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IAM577- CEO Helps Businesses Nurture ALL Their Relationships

Podcast Interview with Josh Ho

Josh is the Founder and CEO of Referral Rock: a self-funded, all-remote, software-as-a-service business in the marketing technology space.

He created Referral Rock because he believes every business should nurture ALL their relationships (not just ones driving towards a sale) and make word of mouth a channel for growth instead of waiting for referrals to just happen.

Josh leads a team of 12 and runs the Product and Marketing teams, along with all the jobs he has yet to hire for.

  • CEO Hack: Segmenting my day
  • CEO Nugget: Don't do it if you're not internally motivated
  • CEO Defined: Setting the strategy, creating the culture, don't run out of money and fill the gap

Website: https://referralrock.com/

Personal business blog: https://mojoho.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/jlogic


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Transcription:

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Intro 0:02

Do you want to learn effective ways to build relationships, generate sales, and grow your business from successful entrepreneurs, startups, and CEOs without listening to a long, long, long interview? If so, you've come to the right place. Gresham Harkless values your time and is ready to share with you precisely the information you're in search of. This is the I AM CEO Podcast.

Gresham Harkless 0:29

Hello, this is Gresh from the I AM CEO podcast. I have a very special guest on the show today. I have Josh Ho of Referral Rock. Josh, it's awesome to have you on the show.

Josh Ho 0:37

Hey, Gresh. Thanks for having me.

Gresham Harkless 0:39

No problem. Super excited to have you on and what I want to do is read a little bit more about Josh so you can hear about all the awesome things that he's doing. Josh is the Founder and CEO of Referral Rock: a self-funded, all-remote, software-as-a-service business in the marketing technology space. He created Referral Rock because he believes every business should nurture ALL their relationships (not just ones driving towards a sale) and make word of mouth a channel for growth instead of waiting for referrals to just happen. Josh leads a team of 12 and runs the Product and Marketing teams, along with all the jobs he has yet to hire for. Josh, are you ready to speak to the I AM CEO Community?

[restrict paid=”true”]

Josh Ho 1:12

Yes, I am.

Gresham Harkless 1:13

Awesome. Let's do it. So to kick everything off, I wanted to hear a little bit more about what I call your CEO story. What led you to get started with your business?

Josh Ho 1:19

Sure. Yeah, I think it tracks back a little farther where I started a couple of software companies just coming from a developer background and the big probably a gotcha moment for Referral Rock was just noticing the general trend of successful businesses. I mean, I'm sure you hear on a lot, you talk to a lot of founders, a lot of CEOs and the common trend seems to be everyone was getting so many customers through word of mouth. It's a powerful driver and as you mentioned in the intro, I saw it as the biggest problem with where people were just waiting for it to happen. Organic kind of comes in ebbs and flows, especially for the smaller businesses. Obviously, once you're larger it kind of smoothes out a bit.

Speaking of the larger companies, I saw it all solved well, for tech businesses, Dropbox, Uber, and Airbnb, they all ran great referral programmes to go along with the organic, so you've got organic word of mouth, and then you have referral programmes and other performance-based types of things, affiliates, all kinds of different mechanisms that people can put in place. But then I saw no one was doing it for all the other types of businesses, everyone was driving towards shopping carts or a mobile app, all that type of thing. I was like, well, who's helping for, who's helping Gresh right, with consulting, who helps with those high touch sales? It's not just a transactional shopping cart at the end? How could he refer and reward people for bringing him business things like that?

Gresham Harkless 2:43

Nice. Well, I definitely appreciate that. Because I think that referrals are the best way to kind of get business and good opportunities. I think that, as you said, it's kind of just like waking up and hopefully getting one rather than the kind of a strategic process or programme. So I appreciate you obviously showing and bringing light to those, I guess, more established businesses that have those programmes, but also provided in a way that small to medium-sized businesses and businesses of all sizes are able to kind of create those programmes as well.

Josh Ho 3:10

All right.

Gresham Harkless 3:11

Awesome. So I wanted to drill down a little bit deeper. Obviously, we talked about it a little bit, but can you tell us a little bit more about Referral Rock and exactly how it works?

