Josh James is a business marketing mogul. He’s been in the game for over 12+ years and has mastered the art of marketing, engineering, and entrepreneurship. His skills have led him to become one of North America’s leading experts on high-performance marketing and he now runs the marketing for a group of 7 different clients that are worth over 11 billion dollars. He is also the powerhouse behind the latest in NFT affiliate marketing initiatives, and legal crypto performance marketing.
He owns Rocket Acquisitions, which is a company that acquires companies with exponential growth potential in exchange for equity shares or stocks or a permanent performance deal. Within this portfolio is Rocket Now, a digital agency that specializes in a unique category he invented, Marketing Style Design. This is an engineered brand essence you scale across your entire markets category and use A.I. to lock them into your universe.
Check out more interviews with entrepreneurs here.
WOULD YOU LIKE TO GET FEATURED?
All interviews are 100% FREE OF CHARGE
Table of Contents
Let’s start with a brief introduction first. Introduce yourself to our readers.
Josh James: My name is Josh James, I’m a professional marketer, an ex-professional gamer, and a blockchain enthusiast. Those 3 categories I have 10,000 hours into each, and the three collide into metaverses and games marketing. So that’s my main focus right now, is I help companies engineer their marketing and sales systems and get them to revenue and beyond as fast as possible. My background is in scaling companies from 10 to 30/40mil in revenue, scaling 30/40-100mil in revenue and I work on and manage the marketing for a group of 7 clients worth about 11 billion dollars.
I only do and share stuff that works and I hope I can help you along on your journey by sharing something new to me or new to my network whenever possible. You can check all our latest and greatest 100% free marketing for highly regulated verticals on our website RocketNow and reach out anytime if you need free feedback on any of your marketing initiatives. We love to help and we’ll always make time.
Our audience is interested to know about how you got started in the first place. Did you always want to become a CEO or was it something you were led to? Our readers would love to know your story!
Josh James: I had every intention from day one to be a businessman and I started my first company at 15 years with 2 other 15 year olds that I met over Xbox live (one of the earlier gaming networks from Microsoft) our company was Optimum Gaming, optimum gaming dot net and we didn’t know anything but our goal was to grow our network of pro players that would be friends with us and have on their exclusive friends list (at the time each user on xbox live could only be friends with 100, so it was an exclusive thing) so we built them a web platform, we signed deals with 15 different players, we creating them lessons and booking pages, we created a live-streaming service (this was back in 2005, long before YouTube and Twitch were around), we creating our own gaming organizations, we negotiated and found those orgs sponsors, we build a gaming ladders system that let us run automated paid tournaments, so players would pay real money to enter and it would automatically get pooled, dish us a cut, and then we had other kids in there refereeing each game to make sure every match was fair, and we did everything by trial and error guessing, which is not easy to guess which line of code does what, and we had guides, no mentors, no one to tell us how to do this. Eventually, optimum gaming was getting millions of unique hits per month, but with real-life for the 3 of us the frontier, we each stayed friends but went our separate ways but all eventually became successful entrepreneurs.
And the best part of that story is that eventually due to the cash we were making off the company, I was able to get the number 1 console gamer in the world on my personal friend’s list, Ogre 2, I was one of his 100 people. So shoutout to the early founders of eSports, with MLG, the pro players, and the community, we all got behind that dream you had, got inspired to work 12 hours a night in between school hours, and those stories and players you connected to the world hit home, thank you for your one of a kind vision, it’s exciting to see where eSports is today thanks to those guys.
Optimum Gaming got me into entrepreneurship, Rocket Now I started to help me pay rent while I tried to build Blackmail. com – a secure email service, with no money, no credit, no support, a $1000 maxed out Visa card, no car, living with my parents, I literally would walk an hour and a half to the bus station took the bus down to my $500 a month office and would do world-class online marketing for businesses all day long, every day, I’m talking building full massive com turnkey sites with their servers for $650 bucks level. It was so hard to get going I had to pawn my laptop to pay my $500 office rent on time, my parents wouldn’t let me work on a computer at home so I had to make it happen. Fortunately, I closed a deal that night, got paid upfront, and bought my laptop back from the pawnshop for $700. Unfortunately, I had to do this twice, but both times I closed a deal just in time and got it back and didn’t lose my notes or the main tool I needed to work on in the first place. Getting that office space was too difficult, I had dropped out of university again and so I returned all my books and got enough cash to put a damage deposit down.
