Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Eric Kaufmann, CEO of Sagatica, LLC, located in San Diego, CA, USA.

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

My customers are Executives of organizations that are established and growing. My team and I provide One-on-one Executive coaching and executive team effectiveness Consulting and guidance. Our clients are smart, competent, and eager to go to the next level of success as leaders and Executives. They recognize that organizational transformation requires personal transformation first.

Tell us about yourself

I left my leadership job at Corning after working in sales, marketing, and management in a couple of Fortune 500 companies. I had become more passionate about developing other leaders around me than fulfilling P&L responsibilities. That was a really hard decision. I was a young executive on a very promising trajectory to General management. But my passion and devotion were fueled by guiding and helping women and men realize their potential, especially in the executive ranks. It's hard for an executive to come by meaningful real-world and real-time development opportunities. Executive coaching is totally customized and brings immediate impact. This is what I love about coaching. I'm intimately involved with leaders making important decisions that affect many people, and together we're focused on making those decisions while being the best version of themselves in the process.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

My biggest accomplishment has been successfully running and growing my business over the past 20 years. A year after starting my practice, I got married. A year later, we bought a house. The following year our daughter was born, and the next year our second daughter was born. Being able to follow my dream and support my growing family from the ground up has been both exhilarating and exhausting. Of course, I'm also delighted to have been recognized by my peers in town as one of the best executive development firms. And I'm proud of being inducted into the realm of thought leaders and Harvard's Institute of Coaching.

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

One of the greatest challenges of being an entrepreneur is the never-ending uncertainty. To be a founder and CEO is to be constantly concerned about what's coming around the corner and how to sustain and grow the business. One of the deals that employees implicitly make with their employer is some sense of predictability about their earnings. To be an entrepreneur is to live without any implicit expectation of safety. On the contrary, it's a risky endeavor. Providing for my family while pursuing my dream of entrepreneurial success that's the stuff that anxiety is made of.

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

  1. Decide on and articulate your culture. Spend some real concentrated time thinking through the culture of your organization. What kind of norms are you willing to live by and live with? What kind of behaviors is acceptable for you with your team, vendors, and customers? How will you sustain the passionate drive that turned you into doing this work in the first place?
  2. Don't be afraid to leverage debt. It can be scary to take on debt, but being overly frugal may slow down the momentum of your growth. Do not spend that debt on daily operations but on meaningful investments that will accelerate your ability to produce and compete.
  3. Don't be a control freak. As quickly as you can, train and Coach the folks around you to have autonomy in both decision-making and hiring. The more control you have, the more people will lean on you and the less time you'll have for thinking about strategy and new growth opportunities.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

Don't be an entrepreneurial hero. Meaning, make this a collective effort from the get-go. You will destroy your enterprise if you believe that you alone must carry this load on your back. Creating something significant requires help, insight, support, encouragement, and a myriad of skills. You and your brother/sister/cousin/neighbor can probably start something, but you will need specialized and competent people sooner than you think. The more you do this alone or with two or three people that you really trust but don't have the abilities, the less likely you are to be satisfied and succeed over time.

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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