Josh Ho 3:19

Sure. So yeah, basically, we're here to help businesses, of all kinds kind of grow through their word-of-mouth programmes. So it means referral programmes and affiliates. I would say kind of in-between about influencer programmes. People call these words, the new Rise of the mini influencers and macro influencers and all these different influencer words. Well, depending on how someone sees the light on influential programmes, we do more tracking whereas I think General influencer ones are more about brand awareness. But so we're an online platform that helps you go online and set up your whole program through our software, you don't need a website, you don't need everything, everything is hosted, you can have your own custom domain and everything.

We have an awesome team in place so we'll be happy to walk through demos and talk to people and we also have an onboarding team that pretty much you get a dedicated person throughout the lifecycle of your business. So you're not just asking the same questions over and over again. So they'll really get to know you and your business and how this can help.

Gresham Harkless 4:15

Nice. So I definitely appreciate that and definitely, correct me if I'm wrong so it's more about I'm gonna make up a word, programming like your referral process. So a lot of times as we kind of talked about before, people are just kind of hoping but actually creating a programme around it and understanding exactly what in where things are coming from, and being able to kind of create that through your programme to help kind of increase the amount of referrals and opportunities and of course, sales that are coming your way.

Josh Ho 4:42

Yeah, that's, that's a great a great way to put it. We also Yeah, we're, we're adapting to the types of businesses because if you think about, you've got all kinds of different contacts coming into your system, even as a small business we talked about Uber and all these and most of them are like, okay, they signed up for the app. That's one touch point with customer write-in, you might have signed up for a newsletter, you might have become a customer, you might have downloaded the ebook, all kinds of other different mechanisms in play. But you might want to cater and invite them to a referral programme in different ways. Also, different incentives aligned with different things like it's great. You see in let's say, Uber, they gave – give a ride, get a ride type of thing. dropboxes was about giving more megabytes.

So those all aligned well with that with the brand and what they're providing, right? So yours could be more along with, Hey, you refer a friend, they get a free half-hour consultation or something like that. So that you can align those incentives, they don't just have to be monetised money, they can be kind of done in different ways. So we help you design those programmes. I know you come from a lot of service backgrounds. So we're definitely more software first. But we also saw a great advantage in adding a lot more service side to it. So there's an onboarding fee, there's some other things that help from a unit economics, make it work for us. But at the same time, you might spend two hours three hours a week upfront working with the team to develop it, but it's built to be kind of set and forget.

So you have all these integration points, like hey, we can catch when you someone fills out that form and download that ebook. Four days later, they're getting an invite to the referral program. Or maybe it's waiting for a couple of other triggers, oh, they became a customer, they gave you a rave review on Yelp, you probably not getting reviewed on Yelp, but other businesses might be and that's another trigger point that you say, Oh, hey, thanks for the review. Would you like to also refer a friend to us and such and such so all those touch points are all over the business and we want to be hooking into those and kind of giving them the appropriate way to get into the funnel? So you can manage those advocates and those people and even help them, you can give them Amazon gift cards or what have you that makes sense for your business.

Gresham Harkless 6:46

Yeah, that makes so much sense. I appreciate you for breaking that down. because I think so many times we see like okay, Dropbox does x y&z so let's do what Dropbox does, do what Hoover does, but the ability to customise it to figure out how to brainstorm, I guess, for lack of a better term, exactly what works best for your businesses and is in alignment. Then, of course, setting up those triggers. So that it's able to seamlessly happen is definitely a huge thing to increase the likelihood of success.

 

Josh Ho 7:11
Right.

Gresham Harkless 7:12

Awesome. So you might have already touched on this, but I want to ask you for what I call your secret sauce. It could be for you personally or for your business but what do you feel kind of sets you apart and makes you unique?

Josh Ho 7:21

Yeah, it probably is doubling down on that differentiation about for other businesses just because like I said, there you went and this was actually when I first thought of the idea, I saw everyone out there doing that for Dropbox and those types were, hey, you got a Shopify store, there's a plugin for that. There's all kinds of stuff and we wanted to help other businesses. So we do a lot with CRMs, high touch stuff like we talked about all those different signals. So we can pick up on all those and know if it's converting into a referral, someone fills out a form that's not a shopping cart, we can handle stuff like that.

