Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Rod Patterson, Founder of Sounds of Knowledge, located in Lithonia, GA, USA.

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

Sounds of Knowledge Tour delivers the finest in quality educational programs to schools across our nation. Our programs are geared to enlighten, educate, and affirm students in their effort to achieve success. We can address "front burner" issues such as drugs, alcohol, tobacco, racial harmony, character, goals for life, and non-violent resolution of conflict. We reach over 1,000,000 students from Elementary through High School every school season.

Tell us about yourself

I was part owner of my first school touring company, DSA (Diversity Showcase Assemblies). One of my responsibilities was checking the company email, but the one day that I didn't, a life-changing email came through that I did not get the opportunity to read, and the results were devastating.

At first, when DSA started, we were getting around 20 emails a day, but as we grew, we began getting hundreds of emails daily. I couldn't check all of them, but one of those emails was from a school girl who was contemplating suicide and, come to find out later, she did end her life. That has always remained in my mind because I always felt that was my responsibility, so I have just been on a quest. I just know about the one I lost; I don't know how many I have saved and that fuels me to keep going."

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Speaking to 6000 plus students in South Korea at Camp Humphreys US Army Base.

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

Finding good help and not trying to do everything - except help. :)

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

  1. Just get started. Think, but don't overthink.
  2. You don't fail... only learn.
  3. Be persistent and NEVER give up. Cheesy but so true :)

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

All your gifts and talents belong to others... so share! Give people their stuff! :)

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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