Rich Smith is the Founder of Atlas Medstaff. Rich Smith is a thought leader, influencer, and risk taker, and Rich has provided the vision and energy that has inspired the creation of Atlas Medstaff. Rich Smith joins other leading CEOs and Founders taking part in our Leader Roundtable Interview Series.The DotCom Magazine editorial team has awarded Atlas Medstaff as an Impact Company of 2019, and we are delighted to have Rich join us for our Leader Round Table Interview. The Atlas Medstaff story is very interesting, and we are very excited to not only interview Rich, but also put Rich through our popular speed round as well!
Rich, thank so much for taking the time out of your busy day for this interview, and answering some questions about leadership, your vision, and your passion.
1. Can you describe what the “elevator pitch” for Atlas MedStaff is?
It’s hard to put Atlas into words. When we started, we knew there was a better way. Our industry had become very sterile and transactional. It shouldn’t be like that. The relationship between the recruiter and the nurse is a personal one. It’s so much more than just “find me a job”.
2. Many of our readers are just starting to build a company. What advice can you give CEO’s just starting out regarding keeping a company moving forward, and please tell us the key to your company’s success?
Don’t listen to anyone but yourself. That doesn’t mean you should close yourself off to everyone. It means that you have a vision and a goal. Run full speed at it. There are a lot of negative voices out there, and none of them matter. The key to our success at Atlas has been just that. We believed in what we were doing, no matter what any of the outsiders said. We believe that focusing on the end user, the nurse working in the hospital, was key. We aren’t selling a product, we don’t have a warehouse full of widgets. We have a strong belief system we call The Atlas Life. A life full of taking chances. A life full of adventure. A life not based on dollars, but on experiences.
3. For other entrepreneurs seeking to build a business as successful as yours, what advice can you give them when times get a little challenging?
Don’t give up. It sounds so cliché but it’s 100% true. When times get tough, put your head down and plow forward. Nothing good ever comes easy. You will get knocked down. But it’s how you get up and keep moving forward that will define your success.
4. How important is the commitment to client satisfaction at Atlas MedStaff, and how do you make sure your customers will become raving fans of your company?
NOTHING is more important. Our focus is 100% on the nurse. In addition to finding our nurses jobs and making sure their compliance is up to date, our days are filled with the little things. Never forgetting a birthday or anniversary. Celebrating their wins. Helping them through their losses.
5. What is the one thing Atlas MedStaff does to have great communication with their customers?
It’s more than just one thing. It’s everything we do. It’s the text message at 11 pm at night because that’s when our nurse might get her lunch break. It’s the hand signed welcome card. It’s my availability on social media because that’s how people consume content in 2019.
6. In today’s fast changing business environment, what do you do to keep up with the changes? What do you read to stay abreast of things?
Virtually everything we do is documented on social media. It’s how we communicate with our nurses. In March of 2018, I dissolved our traditional marketing department and created two completely new departments. The Atlas Brand and The Atlas Experience. Each work with our traveling healthcare professionals in unique ways. The Atlas Brand is everything you see online. From our YouTube channel to our Facebook and Instagram page. The Atlas Brand team documents and produces content daily. The Atlas Experience handles everything outside of their day to day work, focusing instead on their experiences while on contract. That includes a benefit we call the Atlas Adventure. It’s a one
time, company paid event that the nurse chooses. Could be skydiving, or a hot air balloon ride. Maybe it’s a concert or a Broadway show. They choose, and it’s on us.
7. What is your “Why”? Why do you get up in the morning, and how do you keep yourself at peak performance to lead Atlas MedStaff?
My why has two parts. The first part is my family. Nothing more than that. I want to give them the very best life possible. The second part is the people. From every internal Atlas employee, to every nurse and tech we have traveling the country. My job is to make Atlas everything it can be for them, company that they can be proud to work for.
8. Can you recommend a book that has had an influence in your career? How did it influence you?
I have two. The first one is The Thank You Economy by Gary Vaynerchuk. The second is Quench Your Own Thirst by Jim Koch. Both of them gave me perspective, something that a classroom never could.
9. When communicating with your staff, can you tell us the most important thing you do so that they are able to carry out the objectives that you set forth at Atlas MedStaff?
Transparency. And not that pretend transparency that we’ve all seen in business. Real talk, real numbers. No matter how good or bad things are, employees deserve honest communication. They trust you with their livelihood. In return they deserve true transparency.
10. In one sentence, can you give some advice to fellow entrepreneurs wishing to build a company as exciting as Atlas MedStaff?
Your vision drives the company forward. Run full speed at it.
We would like to have some fun and do a “First Reaction” round with you!
We will ask you ten more questions that we want you to answer in just one to three words only. Here you go!
1. In three words or less, What makes a successful CEO?
Empathy, Vision, Listening.
2. Describe your business in one word?
3. Describe your customers in one word?
4. What one attribute do you look for when hiring an employee?
5. What is the one word you want your customers to say about your company?
6. In three words or less, describe your passion?
More, more, more.
7. In three words or less, describe what it takes to be successful?
Passion, Drive, Persistence.
8. In three words or less, describe your first year in business at Atlas MedStaff?
Scary, Frustrating, Humbling.
9. In three words or less, describe how running a successful company has changed you?
Not one bit.
10. What is the one word that you believe has the most power in the English Language?