We had the good fortune of connecting with Mike Thakur and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Mike, can you share a quote or affirmation with us?
Be amazing! As we started to grow the business and think about values, ideas and guiding principles that would help us understand who we wanted to be, how we wanted to treat the customers we served and what kind of experience we wanted to deliver, the overriding current in our sea of thought was that we just want to ‘be amazing’. We don’t think of ‘amazing’ in terms of delivering outrageous or unsustainable amenities or benefits every day, but we do think of it in terms of delivering every interaction in a way that leaves the people we serve feeling as though they received amazing service, or an amazing experience. From little things like remembering guests names, to chatting over business, mentoring, coaching, encouraging or inspiring, we intentionally work hard to be something more than most people typically expect in any given business interaction.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
At WorkLodge, we recognized that businesses find it hard to navigate things like the unpredictability of growth, the time pressures of finding and maintaining commercial real estate and then having to figure out how to handle the immense, financial investment associated with it. So we created flexible, on-demand workspace that helps teams (of up to 50) enjoy all the big business infrastructure and amenities that corporations benefit from, to help them grow revenue and improve productivity while reducing the financial risks and other costs involved. We do that wrapped around an incredible community of entrepreneurs that help each other, support each other and even build new businesses together as they interact within our locations. One of the things I’m most proud of is when Members return to WorkLodge after leaving. Whether they’ve joined a new company or started something new, we’ve had so many come back and want to work from our spaces again that it thrills me to know we delivered an experience that left a strong enough impression on them that they want to come back and work here again! Has it been easy? No. Has it been more difficult than I thought? Absolutely! And this is my fifth startup!! I’m learning more than I’ve ever learned through reading, courses and classes as well as from those around me, working more hours than I’ve ever worked but overall am still loving the core business and being able to serve the people we help. If people remember only one thing about WorkLodge, I’d love it to be that we were able to build a business that delivers a great experience and product at a reasonable price, while changing the world along the way through our in house non-profit funded entirely by the revenues we generate. Our Members change lives by choosing to work at a WorkLodge.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Given we’re still dealing with the effects of Covid this is a toughie! Normally, I’d want to make sure we head out to the theater district and catch a show, pop over to Kiran’s on Richmond for some amazing Indian food, take them to Church at Lakewood and probably grab a Margarita with Fajitas at El Tiempo for starters. If they had a little time I’d have to show them The Woodlands area also, while taking to the water on Lake Conroe for some fun.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
There’s so many people that have impacted my thoughts, beliefs, values and growth over the years it’s difficult to know where to start. Jon Lang, one of my earlier managers in the U.K. took time to invest in me and believe in me, seeing something others maybe didn’t quite see and gave me an opportunity that really helped move my career forward in ways I couldn’t have imagined. Ray Elder who I just spoke about on this week’s podcast episode, led a non-profit (Teen Challenge) that changed lives in the most direct and tangible way, and showed me how easy it is to be that way with intentionality, humility and grace. Finally, all the amazing Members I’ve had the privilege of serving over the past 5 years with WorkLodge. I’ve met, built friendships with and been humbled by some truly great folks, and the staff that we’ve worked alongside have been just really great people.