Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in business development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Thomas Pope, Owner of Out of the Box Advisors, located in Jacksonville, FL, USA.

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

We are a business coaching firm. We focus on helping small business owners grow their business, reduce the amount of stress they carry, and aid them in avoiding common pitfalls of small business ownership.

Tell us about yourself

After achieving my undergrad in mechanical engineering, I went straight into obtaining my MBA. I aspired to apply problem-solving methodologies from engineering within the business world. After cutting my teeth in the C-Suite of our family business, I started Out of the Box Advisors with the idea of giving small business owners and entrepreneurs the experience and knowledge that usually is only found in the executive realm.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Not to be trite, but our "biggest" accomplishment isn't a single thing. Each and every time we help small business owners achieve their dream, their success IS our biggest accomplishment.

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

Two things I will always identify for any small business owner: accountability and complacency. Having the ability to always hold yourself accountable as the owner and avoiding the pitfall of complacency are critical.

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

  1. Conquer your fear of the unknown. You must always have the confidence to make decisions on the fly with little to no information. If you can't handle the unknown, it's not likely that your business will succeed.
  2. Build a support structure. Friends and family are always a solid place to start. They can help you with the early logistics and oftentimes help with financing your new business. Obtain a business lawyer, you're going to need it eventually. Secure a business coach to help guide you through those unknowns. Oh, and network like a maniac.
  3. Make sure you're making money. Revenue is NOT profit. This is a very common mistake with new business owners. They think they are making money because money is coming in without taking into account how much is going out.

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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