"How I Got Started..." with Eric Glymph, Founder of EDGe Business Planning
We were grateful to sit down with him and chat about what inspired him to take that leap into entrepreneurship!
Q: Where are you from?
A: I was born in San Angelo, Texas, but I moved to Indianapolis when I was six and lived there until I moved to Richmond 16 years ago.
Q: What are you passionate about in your personal life?
A: Well, everyone says family which is true. I’ve got a wife and two kids and they’re awesome. Outside of spending time with my family, I am a triathlete. I have competed in over 75 triathlons including three Ironman’s. I also teach undergraduate finance and strategy courses at VCU in the fall and spring.
Q: What college did you attend and what did you study?
A: I attended Indiana University where I majored in Accounting and minored in Economics.
Q: Tell me about your early career.
A: I started at the RCA headquarters in Indianapolis. I really enjoyed my six years at RCA, but my career really took off when I started working in the wireless phone industry. I started near the beginning of the big adoption of wireless phones in the U.S., so it was a really exciting time. I spent my last 13 years before I started EDGe at AT&T.
Q: In your words, what is EDGe Business Planning?
A: We take a modern approach to financial understanding for business owners by using technology and personalized guidance to grow their business profitably. We are different from your traditional accounting firm – we do more than just review what has already happened. We give business owners access to their data when they want it, help them understand it, and most importantly help them make forward looking profitable business decisions.
Q: How long have you been in business?
A: We are in our sixth year!
Q: What was the transition from your career to entrepreneurship like? What sparked you to start your company?
A: Many things came together to get me to decide to jump off on my own. I loved working at AT&T, but I saw a need with friends of mine who were small business owners and were struggling to understand their financial numbers. I had also just completed my first Ironman Triathlon and that experience propelled me to do something different. So, everything kind of came together and I said, ‘Hey it’s time to make a change and take the big leap into my own thing.’
Q: What was the biggest surprise as a business owner from working as an employee?
A: For me the biggest change to get used to when I first started out was that you must build relationships, you don’t have the title or status any longer. When I was working at AT&T, I had a title; I was a director. I could go into a room and talk to people and I automatically had respect because of the experience I had. When I started EDGe, I was starting from ground zero, so I had to rebuild that reputation. The great thing about Richmond is that people want to help other people. So many people helped me get started by giving me great advice or introducing me to the right people.
Q: What have been the biggest challenges in growing the business? What have you done differently as a result?
A: The biggest challenge is things are always changing. I had an idea of how my business was going to grow but after a year or so I knew I had to make changes. So, it’s about constantly reinventing. At first, I saw this as challenge, but now I realize it’s a good opportunity to reassess every year or two and think, ‘what do my clients and my team want?’ I look at it more as a positive than a negative now, but it was definitely challenging at first.
Q: As a successful business owner, do you have work / life balance? How have you managed to improve the joy and fulfillment in your life?
A: I struggle with the whole work/life balance because the work and life blend together. It’s more about making sure that I can take the time to remain passionate about my business, so I love what I’m doing and it’s not a chore. It’s also important to make sure that the people that care about you understand what you are doing and are involved and that you schedule time for them. I will admit that sometimes the work for EDGe is bigger than I want it to be, but if you have a good support group, they will help you get back to the right balance.
Q: What can we and others in the community do to help your business grow and be more successful?
A: When people talk to business owners they know, who are stressed out and struggling, a lot of times they feel like they don’t have anyone to talk to, especially when they are struggling with the results of the business. We make it very simple for people to come talk to us. There’s no judgement, it’s just figuring out what happened and what kind of plan we can help them create going forward. Business owners can understand their numbers enough to make good business decisions, if they aren’t then they need to make sure they have a finance professional that will present them in a way they can understand and help them make the decisions they need to make. That is why we are different.
Q: What advice would give other entrepreneurs / small business owners?
A: One thing I have learned from triathlons that I have transferred over to my business career is this mantra: ‘Be comfortable being uncomfortable!’ Everything you do as an entrepreneur is new and different; you’ve never done it before and it’s going to be uncomfortable. So, getting used to the change, the challenge, and something new every day helps it become a normal part of your life. Plus, it is so much more exciting than doing the same thing every day!
“How I Got Started...” is a blog series that spotlights the entrepreneurial and life journeys of various small business owners and professionals. The content of this blog was curated by members of the CreativeMktGroup team.