What Business Are You Starting This Year?

2020 indeed has been a year of challenge, it has also been a year of opportunity. With so many entrepreneurs finally having the time to pursue their ideas and connect with other professionals who can help them bring those ideas to fruition, it is safe to say that 2021 will be a big one for entrepreneurs of all backgrounds.

We asked six CEOs the simple question, “What business are you starting in 2021?” For those with an entrepreneurial spirit, you won’t want to miss the ideas these CEOs are sharing with us.

Business Course

I’m very excited about this course because it will give lash artists the tools they need to be their own boss and gain all the insight I have gathered after being in the industry for 12 years. I am passionate about this course and its ability to change the trajectory of so many artists’ careers!

Vanessa Molica, The Lash Professional


I’m very excited about this course because it will give lash artists the tools they need to be their own boss and gain all the insight I Terkel, a platform that connects brands with expert voices. Brands need content, but have limited resources. People are experts, but have limited opportunities to build their credibility online. Terkel is a platform that converts expert insights into high quality content for brands.

Brett Farmiloe, Markitors

Radio Show and Training Program

I am starting a couple of things. The first is through my radio show, The Lurnist Show, I will be creating an internship/training program for young women who want a career in Agile.  We will be looking for young women (high school and college age) with ambition and drive to work in the agile industry.

The second big initiative I am starting through LurnAgile is an Enterprise Agile Coach training program. We will accept 15 students into the 6-9 month intensive training program for aspiring Agile coaches. The program merges best practices in technical skills with soft skills such as facilitation, coaching, mentoring, and servant leadership.

Debra Hildebrand, LurnAgile

Startup Coaching

I recently joined in a new joint venture that involves my specialty, startup coaching, but for a service that is totally new to me. I am looking for an additional opportunity like this where my many years of experience can offer immediate benefit to my partner as well as benefit my company at the same time.

Jeff Williams, Bizstarters

4-Step Coaching Model

My new business focus is in supporting leaders who are facing cringe moment decisions or conversations. Imagine emerging from these situations with respect, grace and a path forward. I have created a 4-step model to support and guide these challenging events in our lives.

Rachel Schaming, Executive Coach


I have a small consulting business that I’m looking to expand. I’d like to offer some new service lines and increase my client base. Research into what my clients truly need and want will be key to growing our service offerings!

Colleen McManus, Senior HR Executive and Consultant

10 Ways To Better Balance Work Life and Personal Life

Maintaining a work-life balance is about separating your personal and professional lives without allowing one to encroach upon the other. Both are important, neither should be neglected.

But now, with the line between work life and home life becoming increasingly blurry amidst a global pandemic, how are people supposed to find a balance between work and personal life? And if you’re struggling to achieve work-life balance, you’re not alone.

Here are ten best balancing tips to create a better work-life balance from a community of small business owners:

Play to Your Strengths

Don’t try to be all things to all people. By focusing on your strengths, you don’t need to waste time working on weaknesses. Instead, your time can be spent on life activities that allows you to recharge, and come back to work fresh and ready to perform.

Henry Babichenko, DD, European Denture Center

Have a Conversation With Your Manager

Understand that both work flow and the flow of personal life come in waves. When work ebbs, don’t be afraid to make an investment in personal life. It’s in everyone’s best interest for you to be a star employee for the long term and not to burn out. Talk to your manager and get a sense for whether you need to balance efforts over a week, a month, a quarter or a year. 

Amy Feind Reeves, JobCoachAmy

Don’t Let Business Hours Bleed Into Personal Time

The best way to achieve a better work-life balance is to resist the urge to answer work-related emails, texts, or calls outside of business hours.

Noah Downs, American Pipeline Solutions

Set Physical Boundaries

I have achieved the best work-life balance when I set physical boundaries between work and my personal life.

Kayla Centeno, Markitors

Set Time Boundaries

Set boundaries when it comes to your time. In the midst of COVID-19, it may be hard to “leave everything at the office” when your office is your home, but having set work hours helps with this.

