Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in business development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Sean James, Founder of Bequest Management, located in New York, NY, USA.

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

We are a business management firm with high-level professional services managing an established clientele in sport, entertainment, technology, philanthropy, wellness and health.  We are dedicated to preserving and growing our clients' wealth, while maintaining our unique culture and honoring the legacy of our firm's name. In every action we take, we do the right thing for the right reasons.


Tell us about yourself

As a former college and professional athlete, I  have competed on the highest levels. This has given me unique experience in, and valuable insight on the discipline, drive, and ability to dream big and achieve your goals.

I have honed this ability to understand and practice business in a way that maximizes my experience in wealth management, corporate planning and philanthropy. I possess unique career experience having worked in multiple arenas including sports, entertainment, corporate, education and  philanthropy-thereby cultivating relationships, opportunity and innovation across the professional landscape.

I have created and implemented systems for personal, business and philanthropic needs to create profitable outcomes through the examination of the efficacy and efficiency of existing process streams. These streams include: insurance, taxes, wealth management, private banking, office management, and access to legal counsel.

My purpose in business is to fiscally educate professional athletes in order to ensure their long-term financial success and stability. In philanthropy, my purpose is to educate both adults and children on how to be kind, be upstanders and realize their full potential.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

My biggest accomplishment as a business owner was taken that leap of faith 5 years ago to create Bequest Management.

When I chose to name the company Bequest it was important that my values align with the meaning of the word. Its definition is the act of giving or leaving something by will. I  felt my education, experience and relationships needed to be accessible in one shop to serve people at the highest level.

My biggest accomplishment in business and philanthropy was the launch of my philanthropic organization Be In The Know about bullying.

As a corporation, my biggest accomplishment in was receiving the leadership award in Fintech for my contribution to finance and technology.

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

Staying focused on what matters most--anticipating the risks, barriers and opportunities in order to create meaningful and lasting change. Great leaders create great teams by hiring people on the basis of their intelligence, their competence, and their ability to trust in their leader.

The team looks up to that leader to help them win. A great leader creates a safe environment with a competent team.

Hiring the very best people and creating a safe environment so all my employees can flourish. I believe it is my role to ensure they remain disciplined in their day-to-day goals. Me showing vulnerability is important to the entire team so I can lean on their strengths to solve problems.

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

  1. Be passionate about the business you’re in regardless if it’s to serve or just solve problems, you have to love it. Always remember the courage to take the first step and the discipline to take the next one.
  2. You are going to fail at something and the quicker that you get to that failure, learn from it and don’t repeat it the better. Don’t get discouraged. So much advantage in life comes from being willing to look like an idiot in the short term.
  3. Time Management. Hire great people that are confident and believe in what you’re doing. If you want above-average results, you have know how to say no to average opportunities. If you spend all of your time chasing average opportunities, you'll have no time for extraordinary ones. This applies to people, problems and life as a whole.

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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