Looking back at it, 1.5 billion dollars in new revenue for clients later, it feels just as hard as it was then, we have incredible skills, we never stop improving and learning, and that keeps us ahead. And the general most marketed misunderstanding is that marketing is easy, you can do it, you can make a million on Facebook, a million on youtube, Instagram is where the money is at. And the truth is 50% of entrepreneurs in North America working more than full time are making less than $20,000 a year. Not only that, if you think marketing is easy and throw $5000 bucks into ads, you are competing against some of our clients that have 100 million year budgets who have the best marketing minds in the world fighting for the same clients, I spend a million a year just on upgrading my marketing skills, let alone anyone else on the team.
“Selfmade” is a myth. We all received help, no doubt you love to show appreciation to those who supported you when the going got tough, who has been your most important professional inspiration?
Josh James: Selfmade is 100% a myth, there is not one thing I know or do right now, that I didn’t learn from someone else who is 100x smarter and 100x more experienced than me. All my ability that I have is in seeing a valuable new piece of understanding or information and then amalgamating that into my process which is just a combination of the best marketing knowledge from the best marketing and marketers I look up to and know about. I learn a lot from Alex Hormozi right now, he produces great content for any level of marketer, I’d say check him out and his and his wife’s videos on youtube. You won’t be disappointed.
How did your journey lead you to become a CEO? What difficulties did you face along the way and what did you learn from them?
Josh James: I wanted to build a life where none could tell me what to do, no had control over my time, and I could be in a position of ultimate freedom. Freedom would let me be successful with my relationships and my life, and that’s the most powerful driver I have. Is structuring my life how I want it to be structured and I’m more than capable of living and executing on that dream, whether I have to starve for a few days, do another overnighter at the office, walk ten miles to even get there, or operate with $0 in my pocket, a million people harassing me over the phone, no one who believes me but myself, and a single target and a single result is all I need to get the engine going.
The only thing I won’t do is not do my best to make what I say happen, not appreciate and respect everyone I meet, and I will always build it over imaging whether it could or could not work.
Tell us about your company. What does your business do and what are your responsibilities as a CEO?
Josh James: Rocket Now does Marketing Style Design, so that is essentially engineering the essence of your company and applying it to your entire marketing efforts. We do an evolution of what many know already as Category Design. If you are a category leader and whether you 10 million a year or a billion a year in revenue, Marketing Style Design will automate you out of your business so you aren’t necessary to grow it, anyone, Is it is the highest level of automation, we automate CEO’s literally out of their businesses so they can retire in 3 months or less and their business will grow on its own, they never will have to sell their business (I call it your cash machine) sell your cash machine when we exist.
We eliminate all the risk for our clients, and that’s why I only have 7 main clients right now, I retired everyone else, and they are having a blast watching their companies grow off their iPads in a hammock somewhere while still getting all the perks and cash flow they had access to as the heads of their organizations.
What does CEO stand for? Beyond the dictionary definition, how would you define it?
Josh James: You are the only person who intrinsically cares whether you succeed or not.
When you first became a CEO, how was it different from what you expected? What surprised you?
Josh James: Ya it is about 10 times more work, you no longer have a boss, you have a driver of unlimited energy and ultimately there’s a gap of understanding what value you bring to the market, so it’s a huge undertaking, and it’s very watered down.
There are many schools of thought as to what a CEO’s core roles and responsibilities are. Based on your experience, what are the main things a CEO should focus on? Explain and please share examples or stories to illustrate your vision.
Josh James: The CEO needs to leverage himself into his most skilled offering. The hardest thing is getting to where you are not the one delivering on the backend. The number of times I would sell something, and then have to go home and do the work to delight that customer myself is just way too many. But if you can study the process, take action only when you fully understand the entire scope of what you do, then and then, pick one thing and be the hyper specialist in that. Otherwise, you’re going to waste all this time nurturing a pile of skills that have no value later on.
Share with us one of the most difficult decisions you had to make for your company that benefited your employees or customers. What made this decision so difficult and what were the positive impacts?
Josh James: I had to decide I was average at best at marketing and my skill level wasn’t set, that I could get better than I was if I grounded my ego at the door and learn every day. The results are instantaneous, the moment you increase your skills, your results instantly change. It’s really rewarding and so happy I took the approach of always being the student.
How would you define success? Does it mean generating a certain amount of wealth, gaining a certain level of popularity, or helping a certain number of people?
Josh James: Success is each step you take towards your desired result. As soon as you reward the step over the outcome, you win pretty big.
Some leadership skills are innate while others can be learned. What leadership skills do you possess innately and what skills have you cultivated over the years as a CEO?
