Last week’s trip to Detroit was one of my favorite class experiences while at MSU. I’m not from Michigan, I didn’t know about the rich culture that Detroit has to offer. For instance I had no idea that the city is set up like a wagon wheel or that the Irish originally settled in Corktown! Besides all of the history that I learned, the first hand accounts that each of the entrepreneurs provided us with in regards to starting their own businesses was very insightful.
During our visit to The Farmer’s Hand I learned a lot about resources. I had no idea that there were grants and other resources to help start ups get up and running. Nor did I think that the government would have an interest in start-ups whatsoever. I think that my biggest takeaway from our first stop was to research your resources and use them to your fullest advantage.
At Ponyride we met with several different people but my favorite was the owner of The Lip Bar. She talked about going to school and knowing exactly what she wanted to do and how she left her job on Wall Street to start The Lip Bar. I’ve always known that Chasing after money won’t make me happy but hearing her reiterate it as a young entrepreneur just reinstated the fact that I have to follow my passion. She also was an example of someone who’s extremely resourceful in every way. The fact that she went on SharkTank knowing that investors rarely take on beauty brands but knew the brand would get exposure is one of the best examples of using your resources.
At Detroit Denim I learned a few more things: Even if your passion is something that you can’t immediately see turning into a business, there’s always a way. Personally, I would’ve never thought that there would even be a market for expensive custom jeans in Detroit, but I was proven very wrong.
After meeting with everyone I realized:
1) There’s a lot more risk to actually starting your own business than I thought. After all it’s real life, not a class.
2) You’ve got to have a passion for your startup. I always assumed that if I had a lot of money to start a business, that I’d be successful. But the success doesn’t come unless you are personally invested day in and day out in doing what you love.