A summer job led John Gadd, CEO of Cleveland-based flozio, to a life in the print industry.
"I took a summer job doing lead generation for an equipment distributor in Cleveland," Gadd said. "Soon after starting, the contacts I made were calling me back, and not their sales reps. Four months later, my boss fired the sales representative in the Northern Ohio territory and [he] told me, 'go out and sell.'"
The rest is sales history. Here, Gadd further discusses his thoughts on the industry.
Print Professional (PP): Tell us about your background. Where did you grow up, what school did you attend, your degree?
John Gadd (JG): Well, some would say I haven't exactly grown up yet. [. . .] I spent most of my childhood days in Chagrin Falls, Ohio—by far and away the most beautiful, peaceful and overpriced town in the United States. It's a suburb of Cleveland. For me, I perceived college as a refuge from hasty judgment (quote credit due Robert Frost). I earned my master's in Big Picture Thinking from Life University.
PP: Describe your business style.
JG: Ping-pong and 100-hour work weeks. I'm really a big believer in follow through, follow up and being genuinely interested in your customers, your people, your product and the greater good. People can smell insincerity a mile away. I like to inject fun in serious situations but ultimately don't have much patience, and like to get to the point.
PP: What is the secret to your success?
JG: 5-hour ENERGY. That, and an unwavering ability to never give up. In fact, I consider "never give up" my personal mission statement. It transcends everything I do and most certainly my business style. I was lucky to have a lot of strong, driven and disciplined people around me growing up.