Philip Williams ’03 MBA
Helping others improve and grow their businesses is Philip Williams ’03 MBA mission. The founder of Solvent Business Advisors, Williams often applies his own experiences with company growth towards others’ businesses.
Just one year after earning his MBA from the Eller College of Management he became CEO of hydroGEOPHYSICS, a Tucson-based geophysics company which was running out of funds and on the brink of failure. Three years later, the company was being featured in the Inc 5000 as one of America’s fastest growing businesses—and it made it onto the list three times in a row.
“People started asking me how I achieved this success,” Williams says, “which led me to start sharing my experience with others.” He began hosting talks on his experience which culminated in his 2018 book Momentum Goal Setting, which discusses an anti-corporate approach to goal setting leaders can use to keep their teams engaged and build their businesses. “None of us builds a business on our own. We need everyone engaged in what we’re trying to accomplish.”
Later he founded his own personal consulting company, connecting with business owners around the United States in need of advice. “A lot of companies have the same problems, though they arrive at these problems in different ways,” he explains. “It’s all about tailoring an approach for each business.”
Williams’s time at Eller College transformed his career. “As a student at Eller I was introduced to a lot of different concepts, including understanding what customers want. It’s up to us as leaders of business to use this knowledge effectively,” he explains. And he does exactly this with his work, helping business owners achieve their goals.”
The choice to go to the University of Arizona was simple, Williams says. He completed his undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering at the UA so the university was already on his radar. When he began to research MBA programs it became clear that the University of Arizona would be his choice once again. “I was looking for a very good quality program,” he says. “Eller fit the bill, and was right in my hometown.”
But Williams had been training for business long before he enrolled in Eller College. The son of a serial blue-collar entrepreneur, he was exposed to conversations about business at a young age. Later in life he began to grow a global perspective through enlisting in the Navy and later working as an international commodity manager. This diverse background was an advantage to Williams when he finally landed on business as his vocation.
“Everybody is from somewhere,” he says, “and if you can understand their perspective on the world, it makes doing business with them a whole lot easier.”
Williams wants to continue to help business owners expand and improve their companies in the future. “I love change, and I’m always looking for a new perspective. Watching somebody grow and achieve their goals is what I love about what I do.”