Brian Hoppes is the founder of Elevation Search Solutions, a boutique search firm specializing in team buildouts for growing companies. Brian has been a serial entrepreneur for over 15 years, and we're excited that he's a part of the EC community. Read on for his thoughts about running a business with limited capital, having a supportive network, and more.
Describe yourself in one word:
Why are you interested in entrepreneurship?
I enjoy the ability to chart my own path while at the same time giving the amazing people who work for me the opportunity to have more control over their own destinies and to realize things about themselves that they never knew.
If you could meet any entrepreneur, who would it be?
What is your favorite aspect of the EC?
Given its proximity to major interstates and downtown Nashville, I have to say that the location of the EC is a huge plus. The energy and variety of folks you meet is unmatched from what I've found. In addition, you have the added bonus of Pinewood Social and Little Mosko's being on campus. With these kinds of amenities, I find that it is extremely easy for both me and my team to schedule lunches, coffee meetings, after work mixers, and team-building functions without the worry of parking or taking too much time out of an already busy day to drive to other areas of town.
What advice would you give to someone seeking to create, launch, or grow a business?
Don't worry about starting small and don't feel that you have to show your growth and success too quickly. Sometimes when you start thinking too much about appearances and feel pressure around having a flashy office space or adding more staff, it can really drain your resources quickly. You don't need these things until your business tells you it needs them. Small business owners often fail to truly understand the drain that overhead can have on their resources. It can really drag you down both financially and from a time management perspective. Focus instead on more efficient ways of spending your money and time for the first couple of years. For instance, consider leveraging your capital on a strong branding strategy, a slick website, and a membership to an affordable and user-friendly collaborative space such as the EC.
How do you balance the entrepreneurial lifestyle?
I am fortunate to have a family that is extremely risk tolerant and has the same passion for entrepreneurship as I do. It is incredibly important for everyone to be on the same page when you decide to take the leap from employee to owner. There is a tremendous amount of trust and faith that you must have in yourself to bring an idea to life, and when the people you care about most believe in you 110%, it makes you that much stronger. I have been a serial entrepreneur for so long now, that I think it would completely freak my family out if I were to ever be anything else at this point.
For more information, visit elevationsearchsolutions.com