So that's probably been the biggest differentiator I think for in the early days, even in our tagline it was like not just for ecommerce, because every other competitor, there are hundreds out there that everything was just like plugging into ecommerce stores. So that's kind of created a little bit of space for us and help definitely distinguish us and get us where we are today.

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Gresham Harkless 8:15

Yeah, absolutely, it makes so much sense and obviously, there are more than just ecommerce businesses out there. So we all need to get those referrals and opportunities as well, too. So to be able to have something that's not just for the e-commerce, but also can be in alignment with your business and your products and services and your values, I imagine too is definitely a huge thing. So truly appreciate that and I wanted to switch gears a little bit and asked me for what I call a CEO hack. So that could be like an app or book or a habit that you have, and what's something that makes you more effective and efficient?

Josh Ho 8:44

I think the biggest thing is probably segmenting my days and dividing things up. So as you probably know, you're running multiple things, multiple jobs, so many different hats to wear as a founder CEO, and I felt it was too easily I would get distracted and just like you'd have, you'd be working on 10 things at once for like a week and none of it actually gets done. It's definitely a lesson I kind of have to keep relearning myself, it's everyone. So I'll realise over the past two weeks, I haven't really kind of finalised or checked those things off, but they've made progress. They're just probably if anything made more notes than anything else.

So segmenting my days by saying like, okay, Monday morning is demand gen, Tuesday afternoon product design, things like that I learned a lesson early when I used to do all the sales myself and it had to you had to because if you were you're gonna get distracted. So my calendar had like, every other day was a flip flop between morning and afternoon. So at least I created other deep work times in between, but those other ones were like available for sales calls. So I knew I was going to be disrupted. I knew I was basically going to be on call to get scheduled and kind of show up for those sales demos.

Gresham Harkless 9:57

Awesome. Now I wanted to ask you my absolute favourite question which is the CEO nugget, when this is like a word of wisdom or a piece of advice? Or if you could happen to be a time machine, what would you tell your younger self?

Josh Ho 10:10

I don't know if I would say much to my younger business self, but I would definitely anyone who asks, I would say don't do it. But kinda little all joking aside, it was like, if, and I've seen a lot of people ask me to like, should I start a business, should I do this and honestly, I think that's kind of if I was to tell them at that point, I would say no, probably because if you have to ask other people, you really shouldn't. It's a bad signal at that point. I'm not saying that this person could never be a business owner, they can never do it. But if they're asking now, should I do this? Are they actually doing it for the right motivations?

Because I would think that all the people that thrive through this, and we know it's tough is it has to come from within and it has to pull you in, it has to like, it wasn't like, okay, like, when did it happen? Well, yeah, this is when it happened. But how did it you almost don't even remember, because it just pulls you and I think you need that inner metal to kind of get through those hard times and not second guess yourself later on. Because later on, you'll be like, Oh, what, what was my actual motivation to start? That was I was like signalling was out there trying to kind of prove something or did like, I don't really care, I want to do this. That's gonna be my win-win on its own, if I get through this, and was whether it's a success or a failure, like, I had no regrets about it.

I think that's the type of mindset you need and if you're asking other people, or you need someone to go back into time, Shane tells you, then you probably didn't, maybe you could have told yourself earlier, and you could have got a Kickstarter earlier, like, hey, this gets easier, but you got to get over that hump. But, but that inner metal, I think, will help drive you forward.

Gresham Harkless 11:45

Yeah, that makes so much sense. I appreciate you for bringing that to life. Because I think so many times people can be externally motivated. One of those ways is, of course, asking if should I do this just seemed like a good idea. But I think a lot of times at least, I think the best entrepreneurs and business owners, of course, go through those ups and ups and downs, because it's hard not to do business. But I think the thing that does drive you, especially during those down moments, is that inner meadow is that inner and intrinsic kind of motivation that you have as well, too, because that's what you're going to need when things go bad and kind of hits the fan.