Chris Dunkin, Portable Air

Quality Time With Family

Balance is difficult, especially now when your office is also your home. After many years of being terrible at this, I have created some rules for myself. I have learned that consistent, quality time with Family makes all the difference in my performance and attitude at work.

Debra Hildebrand, LurnAgile

Stop Living Two Mindsets

The best way to achieve a greater sense of balance between your work life and your personal life first starts with a mindset change. The underlying notion of living two separate lives immediately creates tension between the two. Instead, think of living just one life, not two.

Brian Mohr, anthym

Category Days

Create, what I call “category days”, to concentrate your business efforts on specific days (e.g. Marketing Mondays, Wrap-up Wednesday, Finance Friday, etc.). That way, you focus each day, and feel complete at the end of the day knowing you had a specific focus.

Mark Jamnik, Enjoy Life Daily

Be Present in Your Focus

Want peace of mind? Place your focus where it most needs to be at the moment. Then sit with both the benefits and consequences of your decisions. Chasing balance is what topples even the most rooted of people.

Tim Toterhi, Plotline Leadership

Prioritize Mental Health

Mental health is a very important aspect of our lives and should be on the radar of everyone who works in the HR and business fields. I took up meditation and mindfulness about five years ago (unsurprisingly around the time I started my business) and have been singing its praises ever since.

Phil Strazzulla, SelectSoftware Reviews

9 Things For Which Business Owners Are Thankful

2020 was a tough year for all of us, and there were lots small businesses that were closed due to the pandemic. And sadly there’s been more deaths from the coronavirus, and cases were increasing in other countries. 

And yet, through these hard times, there is still so much to be thankful for.

As Thanksgiving nears, Nine business owners talk about the one thing that they are thankful for in their life to give us the change of perspective needed for 2020. We summarized them for you.

Finding Meaning In the Meanwhile

Grateful and thankful for where I am today and the challenges that allowed me to get here.

Audrey Hutnick, Smallwave Marketing

Family Health

With everything going on in the world right now, I am most thankful for my family’s health!

Liz Riggleman, Arrow Lift

Safe Shelter

Experiences this year have made me extremely grateful to have a place where we can live, work, feel safe, and enjoy our family.

Brett Farmiloe, Markitors

New Position

With so many people dealing with unemployment, I am very thankful to have a job that I really love.

Noah Downs, American Pipeline Solutions

My Husband

Without their love and support, I would not be who I am today.

Debra Hildebrand, LurnAgile

Support From Family

Without my family and their support, I’m not sure how I would have made it through the year.

Jon Schneider, Recruiterie

Healthy Body and Peaceful Mind

At the end of the day we will all agree that health is truly wealth.

Parul Agrawal, Business Growth Strategist, Publisher and Publicist

Selfless Friends and Business Partners

We have all had to make adjustments this year and it has strengthened my resolve to feel connected rather than isolated.

Candace Cotton, HALO Branded Solutions

A Great Work Team

Until you have a good team around you, your business will never grow and prosper.

Robert Reder, Blythe Grace

10 Business Books that Act as Catalysts for Your Business

There are quite a lot of great business books and it is not possible to read them all. Books are the best way to fully explore a topic and inspire you to take a big leap in your career, and the best books attract readers.

Here are the top 10 favorite business books from 10 business leaders.

Never Split The Difference

written by a former FBI hostage negotiator (Chris Voss) to teach concepts like mirroring and negotiating as if your life depended on it.

Recommended by: Brett Farmiloe, Markitors

The Lean Startup

by Eric Ries has opened my eyes to all the ways we can innovate and create new processes to an industry that needs change! Recommended b

y: Michael Staton, Lyon Shield Security


by Carol S. Dweck, Ph.D., is a fantastic book for understanding how the power of your mind and how you think can directly affect your success as a business owner.

Recommended by: Court Will, Will & Will

Start With Why

by Simon Sinek is an excellent book for business owners at any stage in their career.

Recommended by: Rex Murphy, Montauk Services

Boss Up!

by Lindsay Teague Morena is an incredibly inspiring book that sheds light on how business owners can not only survive, but thrive in every aspect of their work. 