Josh James: I can get people excited, I’m always excited for others and their successes and I spend most of my time pretty fired up, and that inspires others to take action too, and I think that’s my number 1 leadership trait. I also believe in everyone and know if someone sets their mind to something, I don’t care which person it is or their history, I fully believe if anyone says they will do something and there is an energy behind them, they will achieve that result. No questions asked. The biggest skill I want to develop is how to leverage time correctly and distill away from doing anything outside my chosen skillset.
How did your role as a CEO help your business overcome challenges caused by the pandemic? Explain with practical examples.
Josh James: I’m a building, I’m used to something with absolutely nothing, honestly my business has 10x over the pandemic, I’ve helped twenty or so companies get grants to help them through it, and I like these two quotes;
- “Practice beats Skill when skill doesn’t practice.” – Shockwav3
- “Be careful your talent takes you to places your character can’t keep you” – Unknown
Which reminds me not to skip steps and go back to working on foundation key skills. The difference today is what’s happening you can’t just be good anymore in marketing, you have to become world-class or you will be in direct competition with people who are and I think more and more people fight fr the same dollars and attention, so you have to be very good nowadays.
I also personally believe that I’m a lucky person, everything is always unraveling in my favor, that lets me see opportunity with everything and everyone and a lot of things come naturally to me on the backend of that, I’m ok with losing 2000 games in a row at a video game because I enjoy the process so much that I can go a full year without a single win and keep growing because I know the feeling on game 2001 when you finally start winning, and then you stop winning and 400 games later you haven’t dropped one because of the hard work you put into your foundation.
I am so naturally lucky due to my foundation, some things will relate so naturally that I often see too much success without the learning curve you normally need. And I have to remember to go back and make sure I still put in that time if that flash in the pan is going to turn into a roaring wildfire. Everyone forgets how much they put in, and I think we market hard work too much, I think direct leveraged skill is all you need to make it in 2022 and beyond.
Do you have any advice for aspiring CEOs and future leaders? What advice would you give a CEO that is just starting on their journey?
Josh James: Yes, don’t ever fall into the trap of thinking you are good at marketing or you can do it yourself using the tools and a guide written by their affiliate, who’s getting commission for every person who buys into these marketing tools. They are a major skill gap, that affiliate is probably an incredible marketer and is selling something you aren’t going to be making on as a new entrant. I like to think of it this way, if you walk into a bakery and decide baking is easy, and go in and make your loaf of bread, and you go and put your loaf of bread up in the front counter right beside the baker’s bread.
Will people buy your loaf over the baker’s loaf, if not, if you think most people will probably buy from the baker, then what are you doing tricking yourself that you are already good at marketing. If you aren’t full time in marketing, you are in competition with those who are, and you need to find a way to do what you do best and either find a partner that can truly make it his only thing, devote yourself entirely to a 10 thousand hour journey, or get a real specialist to handle it for you. I’m not lying that my company’s point of view.
We believe most people are tricked into thinking its an easy thing, and 80% of entrepreneurs are solopreneurs doing it themselves and getting mixed results but the best companies and startups know they need the best marketing from day 1, and you need to be honest, am I capable of being better than my local baker who is 20 years in, well routed in the community and honestly loves his baking so much, that every customer experience true joy just looking through the window as his pastries.
I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings either, but if anyone out there making real tangible money only is pretending they aren’t either partnered with or personally are an extremely good marketer then you guys are lying to yourselves on a level I can’t even imagine. So I believe in you, don’t get me wrong, just don’t pretend you can skip on by, read a few affiliate blog posts and make it to the evergreen meadows. If the website doesn’t refill your credit card for you, then how easy could it possibly be for this pile of tools, offered by a professional company with billions of dollars of revenue, run by the top-ranked professionals in the world, and guided by the best marketing minds of our generation not just refill your credit card not empty it. If it doesn’t refill your card, then I’d question how easy it’s going to be for you a new user, to make money and drives sales off it.
Thank you for sharing some of your knowledge with our readers! They would also like to know, what is one skill that you’ve always wanted to acquire but never really could?
Josh James: Public speaking, I’d love to get good at that one day.
Before we finish things off, we have one final question for you. If you wrote a book about your life today, what would the title be?
Josh James: “Luck Skill and Grit – how to be the best in the world, in the shortest amount of time, at one thing and one thing only”
Jed Morley, VIP Contributor to ValiantCEO and the host of this interview would like to thank Josh James for taking the time to do this interview and share his knowledge and experience with our readers.
If you would like to get in touch with Josh James or his company, you can do it through his – Linkedin Page
Did you enjoy this article? Check out similar stories:
Disclaimer: The ValiantCEO Community welcomes voices from many spheres on our open platform. We publish pieces as written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Community stories are not commissioned by our editorial team and must meet our guidelines prior to being published.