If you have driven around the metro Jackson area and are a sports talk radio fan, then you probably know my interviewee this week. Bo Bounds has built an impressive following with his long running radio show — “The Out of Bounds Show.” His show is on ESPN 105.9 The Zone, which is the only 50,000-watt FM sports talk radio station in the state of Mississippi. In addition to being a radio personality, Bounds is managing member of Out of Bounds Marketing, LLC, which provides branding and marketing strategies for businesses and organizations.
A native of Jackson, Bounds earned his undergraduate and graduate degrees from Mississippi State University. Bounds was a top athlete in high school and played point guard, which he credits helping him prepare for his work today. He shared, “Like the quarterback position, you have to know where all your teammates need to be every single possession.You’re the QB, calling all the plays, and the eyes and ears for the coach. That’s a tremendous asset in hosting a fast-paced sports talk radio show.”
Bounds’ passion for sports, business, and the South are contagious. He is a visionary leader who emphasizes what is about great about living in the Deep South – college football, live music, beautiful weather, great food, friends, family and simply enjoying life. A consummate entrepreneur, he created an apparel company, Y’all Lifestyle, where he promotes a brand that is “all things Southern and cool.” His Y’all Lifestyle products are now in over 50 retail establishments and growing. When we daily hear about all of our problems in Mississippi, it is easy to start have “stinking thinking.” Bounds’ enthusiasm and energy for the Southern way of life are a nice change of perspective.
Bounds leadership philosophy is that, “When you stop growing, evolving or adapting to life and business, you’ll fall behind and become stale.” As evidenced by his diverse business operations, Bounds certainly lives this out as he is constantly seeking to find new and innovative ways to serve his customers.
With such a hectic schedule and demands on his time, Bounds has found it important to focus on what is most important. He shared, “I try to keep the main thing, the main thing in this fast paced world.” Like most visionary entrepreneurs, Bounds knows how to “think outside the box” and innovate. He is also comfortable with who he is and does not seek to be a conformist. He noted, “My philosophy is simple: The uber successful don’t conform and they aren’t ordinary. I have a long way to go, but I try to remember this important fact.”
For future leaders, Bounds emphasized, “Success doesn’t happen by accident. Success requires strategic planning, action & commitment. Too many people aren’t willing to pay the price.” Through his radio show, Bounds gets the opportunity to know some of the leading coaches in the country. He gets to see up close the type of drive and determination that it takes to succeed in the high profile arena of SEC sports.
We face similar pressures daily in the business world as we try to build sustainable companies and fight off the competition. I respect Bounds’ drive and determination, and I find his perspective on Southern culture refreshing. As Bounds emphasizes, we have much to celebrate and be thankful for. I don’t know where all his entrepreneurial talents will take him in life, but I know Bounds will be making a positive difference and creating opportunities for others along the way.
Martin Willoughby is a business consultant and regular contributing columnist for the Mississippi Business Journal. He serves as Chief Operating Officer of Butler Snow Advisory Services, LLC and can be reached at martin.willoughby@ butlersnow.com.