Josh Ho 12:17

Yeah, when no one's supporting you anymore. Because as entrepreneurs, we all want to be very supportive. I think like, if you're like, Hey, you wanna do this? I'd be like, Yeah, that's great. You don't want to be, no one wants to be the bearer of bad news and be like, No, that's a that's not a great idea. I don't think that's gonna work. Right. I think we all want to be supportive so you got to read between the lines, when people are saying, oh, yeah, you should totally start that because they don't want to be the person that's going to say, No, and that's not a great idea. Because they don't want to hurt your feelings and things like that, too. So you got to be careful on how those but we all do want to support people and that's still a good thing.

Gresham Harkless 12:53

Yeah, that makes so much sense. Now when it asks you the definition of what it means to be a CEO, and we're all gonna have different quote-unquote, CEOs on this show. So Josh, what does mean CEO mean to you?

Josh Ho 13:07

To me, it's one setting the strategy to creating the culture. I probably couldn't have told you that two years ago, because I it was just me, and maybe two or three people. But creating the culture is a big piece of it that I feel like only the CEO can really do because it all trickles down. It's there's that new book, who's the What's that book, the guy that Ben Horowitz that wrote the hard thing about hard things, and there's this new book about culture and his big line is about it's not like what you say it's, it's what you actually do. So it's a big piece of it because everyone's gonna follow the patterns you're doing.

The other piece's last two bits of that is don't run out of money. It's your, job, you can't hire an accountant, an accountant is not going to, at the end of the day, you hold the bag, you make the decisions, and you have to make sure you don't run out of money. Then the last one reverbs on my description of my profile is like doing all the jobs you haven't hired other people for. So that's kind of it, you got to fill the gaps, you got to bridge between departments, between people, you gotta be that middle person, that middle ground that can glue things together, see things before they fall through the holes.

Gresham Harkless 14:15

Yeah, that makes so much sense. I think that having the awareness about the holistic aspect of business and being able to course, kind of fill in those gaps, and be able to understand where you're going and make sure that as the business evolves, as well to a lot of times our roles and our perspectives and our definitions of what that means or what that looks like, evolves as well. I appreciate you for bringing light to that and of course doing all the awesome things that you're doing. So, what I wanted to do is pass you the mic so to speak, just to see if there's anything additional you want to let our readers and listeners know, and of course, how best to get a hold of you and find out about all those things you're working on any awesome things you have that are sure coming up.

Josh Ho 14:53

Yeah, so the best way to reach me is to go to our website referralrock.com. Check out what we have. Feel free to give us a talk and see how we can help you. Also, I'm pretty active on Twitter, my handles are J Logic, J L o g i c. So I'm pretty active on there. You can hear inner thoughts and stuff and maybe sub-tweets of what's going on in my life in there. Last but not least, I think you've mentioned in the intro, we're talking about word of mouth as a channel. You've heard a lot about my kind of stance and vision around word of mouth. So as you as people talked about category creation, and trying to bring awareness, I feel like word of mouth is one of those ones that everyone talks about, but no one actually takes a lot of action about.

So we're trying to do a big thing around Word of Mouth is a channel trying to create not just a community around it, but just people and help and resources around that whole area. So we're probably gonna have a little bit of a promotion and Gresh can help you put that together and see how you can get involved. But we're looking for some early adopters to help with that type of thing and if this blows up, you guys can be there on the front steps, saying, you saw it first and you were here.

Gresham Harkless 15:59

There you go, everybody wants to be a first mover. So definitely appreciate you providing that opportunity. So we would definitely have that information and link in the show notes so that you can follow up with Josh and his team and all the awesome things that he's doing. But I appreciate you again for your time and for all the awesome things you're doing in creating and reminding us of all the ways we can be our best CEOs and our lives and our business. So thank you again, Josh.

Outro 16:21

Thank you for listening to the I AM CEO Podcast powered by Blue 16 Media. Tune in next time and visit us at iamceo.co I AM CEO is not just a phrase, it's a community. Be sure to follow us on social media and subscribe to our podcast on iTunes Google Play and everywhere you listen to podcasts, SUBSCRIBE, and leave us a five-star rating grab CEO gear at www.ceogear.co. This has been the I AM CEO Podcast with Gresham Harkless. Thank you for listening.

