Kindly give our readers an introduction to your business. Please include what your business is all about, in which city you are located and if you have offices in multiple locations/ cities.

We are a full service accounting firm providing general accounting, book keeping, payroll outsourcing, AP outsourcing, tax, financial consultation, and fractional CFO services. We are located in Franklin, TN.

Kindly give us a brief description about yourself (it should include your brief educational or entrepreneurial background and list some of your major achievements).

I have a CPA and a Masters of Accountancy (from Belmont University). I have over 20 years of experience in accounting or financial operations roles. The first 10 years of my career I served as an accountant and financial executive for large healthcare companies. In 2017 I started my own company and served as an accounting and financial consultant for various industries within that company and kept the books for that company. In four years I sold that company. I understand not only the accounting side of ones business but also understand what it’s like running ones own business, being able to add value beyond just the book keeping/maintaining records and tax work.

Q 1) What inspired you to (start a new business venture) or (to make significant changes in an existing business)?

Ans: I’ve never been content working for someone. It’s just not how I’m wired. I’ve tried it multiple times through my career and have always found it to be more rewarding both personally and financially to run my own business. I’m passionate about serving clients, providing them with answers and education on their numbers where they have otherwise been without that clarity. How did the idea for your business come about? Given I’ve been doing this for so long it just made sense to provide this service for multiple clients. It was the simplest answer for what to do with my life. That said White Olive means a “Simple Relationship”. The color white signifies simplicity and purity. Olive comes from the olive branch meaning a relationship. That said your relationship with your accountant should be a simple relationship.

Q 2) What three pieces of advice would you give to budding entrepreneurs?

Ans: 1) Don’t give up. 2) Be prepared emotionally and financially for “hard times”. 3) Be revenue and growth focused.

Q 3) What would you say are the top three skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur?

Ans: 1) Be relentless. 2) Be nice to everyone, even when you don’t want to. 3) Being able to surround yourself with the right people: people who are not greedy and are honest.

Q 4) How many hours do you work a day on average?

Ans: This is a hard question to answer because an entrepreneur’s work is never done. I’m always working and when I’m not business seems to always be on the brain. That said, I always try to take time for myself through exercise, meditation and community involvement to get me out of myself. I’d say I work minimum 60 hours a week but it doesn’t always look like “work” to someone else.

Q 5) To what do you most attribute your success?

Ans: I think I know when to act quickly and I know when to pause. This took a long time to learn. Today I’m not as reactive as I used to be. I try to never react.

Q 6) How do you go about marketing your business?

Ans: I cold call and shake hands. I have engaged marketing firms. I post on social media. What has been your most successful form of marketing? Referrals from existing clients and strategic partnerships with other accountants and attorneys.

Q 7) Where did your organizations funding/capital come from and how did you go about getting it?

Ans: I have not raised any capital. My funding comes from serving my customers revenue.

Q 8) How did you obtain investors for your venture?

Ans: Not applicable.

Q 9) What is the best way to achieve long-term success?

Ans: It’s a simple formula: every day do right by your customers and eventually you’ll get more customers and before you know it you’ll have a large book of business to keep you afloat.

Q 10) Where you see yourself and your business in 5 – 10 years?

Ans: I want White Olive at $10 million per year in revenue by the end of 2028. I have a long way to go to get there.

Q 11) Excluding yours, what company or business do you admire the most?

Ans: Disney or Starbucks. One thing I notice about both is they are really good at getting people through their revenue cycle quickly, efficiently, and still maintain high quality. They have a consistent formula that they don’t break from. I admire that because it’s such a hard thing to do. I’m no where near that with my firm and I want White Olive to mirror those principles.

Q 12) How important have good employees been to your success?

Ans: Not applicable right now.

Q 13) How long do you stick with an idea before giving up?

Ans: I don’t really give up on my ideas. At worst I’ll just table them and come back and revisit them later.

Q 14) What motivates you?

Ans: I love music and exercise and those are both really great sources of motivation.

Q 15) What are your ideals?

Ans: 1) Respect Boundaries 2) Truthful is Better than Tactful 3) Relentlessly Dedicated to Accuracy 4) Always Meet Our Deadlines 5) Say Less and Do More

Q 16) How do you generate new ideas?

Ans: Usually if I’m working hard ideas start coming. As long as I keep working on things and stick to it despite road blocks, that’s where good ideas stem from.

Q 17) How do you define success?

Ans: Success obviously has a monetary component that I measure it by but I’ve learned it can’t be the end all be all. Success for me is really just doing what I enjoy and maintaining a work life balance while bringing in a satisfactory level of income.

Q 18) How do you build a successful customer base?

Ans: I do this through referral sources, cold calling, and network.

Q 19) What is your favorite aspect of being an entrepreneur?

Ans: As mentioned earlier, I never liked working for companies. My favorite part about it is the flexibility.

Q 20) What has been your most satisfying moment in business?

Ans: Continuing to grow new clients through demonstrating I can deliver on what they need.

Q 21) What do you feel is the major difference between entrepreneurs and those who work for someone else?

Ans: Entrepreneurs are willing to take the risk of not having a steady paycheck verses someone who wants to work for someone else. Once you’re willing to accept that and all of the fears that come with it, that’s where you’re different.

Q 22) What kind of culture exists in your organization?

Ans: See “what are your ideals”. The culture is founded on those ideals. How did you establish this tone and why did you institute this particular type of culture? You have to communicate it and live by those principles regularly.

Q 23) n one word, characterize your life as an entrepreneur.

Ans: I’d say “busy”.

Q 24) If you had the chance to start your career over again, what would you do differently?

Ans: I would have read more and listened more to others and done what they say rather than rely on my own understanding. I would have been much less reactive and much more readily accept other peoples advice.

Q 25) How has being an entrepreneur affected your family life?

Ans: It’s been good because I have the flexibility to always be there for my kids.

Q 26) What is your greatest fear, and how do you manage fear?

Ans: My greatest fear like most entrepreneurs is failure and paradoxically inspite of that fear I continue to do things that do have a high risk of failure. So I just imagine the worst case scenario and accept it and move forward while accepting it.

Q 27) How did you decide on the location for your business?

Ans: I live and work in Franklin, TN. It’s great community that has something for everyone. Tennessee is also very entrepreneur friendly.

Q 28) Do you believe there is some sort of pattern or formula to becoming a successful entrepreneur?

Ans: Everyone’s formula is different but the common thread is to not give up, remain revenue focused, and be prepared for failure.

Q 29) If you could talk to one person from history, who would it be and why?

Ans: Long before the movie just came out I read all of the books on making the atomic bomb at Los Alamos, so I’d want to talk to Oppenheimer.

Q 30) Who has been your greatest inspiration?

Ans: I’m a big fan of the Foo Fighters and I’ve always wanted to meet David Grohl and I’ve always admired what he does not only musically but professionally. He never stops doing what he’s passionate about.

Q 31) What are some of the biggest mistakes you’ve made?

Ans: Not listening to what other people have to say.

Q 32) What are your hobbies?

Ans: I love music and exercise. I have released music under the band name “Topos @ the Wawa” I do that mostly in my non-work time.

Q 33) What makes you happy?

Ans: Meditation and prayer seem to be the two biggest influences on me being happy and staying happy.

Q 34) What sacrifices have you had to make to be a successful entrepreneur?

Ans: I’d say I sacrificed much more by working for large companies than I do today in being in business for myself.