Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Bill Capodagli, Co-Founder of Capodagli Jackson Consulting, located in Vero Beach, FL, USA.

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

We are in the business of helping companies create a customer-centric culture. We accomplish this through leadership, customer service, coaching, and training. Our customers have included the government, manufacturing, healthcare, and hospitality industries.

Tell us about yourself

I have degrees in Economics and Mathematics. My first job out of college was as a statistical actuary. After two years of "crunching numbers," I was asked to join an internal consulting group in which we were all trained in industrial engineering skills. I was recruited by a large international consulting firm and have spent most of my adult life consulting. Two events molded my approach to business. The first was in 1974 when I visited Disneyland for the first time with my 3-year-old son. I was not only entertained, but as a young industrial engineer, I was captivated by how well they handled the flow of their guests through the attractions. Shortly after this, I started working on benchmarking studies for several clients. Disney would often come up as one of the "best of the best," not only in customer service and innovation but also in manufacturing. They have the 5th largest laundry in the world. They process thousands of costumes, linens, and more each day. I started to study the life and business practices of Walt Disney and began using Walt's Dream, Believe, Dare, Do success credo as a model for many of my clients.

The second occurred a few years later when I had the opportunity to study and work with Dr. W Edwards Deming. Deming is credited with turning the struggling post-WWII Japanese manufacturing industry into the world-class competitor it is today. I learned from Dr. Deming that statistics and industrial engineering tools are useless if they do not have a culture of mutual respect and trust throughout the organization.

The biggest motivation to continue to help organizations create or improve their customer-centric culture is when frontline workers tell me that the new culture has changed their life. Some said they hated their jobs and dreaded coming to work. One frontline worker told me he was ready to take earlier retirement, but after the culture change, he wanted to remain on the job because he was having fun at work again.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

I am most proud of the fact that our first book, The Disney Way, has been continuously in print for over 24 years and is in its third revision. Also, Fortune magazine cited the book as a "best business book" and "so useful; you may whistle while you work."

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

I consider myself semi-retired. My wife and I run our business together. Years ago, we had ten consultants working with us. The hardest thing is knowing you have ten families counting on you to keep the business thriving.

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

Rather than three tips, here are Walt Disney's four secrets to success: DREAM of ways of doing business that have never been done before, BELIVE in the values that guide you and your business, DARE to take the risks to make those dreams a reality and lastly, DO put plans together, so those dreams do come true.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

Keep dreaming, believe in yourself and your team, dare to take those risks, and then just do it!

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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