Intro 0:02

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Do you want to learn effective ways to build relationships, generate sales, and grow your business from successful entrepreneurs, startups, and CEOs without listening to a long, long, long interview? If so, you've come to the right place. Gresham Harkless values your time and is ready to share with you precisely the information you're in search of. This is the I AM CEO Podcast.

Gresham Harkless 0:29

Hello, this is Gresh from the I AM CEO podcast. I have a very special guest on the show today. I have Josh Ho of Referral Rock. Josh it's awesome to have you on the show?

Josh Ho 0:37

Hey, Gresh. Thanks for having me.

Gresham Harkless 0:39

No problem. Super excited to have you on and what I want to do is read a little bit more about Josh so you can hear about all the awesome things that he's doing. Josh is the Founder CEO of Referral Rock: a self-funded, all remote, software as a service business in the marketing technology space.

He created Referral Rock because he believes every business should nurture ALL their relationships (not just ones driving towards a sale) and make word of mouth a channel for growth instead of waiting for referrals to just happen.

Josh leads a team of 12 and runs the Product and Marketing teams, along with all the jobs he has yet to hire for. Josh, are you ready to speak to the I AM CEO Community?

Josh Ho 1:12

Yes, I am.

Gresham Harkless 1:13

Awesome. Let's do it. So to kick everything off, I wanted to hear a little bit more about what I call your CEO story. What led you to get started with your business?

Josh Ho 1:19

Sure. Yeah, I think it tracks back a little farther where I started a couple software companies just coming from a developer background and the big probably a gotcha moment for Referral Rock was just noticing the general trend of successful businesses. I mean, I'm sure you hear on a lot, you talk to a lot of founders, a lot of CEOs and the common trend seems to be everyone was getting so many customers through word of mouth. It's a powerful driver and like you mentioned in the intro, I saw as the biggest problem with were, people were just waiting for it to happen. Organic kind of comes in ebbs and flows, especially for the smaller businesses. Obviously, once you're larger it kind of smoothes out a bit. Speaking of the larger companies, I saw it all solved well, for tech businesses, Dropbox, Uber, Airbnb, they all ran great referral programmes to go along with the organic, so you've got organic word of mouth, and then you have referral programmes and other performance based types of things, affiliates, all kinds of different mechanisms that people can put in place. But then I saw no one was doing it for all the other types of businesses, everyone was driving towards shopping carts, or a mobile app, all that type of thing. I was like, well, who's helping for, who's helping Gresh right, with consulting, who helps with those high touch sales? It's not just a transactional shopping cart at the end? How could he refer and reward people for bringing him business things like that?

Gresham Harkless 2:43

Nice. Well, I definitely appreciate that. Because I think that referrals are the best way to kind of get business and good opportunities. I think that, as you said, it's kind of just like wake up and hopefully get one rather than the kind of a strategic process or programme. So I appreciate you obviously showing and bringing light to those, I guess, more established businesses that have those programmes, but also provided in a way that small to medium sized businesses and businesses of all sizes are able to kind of create those programmes as well.

Josh Ho 3:10

All right.

Gresham Harkless 3:11

Awesome. So I wanted to drill down a little bit deeper. Obviously, we talked about it a little bit, but can you tell us a little bit more about Referral Rock and exactly how it works?

Speaker 2 3:19

Sure. So yeah, basically, we're here to help businesses, of all kinds kind of grow through their word of mouth programmes. So it means referral programmes, affiliates. I would say kind of in between about influencer programmes. People call like these words, the new Rise of like the mini influencers and macro influencers and all these different influencer words. Well, depending on how someone sees the light on influential programmes, we do more tracking where I think General influencer ones are more about brand awareness. But so we're an online platform that helps you can go online and set up your whole programme through our software, you don't need a website, you don't need everything, everything is hosted, you can have your own custom domain and everything. We have a awesome team in place so we'll be happy to walk through demos, talk to people and we also have an onboarding team that pretty much you get a dedicated person throughout the lifecycle of your business. So you're not just asking the same questions over and over again. So they'll really get to know you and your business and how this can help.

