About the interviewee
Matt Shoup, President & CEO of M&E Painting
Matt Shoup was born an entrepreneur. At the energetic and determined age of 9, Matt started his own neighborhood lawn mowing and snow shoveling business. From there he peddled candy out of his middle school locker, only to have that business shut down by the school. Matt worked his way through high school and paid his way in to college. While at Colorado State University, Matt worked for and was a top producer for a national college painting company. After graduating from CSU in 2003 and marrying his college sweetheart, Emily, Matt went to work in the corporate mortgage industry. The mortgage industry and Matt did not get along and Matt was let go in March of 2005. With over $100,000 in debt and down to his last $100, Matt founded M&E Painting that same day and quickly elevated his company to be the top name in residential painting in Northern Colorado. To date, M&E Painting has served over 5,000 customers and produced over $15 million in revenue.
Tell me about your firm (number of employees, location, type of companies you work with, etc.).
M&E Painting is based in Loveland, Colorado and serves the Northern Colorado community exclusively. We are proud to work with Sherwin-Williams as they provide the highest level of products while maintaining an elite level of company and personal integrity and responsibility. M&E Painting employs eight people who sit at the Leadership Table and, in the busiest of times, up to 30 painters, repair technicians and powerwashers.
Tell us how you show your employees that you care?
As the leader of M & E Painting, getting to know our team members on a personal and deep level is very important to me. Showing them we care in ways that they will receive that caring is important. We reward, recognize, and care for our team in ways they would want to be rewarded, recognized and cared for. Kind words of encouragement go a long way. Recognition on birthdays are a must! And being there for them during difficult and trying times in life is also always done. We consider ourselves part of a team and not employees of a company. We are a family who loves, cares for and serves one another. We share a lot of laughs, conversations, meals, coffee, and time together a company to build this culture of caring.
What mistakes do businesses when it comes to cultivating a strong relationship with your employees?
I feel that leaders of companies who put the “keep work at work and personal at home” mentality to their company get it very wrong. Don’t get me wrong, we never allow or care to see drama, and issues being brought into an environment of our growing company, however, we understand that life happens. A team member working for our company is just one of the hats they wear. We tend to only see that hat when they walk through the doors. Getting to know what your team likes to do outside of work, their family, their hobbies, and even potential struggles they may be having is key. Being there to support them through struggles, and encourage and recognize the things they love is crucial. One thing we always do at our Tuesday 3:11 leadership meeting is check in with good news. This gives a lot of insight into what is happening in the lives of our team. Life is life as a whole and keeping every hat that a team member wears checked at the door of “business” is not possible.
Why is it important for your firm to make employees feel valued?
Because we do value them. They are the lifeblood of the company that makes things happen. They are on the front lines serving our customers, each other and the community at large. Our company grows, thrives, and succeeds because of the team, period. Recognizing them is a duty of mine that I take very seriously.