Do you remember the first time you rode a bike? Or any of the “firsts” throughout your lifetime?
That feeling of uncertainty dancing around in your mind, maybe even making you second guess yourself. No one can really prepare you for it, you just sort of do it. And you practice. Then practice some more. And eventually— you get in the swing of things. You learn to adjust and perform the task to the best of your ability. Ideally, this is how we like to think life works which I have come to find out is not always the case when it comes to entrepreneurship.
This was a concept I learned during my Creating Marketing and Media class at Michigan State University during spring semester 2018. Previous to the class, I had never considered the intensity and workload of the entrepreneurial world. From planning to hiring to failing to succeeding and failing again— it is a process that may never be mastered. It isn’t quite as structured as riding a bike.
I particularly learned the process of beginning a start-up in How to Get Startup Ideas. The is article served as a building block for the rest of the class. An idea was only an idea until you put some sort of action plan behind it. This is exactly what the class was structured around— working on team to fix a current problem at our university. Creating the future of campus media was the problem at hand and let us get a taste of the world of entrepreneurship.
At the start of the semester, I was very intrigued by all aspects of being an entrepreneur. I admired the hustle, I admired the work ethic and I especially admired being your own boss. As the semester went on and the team dove deeper and deeper of creating the future of campus media, I realized the layers caked on to the process.
From thinking of the idea, to identifying a target audience and finally building out a content plan, I realized that without a team effort, the idea will fade away. Working efficiently with a team with clear communication is something I have worked a great deal on this semester and hope to continue it after the class ends.
Despite such a positive experience in the class, I still don’t believe the entrepreneurial path is for me. While I still admire all the hard work and endless innovation, I know myself well enough that being surrounded by so many unknowns are not the ideal working conditions for me. While I can think creatively and am always up for a challenge, I know I will work best with at least some sort of structural foundation around me. This leaves wiggle room for new ideas but not so much that it makes or breaks the business.
Even though entrepreneurship is not for me, the skills I have learned in the class are ones I hope to carry forward with my future endeavors. For example, the importance of team work and knowing when to take the lead and when to take a step back is key. It’s okay to not always be the leader. It’s okay to let others share the work load and fully consider other ideas. I have always struggled with group work in the past and this semester truly put that to the test. I experienced the great results full team effort can do and I hope to keep working at it.
So, I encourage everyone to take a deep breath, hop on that bike and pedal until you can pedal no more. Embrace the falls. Appreciate the process and learn from your mistakes. We all can learn something from riding a bike, especially a bike that leads down the winding road of entrepreneurship.