Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in business development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Justin Howard, Founder of Emerge Improv, located in Yellow Springs, OH, USA.

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

Emerge Improv is a communication training company. My clients range from smaller local businesses to Fortune 500 companies.

Tell us about yourself

I didn't set out to do corporate training. Originally I created an Improv Comedy Theatre, and that was my focus. A chance opportunity to train MBA students at Harvard's Business School opened the door to corporate training.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Surviving the pandemic. My business relies on the ability to get groups of people into a room and interact. The pandemic made that tough.

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

Being the one who not only has to make the final decisions but also the person who has to live with the impact of those decisions.

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

  1. Have access to capital. I started my business with $10,000 USD. It makes for a romantic startup story, but it also makes for a very hard existence. Sometimes you just need to buy your way out of a problem.
  2. Be passionate about more than just money. Money may come, but it may not, and you need to have a reason to wake up and work in tough times.
  3. Be a student of everything. I've saved myself a lot of time and stress by learning how to do things myself.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

Owning a business is the best and worst thing about my life. For every perk, there's an obstacle, and as much as you might want to sprint, you'll be forced into a marathon with no water.

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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