Josh Melick has had a hand in starting and running numerous successful businesses. He’s been an Engineer, Project Manager, Salesman, and CEO. He was the Co-founder and CEO of Broadly.com, which raised $30 million in funding to create a local small business CRM and messaging platform that grew from zero to ten thousand paying users before being acquired.
Josh has held product leadership positions at three other companies that were acquired: DemandForce by Intuit, Ingenio by AT&T, and Mxplay by Smith Micro.
I had a chance to catch up with Josh to ask him about some of what he learned about being an effective business leader. Here’s what he said.
“There are lots of different types of entrepreneurs. You can be a technologist, or you could be in sales or marketing. I started Broadly when I was in sales and moved up to CEO. All three skill sets are needed to make a business successful. However, I think the most important thing is to be an effective leader. You can have all three of those skill sets, but if you don’t know how to lead your organization and make everyone feel like they are equal members of the team, working towards a common goal, you’re probably not going to succeed. Your most important job is to keep the morale high”.
“I’m also a big believer in being flexible. As CEO, your job is to maintain the continuity of the company when employees are not performing up to expectations. So much of leadership is changing gears when you have an unexpected change in the events around you”.
“Another thing that I learned about business is that it’s great to have all these ideas, but unless you are committed to execution, nothing will happen. So leadership is about the ability to execute on your idea”.
“I also think that there’s truth in the saying that you need to have deep focus.”
“When I was working with my team at Broadly, we had this vision of being a big business one day. At first, it felt like we were drinking water from a fire hose, so many things to get done every day. But after time, if you can get yourself focused on what you need to get done and avoid distractions, it actually becomes easier, not harder”.
“I think this is one of the biggest differences between successful entrepreneurs versus those that aren’t. So if you are an entrepreneur that finds yourself staying up late at night thinking of all the ideas you’re not able to execute on, then maybe it’s time to consider another profession”.
In closing, Josh says that one of the things he’s trying to do now is help other entrepreneurs and business owners be successful. He says, “I believe in giving back. So much of what I have been able to achieve is due to the fact that others helped me. In fact, I try and give back as much as possible because you’re really here for a short time. So why not help someone else if you can?”