589. Experiment, Measure & Repeat–Persistence Pays
Justin felt his campus interview with a Fortune 500 company had gone well. When he didn’t get a call from them, he made a friend inside the company and kept calling back–for 30 days. His persistence paid off.
Justin Shelby is the CEO and founder of Artichoke, a complete business solution for the rapidly growing community of freelancers, independent practitioners, and moonlighters operating in the U.S. He has extensive product development, marketing, leadership, and startup experience. He has held leadership positions in Fortune 500 growth-stage, and startup companies in addition to having launched more than 100 products in 16 countries. Justin also previously founded three other businesses.
How Did You Start Using Your Talents?
“My brother and I got involved in music at an early age. He was in high school when I was in sixth grade. We formed a band and played more than 500 gigs over several years. We worked every weekend and practiced every day. It gave us a chance to wear multiple hats–to be musicians, managers, make sure things were working. It exposed me to a lot of that stuff early, with the autonomy to see where I could take it and the responsibility to make sure that it happened. We were being paid to provide a service and it could not be half-baked.”
The Most Impactful Turning Point?
Justin’s college, Salisbury State College in Maryland, was not on the recruiting tour of many Fortune 500 companies, but an alum who worked for Black & Decker decided to give his alma mater a shot. “I thought I had good rapport with the interviewer, but I called several times and received no reply. Taking a page from my band era—where we often had to be persistent to get things done—I started to form a relationship with the interviewer’s administrative assistant. I called every day for 30 days. Finally, she went into his office and said, ‘Look, if you don’t bring this guy in for an interview I’m going to do it.’ By the time I showed up for the interview, he was already on board with me. He loved my persistence.” Justin spent the first nine years of his career there.
The Most Powerful Lessons Learned?
“In my experience, more people are successful as a result of their persistence, creativity and problem-solving skills than people who are just living off raw intelligence. Sure, it is important to be informed, and intelligence is not to be underestimated, but that alone is not your ticket, in my opinion.”
Steps to Success from Justin Shelby
1. Be honest with yourself about your strengths and your weaknesses.
2. Ask people you trust for their honest assessments of your strengths and weaknesses.
3. Find challenges you enjoy, that keep you fresh and sharp.
4. Be realistic: experiment, measure, repeat. Learn and improve.
5. Build on your strengths.
Connecting With Justin Shelby
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