Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in personal and business development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Vic Clesceri, Founder of The Management Sherpa™, located in Cincinnati, OH, USA.

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

We are in the People business! The Management Sherpa™ is a boutique consulting and coaching firm specializing in Talent Management and Organizational Development. Our Sherpas partner with clients to develop people, build organizations and enhance execution. Our customers are organizations less than $50 million and those looking for fractional or contract support in leading, managing, or assisting in the strategy and implementation of Talent Management across the entire employee lifecycle.

Tell us about yourself

I’ve always been in the people space as a management executive, professor, consultant, and coach. I’ve led Talent Management and Organizational Development initiatives as a W2 and 1099 associate in boardrooms, conference rooms, and classrooms for corporations, nonprofits, and within academia. The Management Sherpa™ was founded on a failed summit attempt of Mt. Rainier, where my team was unsuccessful in reaching the summit due to an avalanche. In descending the mountain, I realized that strategy is moot without execution, and the mountaineering metaphor resonated with me. What motivates us is to help people become the best version of themselves, so they may help their organizations become the best versions of themselves.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Our biggest accomplishment has been consecutively growing the business while at the same time expanding our services, diversity of clients, and growing our Sherpa community of experts within the Talent Management and Organizational Development space, to serve our clients effectively.

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

Learn to take your profit first. Too many business owners focus on paying expenses first, then they focus on taxes. Challenge that paradigm quickly and learn to take profit first, pay salaries second, accrue for taxes third and then effectively manage expenses. This takes extreme clarity in financial analytics, where all expenses are scrutinized, and customers are prioritized first based on their contributions to profit versus revenue.

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

  1. Know why you exist. Clearly understand your mission, vision, and guiding principles.
  2. Know your market and target customers. Know what geographies, industries, channels, categories, segments, etc., you will compete in.
  3. Have extreme clarity as to your value proposition and understand your competitive advantage. Use this competitive advantage to differentiate yourself within your market and with prospective clients.

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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