Recently, I attended a “Small Business Workshop: A Framework for Growth” event, at TechTown, in Detroit. It was a half-day session focused on providing resources to aspiring entrepreneurs and those seeking to grow their business.
A packed room heard business leaders, as part of a panel discussion, address topics ranging from access to capital, developing an effective strategic plan, marketing your business and leveraging social media. Additionally, participants could attend a breakout session which allowed them to “roll up their sleeves” and identify actionable steps for their business.
What became abundantly clear is the thirst for knowledge and a desire for entrepreneurs wanting to make a difference in Detroit.
Another observation was the diversity of thoughts, ideas and engagement which contributed to the energy in the room. This energy is what’s going to stimulate change and a transformed Detroit. One based on innovation, passion and entrepreneurship.
And those in attendance were those focused on developing and growing businesses in Detroit’s neighborhoods.
With over 32,000 minority-owned businesses in the city, and 242,000 women-owned businesses across the state, Detroit and Michigan rank as the fourth largest city and ninth largest state in the country, respectively, according to the 2010 U.S. Census Data. Assuming each Detroit-based business hires 3-5 employees, nearly 100-160k jobs would be created and over a million in across the state. Imagine the short and longer-term economic develop and impact this would have.
However, when it comes to growing a business and hopefully, hiring people, the challenge, some days, is to stay motivated and encouraged because most business owners can feel like they’re isolated on an island without the necessary support.
And sometimes, words of encouragement are needed.
To this end, here are words shared from the workshop’s keynote speaker, Nicole L. Farmer, Ph.D, Founder & President, Lifeline Business Consulting. Reflect on these as you think about your business and when you begin to feel challenged:
- To have success, ask yourself: What else is there to do but take a chance?”
- Physical reminders of where you used to be will help propel you forward…”
- Closing a business is not a failure. It is a success. Anytime you learn from failure, it’s a success…”
- I like business. I don’t like jobs. Straight from the mouths of babes”, according to Farmer’s 9-year old son.
- Some days you’ll be low as an entrepreneur. None will be as low as where you came from…”
And this from Priscilla Archangel, Ph.D, President, Archangel & Associates, “The transition from employee to entrepreneur means going from a farmer to a hunter.” So, as you’re focused on your business, think about these words of support and ultimately, know you have more support than you will ever know, and if you think about not pursuing your dream of entrepreneurship, think again.
Now, go for it!