It was a quiet evening in Chico, California. Students were in class, and the town was cooling down from a hot day. Downtown at the Wanderful Media office, you could hear the sounds of Andrew Gadson.
HeartThis Co-Founder and CEO Andrew Gadson joined us in our Chico office as part of the Wanderful Media Speaker Series. Gadson is an experienced entrepreneur that has lead multiple consumer products reaching 100 million+ total users.
During the event, Gadson shared five lessons he has learned over the past decade, with the community members, students and colleagues in attendance.
5. Trial by fire is the fastest way to learn
Driving a manual car is no easy task, especially in Italy. Gadson shared his story about learning how to drive stick shift through the streets of Italy with no prior experience. In order to get around he needed to practice. Stalling the car in the middle of the street was indeed the fastest way to figure it out.
Learning to drive a new car is just like running a startup. Being under pressure forces you learn quickly so you can get to your destination.
4. Life for people around you is more complicated than you think
You never know what an employee or coworker is dealing with in their private lives. An employee can appear unproductive and lazy when in fact there is a deeper issue.
Sometimes it’s best to dig deep and find out what is really affecting their work and productivity. Often times you can help out by adjusting their workload accordingly, allowing them time to deal with their personal matters.
3. Focus on Revenue & Retention
This tip is short and sweet. Revenue and retention are the only two metrics that matter for a company. Gadson advises to not get caught up in vanity metrics. All efforts should be around driving revenue and retention.
2. Prepare scripts for high-pressure situations
In moments of high stakes or high stress, it is extremely difficult to make rational decisions without getting your emotions involved. When preparing for an important meeting – where it’s personal or professional – Gadson advises to write a script and try to include responses to various scenarios that may occur.
Gadson explained that if you prepare a script for every possible scenario of an important conversation, you can give thoughtful, well-versed responses without emotions getting in the way.
1. Rule of 2
At any given time, you can only do two things really well. Gadson stated this is difficult to do in a management position because you’ll want to be involved in everything. In order to restrain yourself, those in management positions should use their knowledge to help develop their team.
If you try to juggle too many things at once, the ball gets dropped. Two seems to be the “magic number.” When trying to prioritize, ask yourself, what two things are of the highest priority?
To wrap up his talk, Gadson answered a few questions from attendees. When asked what CEO he most admired, Gadson spoke about the innovative and smart decisions by Netflix CEO Reed Hastings. Gadson also shared a story highlighting the brilliance of Reid Hoffman.
It’s always a pleasure to have a new face in the Wanderful office. Thank you Andrew for your entrepreneurial and life advice.