Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in career development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Deborah Laurel, Founder of The Peer Learning Institute, located in Madison, WI, USA.

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

The Peer Learning Institute focuses on managers who were promoted from technical positions without management training.

Tell us about yourself

I'm committed to seeing that employees are set up to be successful. Since employees don't leave companies, they leave managers; it makes sense to make sure that managers know how to create a positive work environment where employees feel respected and supported so they can perform well.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Longevity. I began Laurel and Associates, Ltd., which is the parent company of The Peer Learning Institute, in 1986.

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

It is being comfortable with the roller coaster of feast or famine in terms of work.

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

Before you start your business, make sure there is a market for the product or service you plan to offer. Realize that running your own business requires many long hours of work. Make sure to schedule in time for your family and yourself. Hire a CPA to do all of your tax work.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

Take advantage of the courses available through local universities' small business development offices. They also provide individual counseling for free, so use them!

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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