Joshua Davidson is the founder of Chop Dawg. He builds products and grows companies. He has a lot of energy to burn, so much so, that he literally finds it hard to sleep at night. In this quickfire Q&A, Joshua relfects on his life as a young entrepreneur including the excellent ‘naive optimist’ analogy he recieved from friend and fellow entrepreneur Ryan Carson, co-founder and CEO of Treehouse.
Why did you decide to start your own business?
Hopefully this doesn’t sound like a cop out answer but as a kid, I always did my own thing. It just felt natural to go and do something that I was passionate about and just happened to be classified as starting a business.
I always had belief on how things should be done and trusted my intuition. In a nutshell the reason why I started a business was because I didn’t know any better mixed in with identifying an opportunity that I just love. It literally excites me, I don’t want to sleep because of how much I love it.
What skill or ability is most important and why?
Naive optimism. A friend of mine, Ryan Carson, once gave me this analogy and it always stuck in my head. I believe if you look at the most successful entrepreneurs and business leaders, they have this characteristic which is that they’re naive enough to believe they can do it and optimistic enough to believe they can do it.
They’re naive because they understand how difficult the journey’s going to be but they don’t get overwhelmed by it. I think most sane people would get overwhelmed when they realise just how much goes into building a company.
The optimism side is just the same. If you’re a pessimist you’re going to get burned down and you won’t believe in yourself to be able to accomplish such a thing. So you have to be just as optimistic and think ‘yeah I can do this’ especially when the road gets tough which it eventually will, there’s no straight trajectory’s to success.
It really comes down to those two pieces which equals one sum, being a naive optimist.
What are the most important lessons you’ve learned?
Always under promise and over deliver. When you under promise you still meet the minimum of what the customer wants. So when you go beyond that, you’ve exceeded expectations and every time you do that there’s that wow factor and building that trust.
If you want to build a strong brand, something people truly give a damn about and really want to be a part of that infrastructure you always have to under promise and over deliver.
What’s the best part of your job?
Helping people. We help people turn their great ideas into a reality. There’s no better or humbling experience and every time that happens it reminds you of just why you love what you do.
The second reason, which is something I’ve only discovered four or five years into my journey, when you have a passionate team and they become basically family to you and you share those rewards and accomplishments with them, there’s also no better feeling than that and that becomes addicting on its own.
Having that bond and being able to share those experiences, those are where lifetime memories come and truly make you feel most human in the most positive way possible.