Recommended by: Vicky Franko, Insura

The Rollout

a plug for Scaled Agile

recommended by: Debra Hildebrand, LurnAgile

How To Sell At Prices Higher Than Your Competitors

by Lawrence Steinmetz

recommended by: James Pollard, The Advisor Coach LLC

Agile Project Management with Kanban

by Eric Brechner, this book helped completely change the way we approached and tackled projects. 

recommended by: Monica Eaton-Cardone, Chargebacks911

Radical Focus: Achieving Your Most Important Goals with Objectives and Key Results

recommended by: Hung Nguyen, Smallpdf

The Dip

by Seth Godin 

recommended by: Layton Cox, Marketing Consultant

Negotiation Techniques Every Small Business Should Master

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Recently Debra Hildebrand was featured in Keap.

Keap was formerly Infusionsoft, the all-in-one CRM, sales and marketing platform for growing service businesses, because most small businesses need to start simple and grow over time.

In this article, 10 Negotiation Techniques Every Small Business Should Master, 10 contributors – small business leaders were asked what techniques they always have up their sleeves.

1. Follow the 20:10 Rule of Negotiation

Michael Alexis, Teambuilding

2. Back up Your Pricing Value With Personality

Alex Azoury, Home Grounds

3. Act Like a Detective

Phil Strazzulla, SelectSoftware Reviews

4. Use Tangible Data as Evidence

Rex Murphy, Montauk Services

5. Use the BATNA Model

Matthew Lee, Learning & Development Leader

6. Understand the “What’s In It for Me” on the Other Side

Debra Hildebrand, LurnAgile

7. Ensure They See Your Side of Things

Nikitha Lokareddy, Markitors

8. Lay Everything on the Table

Carey Wilbur, Charter Capital

9. Turn to Your Network’s Experience

Ty Stewart, Simple Life Insure

10. Learn When to Walk Away

Vicky Franko, Insura

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Essential Steps To An Effective Product Development Process

We’ve rounded up some essential steps to an effective product development process by 8 professionals including Debra Hildebrand, Founder and CEO of LurnAgile.

Knowing where the marketing messages will work best is often the most important part of testing the concept.”

– Dr. Marc M. Batschkus, Archiware

Negotiate with your suppliers and never stop exploring your options. My favorite saying is, “The worst anyone will ever tell you is no.” So negotiate until you can’t.

– Cameron Ross Steiner, Director of Sales and Product Development

“A simple step in the product development process that is often overlooked is identifying a market need.

– Kayla Centeno, Markitors

“Practicality is so important during product development because it can be the one thing that can cost you your entire R&D budget.”

– Francesca Yardley, Threads

When in the development stage, it is important to go beyond the cheapest option and truly invest in high-quality materials that are going to create the best product that keeps customers coming back.

– Peter Babichenko, Sahara Case

As part of every release of a product, there should be an additional sprint/iteration for teams to spend time on innovation and testing new hypotheses.

– Debra Hildebrand, LurnAgile

Product Appeal Testing. “Run a quick survey with some target consumers to make sure the product features and benefits resonate with them.”

– Layton Cox, Marketing Consultant

“Allowing yourself to be flexible in your product launch timeline is key. If you need to present a more rigid timeline to your team, adding extra production or QC time (think weeks) to your launch schedule will allow for unplanned roadblocks.”

– Heather Corey, Beautylish

Check out the full content in Score.org

Pursue the Passion: Interview with Lurnagile

An interview with Brett of Pursue The Passion – a career education website with Debra Hilderbrand Founder and CEO of LurnAgile, about her career journey and inspiration to pursue her passion in education. 

In this interview, Debra highlights her travels, her first job, and her experiences that led her to Lurnagile, her Scaled Agile training and coaching firm. The time when she decided to “take ownership” of her career and the significance of providing value for her clients, knowing that the training she offers has really changed their perspective on how they view their work, and how they have a plan to change things in their organization.

Read more: https://pursuethepassion.com/interview-with-lurnagile/