Gresham Harkless 4:15

Nice. So I definitely appreciate that and definitely, correct me if I'm wrong so it's more about I'm gonna make up a word, programmising like, your referral process. So a lot of times as we kind of talked about before, people are just kind of hoping but actually creating a programme around it and understanding exactly what in where things are coming from, and being able to kind of create that through your programme to help kind of increase the amount of referrals and opportunities and of course, sales that are coming your way.

Josh Ho 4:42

Yeah, that's, that's a great a great way to put it. We also Yeah, we're, we're definitely adapt to the types of businesses because if you think about, you've got all kinds of different contacts coming into your system, even as a small business, you know, we talked about Uber and all these and most of them are like, okay, they signed up for the app. That's one touch point with customer write in, you might have signed up for a newsletter, you might have became a customer, you might have downloaded the ebook, all kinds of other different mechanisms in play. But you might want to cater and invite them to a referral programme in different ways. Also different incentives aligned with different things like it's great. You see in let's say, Uber, they gave give a ride, get a ride type of thing. dropboxes was about giving more megabytes. So those all aligned well with that with the brand and what they're providing, right. So yours could be more along with, Hey, you refer a friend, they get a free half an hour consultation or something like that. So that you can align those incentives, they don't just have to be monetize money, they can be kind of done in different ways. So we help you design those programmes. I know you come from a lot of service background. So we're definitely more software first. But we also saw a great advantage in adding a lot more service side to it. So there's an onboarding fee, there's some other things that help from a unit economics, make it work for us. But the same time you might spend two hours three hours a week upfront working with the team to develop it, but it's built to be kind of set and forget. So you're have all these integration points, like hey, we can catch when you someone fills out that form and download that ebook. Four days later, they're getting an invite to the referral programme. Or maybe it's waiting for a couple of other triggers, oh, they became a customer, they gave you a rave review on Yelp, you probably not getting reviewed on Yelp, but other businesses might be and that's another trigger point that you say, Oh, hey, thanks for the review. Would you like to also refer a friend to us and such and such so all those touch points are all over the business and we want to be we're hooking into those and kind of giving them the appropriate way to get into the funnel. So you can manage those advocates and those people and even help them, you can give them amazon gift cards or what have you that makes sense for your business.

Gresham Harkless 6:46

Yeah, that makes so much sense. I appreciate you for breaking that down. because I think so many times we see like okay, Dropbox does x y&z so let's do what Dropbox does, do what Hoover does, but the ability to customise it to figure out how to brainstorm, I guess, for lack of a better term, exactly what works best for your businesses and is in alignment. Then of course, setting up those triggers. So that it's able to it seamlessly happens is definitely like a huge thing to increase the likelihood of success.

Josh Ho 7:11

Right.

Gresham Harkless 7:12

Awesome. So you might have already touched on this, but I want to ask you for what I call your secret sauce. It could be for you personally or for your business but what do you feel kind of sets you apart and makes you unique?

Josh Ho 7:21

Yeah, it probably is doubling down on that differentiation about for other business just because like I said, there's you went and this was actually that when I first thought of the idea, I saw everyone out there doing that for Dropbox and those types were, hey, you got a Shopify store, there's a plugin for that. There's all kinds of stuff and we wanted to help other businesses. So we do a lot with CRMs, high touch stuff, like we talked about all those different signals. So we can pick up on all those and know if it's converting into a referral, someone fills out a form that's not a shopping cart, we can we can handle stuff like that. So that's probably been the biggest differentiator I think for in the early days, even in our tagline it was like not just for ecommerce, because every other competitor, there are hundreds out there that everything was just like plugging into ecommerce stores. So that's kind of created a little bit of space for us and help definitely distinguish us and get us where we are today.

