Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in business development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Shelley Iocona, Founder of ON ITS AXIS, located in Costa Mesa, CA, USA.

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

ON ITS AXIS is a woman-owned and led innovation consultancy helping Fortune 1000, mid-market private institutions, high-growth startups, and nonprofit organizations grow and scale through an outcome-driven product and people® framework. Since 2009 we've partnered with some of the brightest, most forward-thinking companies to spark change, enhance agility, and optimize growth. We've created business models, taken products from concept to commercialization, and created cultures of excellence.

Tell us about yourself

I started ON ITS AXIS in 2009 with a vision to help companies build better products. I believed then, as I do now, that people and processes are critical in creating product excellence, and I love helping leaders discover their biggest challenges while watching our incredible, diverse team support our client's growth goals.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

When our EVP Kelly O'Connell joined in 2018, we expanded our practice to include the People division. This and the commitment to be different by giving back are major milestones for our team.

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

Ensuring we stay true to our company's core values is top of mind for me. Integrity, Flexibility, Collaboration, and Results must be present in the work we do and how we act. I've had to make a few tough decisions where these values were not present, and while I am proud of the outcomes, the situations were challenging at the time.

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

  1. Know your strengths and where you might need support. Being realistic upfront with what you'll need to run and grow your business will help create a foundation for a strong start.
  2. Test out your assumptions as you refine your business model. Remember that most successful businesses make many pivots before they grow and scale.
  3. Remember, you are not your business. You are separate from your company and have room to learn and grow alongside it. This is an important point to remember during periods of high growth or high stress.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

Our company ethos is built on the belief that a better future starts with innovating today. We offer a complimentary discovery call and welcome the opportunity to share how we can help!

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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