Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in leadership development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Bob Dixon, Founder of Arete Strategic Consulting, located in Tampa, FL, USA.

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

We are Arête, your strategic advisors. We offer leadership and strategy coaching, strategic assessments and workshops, and a full-service Operations Upgrade for small and medium-sized business leaders who are ready to take things to the next level. In 2022 we launched our 5 Eagles Leadership program to provide leaders with focused one-on-one coaching to help them unlock their true potential. Our clients include leaders from healthcare, education, event production, construction, nonprofits, government, and real estate.

Tell us about yourself

When I retired from the military after three decades of service, I had to figure out what I wanted to do with the rest of my working years. When I reflected on the most rewarding part of serving as a leader in the military, it was coaching, teaching, and mentoring leaders at every level to be their very best. Now I get to do that every day. Watching people thrive as a result of coaching has been incredibly rewarding, and I am blessed and honored that people trust me to help them on their journey.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Seeing my clients' companies grow and their leaders leading with confidence. Helping people be more effective at work, vastly improving their work/life balance, and seeing the looks on their faces when they realize how awesome they are. Oh, and watching my first client's company grow 50% year-over-year was pretty cool, too.

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

Learning how to refuse. Instead of concentrating on key strengths and ideals, it's simple to get caught up in the trap of attempting to please everyone and accepting any kind of task or customer. For many of us, the toughest challenge is resisting the want to "do it all" and "serve everyone."

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

  1. Don't follow your passion. Follow what you are great at. Passion comes from being successful, not the other way around.
  2. Know when to tap out. Not every business idea works. When you fail, fail early and cheaply. Learn from it, dust yourself off, and get back in there.
  3. Invest in yourself. Get the help you need to accelerate your learning and growth. My business didn't start thriving until I got a coach who could guide, teach, and challenge me. Worth every penny.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

In Plato’s Greece, the pursuit of pure excellence, called Arête, was the ultimate virtue. Arête isn’t limited to one area of life but excellence in life itself. It indicates a respect for the wholeness or oneness of life and that improving expertise in a singular area at the expense of all others limits overall growth.

This is the approach Arête Strategic Consulting takes in helping our clients pursue their goals. Our mission is to help you achieve your vision by developing excellence throughout your company: visionary leaders pursuing the right strategy produce amazing results.

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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