Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in leadership development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Melissa Porterfield, founder, and CEO of Silk Mountain, located in Houston, TX, USA.

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

Silk Mountain is a Strategic HR Advisory firm that focuses on company culture. We make it easy for startup CEOs and small business owners to design and design their ideal cultures so that they can attract, hire, engage, and retain top talent and increases profitability.

Tell us about yourself

I spent 20 years in HR Leadership roles and realized that the companies I had worked for had negative cultures, except for one, they were acquired by an enormous telecom company that changed the culture for the worse.

Culture has always been a passion, especially from the employee experience perspective. Conversely, people that hate their workplace environments tend to be less engaged and actively looking for their next roles on the company dime.

I am motivated each day to help companies get it right and to coach CEOs on their responsibility when it comes to culture. This lack of engagement and voluntary turnover negatively impacts the company's bottom line.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

It's hard to choose! Setting startups for success before they start hiring is a huge, as well as challenging, accomplishment. Personally, being featured in Forbes recently is a bucket list achievement I am very proud of.

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

Creating your pipeline, as well as doing the work, is the most challenging. Fortunately, it's a temporary problem.

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

  1. Don't buy into overnight success stories. You must be willing to put in the hours and effort to start your revenue streams.
  2. Define and design your ideal culture and work environment early on and understand that you own it. You need an aspirational and inspirational vision statement, a clear mission statement, and no more than five behaviorally based values, with the clear understanding that your culture is only as good as the behaviors you tolerate.
  3. Choose your leadership team wisely. You must ensure that every member of that team represents and is required to demonstrate your company values at all times.

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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