Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Stephen Mitchell, Founder of Stephen Anthony Consulting Inc, located in Charlotte, NC, USA.

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

I operate a retail consulting business. My customers are other business owners that want to increase their retail sales. I also have several side businesses. I operate 17 cars on Turo and offer teachings and training courses to help people get started in car sharing, but retail consulting is my main focus.

Tell us about yourself

My name is Stephen Mitchell. I go by StephenMotivate on all social platforms. I have traditional degrees in business from Ball State University and Purdue University. I got started in the consulting business when I left my last job and began to get many questions from other business owners about how they could grow their retail sales. I've been participating in entrepreneurship formally since 2004, when my first business was registered with the Secretary of State, but my current business started because there was a demand for my knowledge and experience not just as an employee but as a consultant & thought and action partner. I'm motivated by the idea that I will be able to leave something for my children, something that can create jobs and help others participate in the economy in a meaningful way.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

My biggest accomplishment is remaining in business for 5 years! Most businesses fail within the first 3. We hope we continue on strong for many years to come. Yes, we have had big revenue accomplishments and other big wins, but truly the biggest accomplishment is not one single event; it's the daily push to keep walking forward in an effort to build something for the next generation.

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

Endurance, keeping up your endurance when things don't go the way you expect them to, is the hardest thing. Still, if you can keep your endurance, there is a good chance you'll win. That win will motivate you to do it all over again even though you know it will be difficult, so the hardest thing is knowing you have to endure hard things… so there isn't one single event or activity that is hard; it's all hard. And depending on what you're naturally gifted at will determine what you want to gravitate to. Still, as an entrepreneur, you are responsible for it all, the things you're good at and the things you aren't, especially when your first start out; you just have to endure! I believe the Bible says somewhere… the race isn't given to swift or strong but to those who endure to the end… that may be a mix of a couple of different verses, but the point is still valid… you have to endure.

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

  1. Start! 80% and started is better than 100% and not started… you can't wait for everything to be perfect business is a constant evolution I'd rather you start and get experience than just sit on the sidelines.
  2. Partner - You need to find a good partner that does things you don't do, but they must have a track record of getting things done, solving problems, have good character, and are not easily ready to give up. Sometimes the difficulty you have in running your business could be greatly reduced if you'd be willing to partner with someone who you know in your heart will add great value to you.
  3. Pivot - be willing to pivot to grow your business; for example, you can spend 3 years building the perfect tea, and once you start selling it, you might notice that while your tea may be good, customers or more interested in the tea cups … don't be so focused on your tea that you fail to pivot to the tea cups… give the people what they want regardless of what you want them to want … you don't have to stop selling tea but be willing to pivot and bring on an additional product if you get a sense that those additional products are what your customers are demanding! So Start Partner & Pivot! That's the best advice I can give anyone looking to start, run and grow their business!

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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