Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in business development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Bill Hurston, Founder of InnerEdge Advisors, located in Saint Louis, MO, USA.

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

InnerEdge Advisors in my coaching and business advisory practice (which is separate from my CPA practice). I work with organizations that want to grow and develop their people in ways that make it easier to build more profitable and meaningful business lives and careers. Currently, I am focusing on professional service firms. I just launched a case study that will measure the Emotional Intelligence of 500 lawyers (it is a whole story).

Tell us about yourself

On April 16, 2001, the day after finishing a tax deadline, I was looking out the window and saw people planting flowers outside the office across the street. At that instant, I thought, I can't stand to work in an office all day, every day. So, I did what ALL CPAs do: I bought a franchise painting business. I could write a book about that adventure. I sold the business in 2008 and since then have done a wide range of business advisory (M&A, fractional CFO, working with small business owners) and coaching.

In 2017 I set out to find a better way to help my clients increase their employee engagement. Today, I have a series of programs that are for every person, at every level, of any organization. These programs are designed to help people become better leaders, team members, and employees. But that's not all. They are also becoming better husbands and wives, fathers and mothers, sons and daughters, family members and friends. That is awesome.

What motivates me every day when I get up is wondering who I can help today. As has been said, the true meaning of life is to plant trees under whose shade you do not expect to sit. I am doing my best to live up to that saying.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

See above. The programs I have created since 2017.

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

The one thing? Being able to win the "game of inches." The six inches between your ears. (OK, I have a big head, mine might be more like 7-8 inches). Isolation. Blind spots. Self-doubt. Imposter syndrome. Loved ones that wonder why you don't "take the easy money" and go back to a corporate job. Decreasing self-awareness. Being unable or unwilling to ask for help. Not being in the present. Not being able to "Eat the Frog." I could go on, but I think you get the point.

I guess the best way to put it is to use one of the ideas behind stoicism/Viktor Frankl/CBT: In the space between stimulus and response, there lies a space and in that space lies your power to choose. As business owners, we are bombarded with stimuli and awash in emotions that it is difficult for non-business owners to understand. To survive, much less to be successful, you have to learn how to increase that space, so you are able to control your responses/make better decisions.

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

  1. Don't mistake passion for purpose.
  2. Be willing and able to ask for help. Surround yourself with people that understand what you are trying to accomplish and will tell you the plain unvarnished truth when you are getting off track.
  3. Bonus: The obstacle in the way.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

Sorry to puke all over you with the above. I don't know if this is what you are looking for or if you think it will be useful. I won't be offended if you do not want to use it. This new brand (InnerEdge) is new (I took the coaching/advisory out of my CPA practice), and I am just beginning to build out the websites/social media, etc. So, from a self-interest standpoint, any and all exposure is good. But, at the end of the day, what I would be most interested in would be if my setbacks, stumbles, and successes can be useful to others that are also "In the Arena."

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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