Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in leadership development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with James Schiel, CEO of Artisan Agility, located in Reno, NV, USA.

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

I consult, coach, and train individuals and businesses that want to improve product development quality, performance, and outcomes using agile development practices. My customers are individuals who want to improve their career prospects and businesses of all sizes who want to improve their product development ROI.

Tell us about yourself

I've been involved in software product development for 37 years and seeing how poorly product development was working during the 1990s. I set out to find a better way. I came across Scrum, began using it, and saw tons of benefits I now wish to share with everyone.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

My biggest triumphs occur when one of my customers saves millions of dollars on a project, when the product development team surprises themselves with their performance, and when managers tell me about teams that are hard to keep busy because they get work done so quickly.

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

My biggest challenge is identifying the right things to do to build and market my brand. I'm demonstrably one of the most effective trainers in my field, but I still have challenges filling a class.

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

  1. Don't try to do it all yourself.
  2. Remember that just because you think it's a good idea doesn't mean your customers will.
  3. Automate everything you can, so long as you don't lose touch with your customers.

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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