Gresham Harkless 8:15

Yeah, absolutely,it makes so much sense and obviously, there's more than just ecommerce businesses out there. So we all need to get those referrals and opportunities as well, too. So to be able to have something that's not just for the E commerce, but also can be in alignment with your business and your and your products and services and your values, I imagine too is definitely a huge thing. So truly appreciate that and I wanted to switch gears a little bit and asked me for what I call a CEO hack. So that could be like an app or book or a habit that you have, and what's something that makes you more effective and efficient.

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Josh Ho 8:44

I think the biggest thing is probably segmenting my days and dividing things up. So as you probably know, you're running multiple things, multiple jobs, so many different different hats to wear as a founder CEO, and, and I felt it was too easily I would get distracted and just like you'd have, you'd be working on 10 things at once for like a week and none of it actually gets done. It's definitely a lesson I kind of have to keep relearning myself, it's everyone. So I'll realise over the past two weeks, I haven't really kind of finalised or check those things off, but they've made progress. They're just probably if anything made more notes than anything else. So segmenting my days by saying like, okay, Monday morning is demand gen, Tuesday afternoon product design, things like that I learned a lesson early when I used to do all the sales myself and it had to you had to because if you were you're gonna get distracted. So my calendar had like, every other day was a flip flop between like morning and afternoon. So at least I created other deep work times in between, but those other ones were like available for sales calls. So I knew I was going to be disrupted. I knew I was basically going to be on call to get scheduled and kind of show up for those sales demos.

Gresham Harkless 9:57

Awesome. Now I wanted to ask you my absolute favourite question which is the CEO nugget, when this is like a word of wisdom or a piece of advice? Or if you can happen to a time machine, what would you tell your younger self?

Josh Ho 10:10

I don't know if I would say much to my younger business self, but I would definitely anyone that asks, I would say don't do it. But kinda little all joking aside, it was like, if, and I've seen a lot of people ask me to like, should I start a business, should I do this and honestly, I think that's kind of a, if I was to tell them at that point, I would say no, probably because if you have to ask other people, you really shouldn't. It's a bad signal at that point. I'm not saying that this person could never be a business owner, they can never do it. But if they're asking now, should I do this? Are they actually doing it for the right motivations? Because I would think that all the all the people that thrive through this, and we know it's tough is it has to come from within and it has to pull you in, it has to like, it wasn't like, okay, like, when did it happen? Well, yeah, this is when it happened. But how did it you almost don't even remember, because it just pulls you and I think you need that inner metal to kind of get through those hard times and not second guess yourself later on. Because later on, you'll be like, Oh, what, what was my actual motivation to start? That was I was like signalling was out there trying to kind of prove something or did like, I don't really care, I want to do this. That's gonna be my win-win on its own, if I get through this, and was whether it's a success or a failure, like, I had no regrets about it. I think that's the type of mindset you need and if you're asking other people, or you need someone to go back into time, Shane tell you, then you probably didn't, maybe you could have told yourself earlier, and you could have got a Kickstarter earlier, like, hey, this gets easier, but you got to get over that hump. But, but that inner metal, I think, will help drive you forward.

Gresham Harkless 11:45

Yeah, that makes so much sense. I appreciate you for bringing that to life. Because I think so many times were people can be externally motivated. One of those ways is, of course, asking should I do this just seemed like a good idea. But I think a lot of times at least, I think the best entrepreneurs and business owners, of course go through those ups and ups and downs, because it's hard not to do business. But I think the thing that does drive you especially during those down moments, is that inner meadow is that inner and intrinsic kind of motivation that you have as well, too, because that's what you're going to need when things go bad and kind of hits the fan.

Josh Ho 12:17

Yeah, when no one's supporting you anymore. Because as entrepreneurs, we all want to be very supportive. I think like, if you're like, Hey, you wanna do this? I'd be like, Yeah, that's great. You don't want to be, no one wants to be the bearer of bad news and be like, No, that's a that's that's not a great idea. I don't think that's gonna work. Right. I think we all want to be supportive so you got to read between the lines, when people are saying, oh, yeah, you should totally start that because they don't want to be the person that's going to say, No, and that's not a great idea. Because they don't want to hurt your feelings and things like that, too. So you got to be careful on how those but we all do want to support people and that's still a good thing.

