Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Phil Lockwood, Founder of Always Be Changing, located in Denver, CO, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
We're a YouTuber family traveling the world to experience hundreds of cultures while sharing these adventures with our growing audience of subscribers. In a sense, those followers are our customers, though our revenue comes through a variety of channels, such as brand sponsorships and advertising revenue.
Tell us about yourself
I've been an entrepreneur for most of my adult life. I learned pretty early on that I wasn't very employable in the traditional sense due to my inability to focus on tasks and strategies that I don't believe in 100%. I'm not a control freak, per se, but I do think I have better ideas than most people I've worked for in the past, and that belief pretty much dictates that I work for myself. I love having that level of freedom in my daily planning and actions: I'm completely responsible for my success, my income, and my failures.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My various businesses have generated tens of millions in revenue and employed hundreds of employees, but the real accomplishment in my decades as a business owner has been growing beyond the ego to the point that my leadership and management decisions are based on core values that ensure integrity, fairness, and compassion (mainly for employees). Ending each day knowing that I've worked hard for my team instead of for myself is a level of peace of mind that can only be learned and earned.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
There are no safety nets as a business owner. You can't slip through the cracks, and you can't coast while collecting a salary. Every day is an opportunity to grow or a temptation to neglect what you've built. Because of this, it's very difficult to ever take a real vacation or to even check out at the end of the day. Your customers, employees, partners, and others will always need your attention, and it's rarely restricted to standard business hours.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Don't fall into the validation trap that causes many founders to jump straight into office leases, employees, equipment, and equity partners. Lean equals freedom.
- Pick a business based on passion, not profit potential. The former tend to last, and the latter ebbs and flows.
- Remember that passion is the result of action, not the cause of it. Lean in, commit, and ignore Plan B.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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