Where do I even begin?
This course has really opened my eyes to the intense world of entrepreneurship. I began this semester with the naïve perception that starting my own business would be a simple task and ended knowing that it’s one of the hardest, most rewarding things I could ever set out to do. I’ve learned to have a mindset where I’m constantly looking for an easier way to do things in everything that I do and that there are problems in many daily activities that only need a simple fix.
I’m a senior, and up until this semester I had no idea what I wanted to do following graduation. There was no job that already existed that I felt I could be completely passionate about. Then this class happened. Although I’m still exploring what niche I would like to enter, this class has prepared me for the reality of entrepreneurship.
I have gained a better understanding of what it means to be a leader and how important it is to have a passionate team who buys into your idea. My idea of starting Pushpin — a platform to document travel in order to help plan future trips — was only successful because of my team.
The biggest takeaway that I learned from the class is that there’s no way in hell I’ll ever start a tech startup. From the outside looking in, I always thought that there wasn’t that much that went into it. Have an amazing idea and hire someone who can write code and call it a day.
But I learned that one of the most important aspects of starting my own business is passion. If I’m not passionate about the product that I’m producing, I’m not going to feel engaged or motivated. I think that it’s incredibly important to start something in an area that I’m knowledgeable and confident in because that’s when it doesn’t feel like work. The hours of research that I have to do and the networking with different people, will all be worth it.
I have a couple favorite experiences from this semester. The first is when we went to Detroit for the day. I’ve never had a professor that would pull strings like Amy did to get our entire class to Detroit and it happened to be one of the largest learning opportunities for me.
Our visit to Ponyride really opened my eyes to the fact that you don’t have to have money to start your own business. Every single person that we met talked about the will to succeed and pulling themselves up by their bootstraps. I appreciated the passion that they had for their businesses and the advice that they gave.
One aspect of entrepreneurism that I didn’t think about was the resources to help people get started with their own businesses. I now realize that because very few people have the funds to just start a business, it’s so important to be resourceful. I now realize that I’ve made so many important connections in college that will help me later down the road. I know people in graphic design, PR, 3-d design and more and they’re the people I can rely on to help me with those things when the time comes.
My second favorite experience was pitching at The Hatching. Although I was extremely nervous, I’m so glad that I did it. There’s a chance that in the future I could be pitching my idea to investors and although my idea didn’t win The Hatching, I took away something very important. I took away the knowledge that one person’s no doesn’t mean that I should give up on my idea. I think that the people who end up being successful in their own business are the ones who don’t seek instant gratification, it’s the ones who keep trying even when they’re told no.
Out of my 4 years at Michigan State University, this class has been my favorite and most worthwhile. I have learned more about myself and what I want to do with my life in the past 4 months than I have the past 4 years and I have Amy and my teammates to thank.