Gresham Harkless 12:53

Yeah, that makes so much sense. Now when it asks you the definition of what it means to be a CEO, and we're all gonna have different quote-unquote, CEOs on this show. So Josh, what does mean CEO mean to you?

Josh Ho 13:07

To me, it's one setting the strategy to creating the culture. I probably couldn't have told you that two years ago, because I it was just me, and maybe two or three people. But creating the culture is a big piece of it that I feel like only the CEO can really do, because it all trickles down. It's there's that new book, who's the What's that book, the guy that Ben Horowitz that wrote the hard thing about hard things, and there's this new book about culture and his big line is about it's not like what you say it's, it's what you actually do. So it's a big piece of it, because everyone's gonna follow the patterns you're doing. Other piece last two bits of that is don't run out of money. It's your, job, you can't like hire an accountant, accountant is not going to, at the end of the day, you hold the bag, you make the decisions, you got to make sure you don't run out of money. Then the last one reverbs on my description of, of my profile is like doing all the jobs you haven't hired other people for. So that's kind of it, you got to fill the gaps, you got to bridge bridge between departments, between people, you gotta be that that middle person, that middle ground that can glue things together, see things before they fall through the holes.

Gresham Harkless 14:15

Yeah, that makes so much sense. I think that having the awareness about the holistic aspect of business and being able to course, kind of fill in those gaps, and be able to understand where you're going and make sure that as the business evolves, as well to a lot of times our roles and our perspectives and our definitions of what that means or what that looks like, evolves as well. I appreciate you for bringing light to that. And of course, you know, doing all the awesome things that you're doing. So, what I wanted to do is pass you the mic so to speak, just to see if there's anything additional you want to let our readers and listeners know, and of course how best to get a hold of you and find out about all those things you're working on any awesome things you have that are sure coming up.

Josh Ho 14:53

Yeah, so best way to reach me, you can obviously go to our website referralrock.com. Check out what we have. Feel free to give us a talk and see how we can help you. Also, I'm pretty active on Twitter, my handles J logic J L o g i c. So I'm pretty active on there. You can hear inner thoughts and stuff and maybe sub tweets of what's going on in my life in there. Last but not least, I think you've mentioned in the intro, we're talking about word of mouth as a channel. You've heard a lot about my kind of stance and vision around word of mouth. So as you as people talked about category creation, and trying to bring awareness, I feel like word of mouth is one of those ones where everyone talks about, but no one actually takes a lot of action about. So we're trying to do a big thing around Word of Mouth is a channel trying to create not just a community around it, but just people and help and resources around that whole area. So we're probably gonna have a little bit of a promotion and Gresh can help you put that together and see how you can get involved. But we're looking for some early adopters to help with that type of thing and if this blows up, you guys can be there on the on the front steps, saying, you saw it first and you were here.

Gresham Harkless 15:59

There you go, everybody wants to be a first mover. So definitely appreciate you providing that opportunity. So we would definitely have that information and link in the show notes so that you can follow up with Josh and his team and all the awesome things that he's doing. But I appreciate you again for your time for all the awesome things you're doing for in creating and reminding us of all the ways we can be our best CEOs and our lives and our business. So thank you again, Josh.

Outro 16:21

Thank you for listening to the I AM CEO Podcast powered by Blue 16 Media. Tune in next time and visit us at iamceo.co I AM CEO is not just a phrase, it's a community. Be sure to follow us on social media and subscribe to our podcast on iTunes Google Play and everywhere you listen to podcasts, SUBSCRIBE, and leave us a five-star rating grab CEO gear at www.ceogear.co. This has been the I AM CEO Podcast with Gresham Harkless. Thank you for listening.

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Mercy - CBNation Team

This is a post from a CBNation team member. CBNation is a Business to Business (B2B) Brand. We are focused on increasing the success rate. We create content and information focusing on increasing the visibility of and providing resources for CEOs, entrepreneurs and business owners. CBNation consists of blogs(CEOBlogNation.com), podcasts, (CEOPodcasts.com) and videos (CBNation.tv). CBNation is proudly powered by Blue16 Media.

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