Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in personal and business development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Tom Hughes, Founding Partner of Appian Leadership, located in Heber City, UT, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

We provide executive development services—training, coaching, consulting—to global companies across multiple industries and sectors.

Tell us about yourself

I've spent the past 25 years enjoying the process of helping people get better at the things that matter most to them and allowing them to take better care of the people around them.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

I've had the good fortune to begin a number of businesses. As a lot of entrepreneurs will understand, I often feel my biggest accomplishment is staying in business. More than that, I'm proud of the partnerships I've been able to form and the thousands of leaders we've been able to support.

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

No surprises on this count: the continuous juggling. Deliver for the day, sell for tomorrow. Focus on the "old favorite" services, and develop new services. Do it yourself to develop others.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

First, if you can, build on what you're already doing in your full-time job. That means leveraging expertise, relationships, and tools. Second, be smart about the transition. It sounds exciting just to drop everything and make the big change. On the other hand, there are plenty of unavoidable risks in doing your own thing, so why introduce unnecessary ones? Third, you have to be on a constant learning curve. Read, study, learn, partner.

In our most recent venture, my partner and I realized that our newest offering would run 95% through social media, and we just don't know social. So, we each brought one of our daughters on board because they had the right combination of skills, interests, and familiarity with social media.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

Go in with your eyes open. It can be a really fun and rewarding thing to work for yourself and to create something that can grow. It can also be a little scary because there's no net. So, embrace the fun while still being ready for the bumps.

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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