Normally, it Is hard to talk to people who have developed a platform.
Well, no necessarily hard, but they rarely detail everything they have done to be successful or give you their details, or “sauce.”
However this past week my Michigan State media entrepreneurship class went to Detroit and met with several successful entrepreneurs who were willing to share their “sauce.” They sparked an interest for me to one day own my own business. Every person had passion for the things they had but dedication into and you could tell that passion ran deep.
The first person we would get to meet is Amanda Lewan who is the co-founder of the Bamboo Detroit, which is a co-working space that provides a meeting space for entrepreneurs and groups. That is not all that is provided, the Bamboo provides consulting sessions. I really think this startup is something that is needed because it provides networking for many small businesses. A lot of people own small businesses but either like the tool or knowledge to grow and expand, a community allows this to happen.
Eric Thomas from Saga Marketing was good to hear from, too, because he let it be known that being controversial is not always a bad thing. The thing that stood out to me was that he is practically self taught and did not finish college but is very knowledgeable. At times I remain in a shell but just seeing how he remained true to himself was something that I took as an important characteristics.
The day was not over yet! We toured the heart Detroit and learned about a lot of amazing buildings, restaurants and locations. Then we went to my professor’s home for lunch. Professor Amy’s home was nice and just the fact she took us on an amazing trip speaks volumes. Just off this trip I realized how important it is to leave great impressions on everyone. Professor Amy has such a strong network of connections, which is important to being successful and being able to connect and reach out for assistance and even build a brand within your business.
While eating lunch, we met Shanley Pearl the owner of Hungry in Detroit. I felt like talking to her it was very relaxed and the fact that she shared a lot of the products she used to make her photos and designs 10 times better was a plus. Shanley was once in many of the shoes we soon will fill. Shanley was working for the Red Wings and realized that was not her passion. Her startup has continuously grown and grown and it makes me want to come up with a bright idea.
Soon we all would be at a bar towards the afternoon — no not in the manner you think. We metDave Kwiatowski, a serial entrepreneur and owner of Sugar House and few other relatively cool bars and restaurants. Getting the chance to chat with him was great. The fact that he remodeled the building that is now the Sugar House and he did all himself was amazing. He is not afraid to admit that some of his ideas were timed wrong but he is innovative nonetheless.
Soon we would arrive at TechTown and meet Tamara Kamara, who runs the Web Team for the City of Detroit. Her story is similar to a few things I am going through right now. But hearing her story and ability to rise above was uplifting. She has worked hard to get the job of her dreams and is a testament that life is never a straight line but as long as you make it to where you are going things will be good. Her vibe as a leader is great knowing she is looking to give a work and life balance.
This trip was a success because I learned so much and felt so motivated to be productive in this world. For all of the people we met on this trip to take time out of their busy schedules to meet with us all is very valuable. NOTHING will be giving to any of us we have to work towards it. One thing that has been common when talking to different innovators is the most important thing is to be happy.