By Tim Priebe
May 9, 2023

Professional Q&A: Bryan Clifton

Bryan Clifton discusses his experience as an entrepreneur and how he uses his skills to connect business owners in the Oklahoma City area.
Bryan Clifton is the founder and CEO of the Council of Entrepreneurs (Photo: Brent Fuchs)

Bryan Clifton is the founder and CEO of the Council of Entrepreneurs, an organization that brings together business owners in the Oklahoma City area to discuss family and business challenges. With a background in accounting, finance, and organizational development, Bryan has been starting and selling businesses for as long as he can remember. In this Q&A interview, we dive into Bryan’s journey as an entrepreneur, involvement in the Council of Entrepreneurs, and advice for other professionals.

QDo you live in Edmond, work in Edmond, or both?

A: I have lived in Edmond with my family for roughly the past decade.

QWhere did you grow up and go to school?

A: I grew up in Snyder, Texas, and went to undergrad at Harding University in Searcy, Arkansas. I went on to get my master’s degree in Organizational Development from Pepperdine with a specialty in Family Business and Dynamics. 

QWhat did you do prior to starting The Council of Entrepreneurs?

A: I have been starting and selling businesses for as long as I can remember. Prior to starting the Council of Entrepreneurs and Myriad Insight, I was the VP of Leadership Development for Strata Leadership. 

QWhy did you start The Council of Entrepreneurs?

A: I started the Council of Entrepreneurs in 2017 mainly because I could not find other business owners that were 30, married, had two kids, that was trying to grow a business, and also had other people around them that were going through similar challenges and struggles. 

QWhat do you like most about your job?

A: My daily job is talking with entrepreneurs doing interesting things. To make connections that may seem obscure on the surface. Whenever you start looking at some of the challenges these business owners face or their unique perspectives, they have much in common. There is so much they can learn from each other. I enjoy being able to be the conduit to help connect people

QWhat’s something you’re passionate about in your personal life?

A: I love doing puzzles. Specifically, I love the Liberty Puzzles out of Boulder, Colorado. I usually tell you how stressed I am as it correlates to how long it’s been since I’ve done a puzzle; I enjoy it, especially because it’s tactile. You’re using your fingers, and most of my day is spent looking at screens and conversing. I’m not building anything on a daily basis, so I really like to unwind by doing that.

QWhat do you like about Edmond?

A: I like Edmond because it’s a big, small town. You’ll always run into people, but there’s also diversity and perspective. I like that you can meet new people but still feel like you belong.

I think Edmond has a lot going for it, and I’m really excited about the future—specifically the development of the area east of I35 and everything that’s happening.

QWhat is your number one tip for other professionals, either for work or life in general?

A: Be curious! Many people look at problems and feel there’s only one right answer. In all honesty, there are tons of different answers that could be right. I love hiring people that are just naturally curious. 

It’s really easy to identify an issue. It’s really easy to complain. It’s increasingly more difficult to find people that want to do something about that. That’s one of my suggestions is to be curious, ask questions, and realize that you don’t have all the answers and you might learn something from somebody else.

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About Tim Priebe

Tim is a public speaker, author, publisher of Edmond Business, and the owner of Backslash Creative. He helps businesses that are worried they don’t have the expertise or time required to invest in doing their own digital marketing. He helps them plan where and how much to invest and often helps execute the plan.

Tim started the Edmond Business online magazine in May 2020 to fill a need in the community when The Edmond Sun shut down and stopped publishing their monthly magazine, The Business Times.