have adapted quite a bit. Not being able to move from my home, for the most part, has certainly been difficult. I’ve done my best to ensure that I block out time for exercise, remain off of news sites to focus on the positive and keep in close contact with my family and team whenever I can. A large part of staying productive and focused for me right now is just remembering these priorities and ensuring the stability and security of my team.
What is the biggest lesson you learned so far from the COVID-19 pandemic?
Ross Andrew Paquette: There’s a couple of lessons that I have long since learned that I believe are incredibly relevant today. That is, to ensure your business can survive and possibly thrive in any environment — planning for growth at all costs, spending more than you earn, and proper financial management have to remain as priorities at all times. This has LONG been priorities for us at Maropost, and this situation has simply validated that and taught us to double down on those philosophies as best we can.
What sound or noise do you love?
Ross Andrew Paquette: The Ocean. There is just something beyond calming about hearing the waves, either crashing against the rocks or calmly washing ashore. I think many will agree with me when I say that the sound of the ocean is a great source of peace and tranquility in an otherwise incredibly noisy world.
What’s the most common reason for people failing or giving up?
Ross Andrew Paquette: Pressure, I think we all have a breaking point.
Save for the few of us that are willing to give up everything to accomplish their goals. A quality I have only seen a few times in my career. Outside of those individuals, we all have some semblance of a limit, I have met individuals who can go all the way and some that barely start the race before giving up. What is truly remarkable is that in many cases, the most unlikely individuals to go the distance do so without pause whilst maintaining balance in their lives.
If you could have one superpower, what would it be?
Ross Andrew Paquette: The ability to teleport! As I’ve aged I’ve learned (as many have) that time is the one asset we cannot obtain more of, and that any time you can save or gain, will provide the most value to you and yours.
So, if I can’t have teleportation, I would want either the power of flight or being able to breathe underwater — for the exact same reason, of course.
What do you enjoy most about being an entrepreneur? What’s hardest about it?
Ross Andrew Paquette: I enjoy positive customer relationships the most, they are what make it all worthwhile for me. And, of course, the hardest thing about it is maintaining those positive customer relationships. That’s me speaking incredibly broadly, and completely ignoring how much of a struggle it is to keep everyone happy while executing and guiding them down the path that will be best for them in the long term…
Do you ever dream about what might be possible for you as a philanthropist if [startup] achieves its vision?
Ross Andrew Paquette: Yes, frequently.
And, I’ve been fortunate enough to start working on one of my own visions today.
With Maropost CARES, we have focused on global environmental concerns and programs to keep our planet and its many ecosystems free from the pollution that is doing all that it can to take it away from us. That is definitely one vision I am constantly dreaming to see achieved.
How do you feel Coronavirus will impact the way consumers shop in the future?
Ross Andrew Paquette: I am certain that this will only accelerate the retail apocalypse — the already dramatic shift to online shopping that has already accelerated to nearly 100% during this period. It’s making almost everyone more comfortable with making all of their purchases online.
So, I believe that companies who still have a heavy retail presence will have to adapt even faster to combat this with strong solutions to drive sales.
How do you instill confidence in the future to your Maropost employees and clients?
Ross Andrew Paquette: Maropost is fortunate enough to be in a business critical space, so we’re far away from most outside variables. The way I see it, Marketing Automation, Ecommerce, and Transactional services would be the last to go in any situation. And, we stay and stick to that message across the board.
We remain consistent and steadfast for our clients, and focus on how we can help them navigate through times of crises, and guide them through the situation if their business is one of those at most risk.
As for our employees, Maropost is constantly hiring to fill in certain roles, so that always helps lift morale.
How do you personally face moments of crisis?
Ross Andrew Paquette: Head on and decisively. I can’t say that there aren’t ever moments of panic, frustration, or a series of other internal emotions working its way through me during such times. However, I’ve found that facing the situation head-on and with confidence has always worked well for me. Along with remaining calm and collected, especially when other parties are involved.
It also helps that, outside of recent events, both Maropost and I are lucky that we have never truly faced many crises.
How has this CoVID-19 crisis affected Maropost as a company?
Ross Andrew Paquette: It has had little effect. Some of our Maropost smaller clients have been panicked, of course, and we do our best to support them in any way possible. But, internally, the differences have been minute.
Thankfully, I can say without hesitation that we have done admirably when it comes to managing ourselves financially. Enough that weathering even through the major changes our clients are undergoing is perfectly fine. I am very proud of the finance team for this, as well as our executive team, which has adapted quickly to ensure we are even more prepared in the future.
Frankly, given how things have been quiet — as we all lay in a wait to see how the course of the crisis will roll out. It has given Maropost time to get ALOT done from a product and development perspective.