The Power of Social Media

12 07 2012

 

How one man changed the world

It’s amazing to witness the power of social media. Tonight I re-watched the movie “The Social Network” and it truly blows me away. One man in college changed the world as we know it. One man can create a ripple effect that reaches millions. As a business owner, it is vital to take advantage of this tool and reach your customers in a new way. Social media is constantly changing and we must change with it. Employers are even using social media to fill jobs. In fact, 79% of employers search their candidates online to see if they will be a good fit. Linkedin is a professional network looking to build business connections. Recruiters advertise positions through Twitter. Even facebook is jumping on board and creating a job board function to their site. Business starts with social media. Don’t get left behind.





Growth

16 06 2012

Growing a business takes time. You may come in with a great idea and expect the whole world to immediately jump on board. Don’t be discouraged when things do not go how you expect. Believe in your product and keep working with it. Growing my website has been one grueling process. My plan was to launch a new version of the website in all the cities around my county within a year. The year is up and I am just now launching into my second location. This, however, does not mean my company has not been a success. To grow it takes money and to get money, you need to prove your business.

I launched my first site absolutely free and still some people were hesitant to jump on board. I thought this would be a quick way to get my name out their and get people interested in helping launch Town My Way into another location. I have spent the last year networking like crazy, marketing my product, and reaching out to new businesses even though I knew I wouldn’t make money from that. The hard work has paid off because now I am starting to grow and will be able to launch in a new area.

Be patient and don’t be afraid to work. Starting a business takes hard work and a lot of people won’t see the value in your product at first. It can get easier. Once people recognize your product and brand, it will be a much easier sell. 





Believe in Yourself

2 08 2011

This video says it all. Determination is the underlying ingredient to success. If you have a dream, then pursue it and don’t give up until you have achieved your goals.

When I was a kid, I went through a very similar experience in learning how to ride a bike. I was four years old and was sick of using the training wheels. I devoted my entire afternoon to learning how to ride a bike by myself. My parents were not allowed to help because I told them I wanted to do it on my own. That whole day my mom would watch me fail over and over again. She would see me scream at the bike, throw it on the ground, and keep at it. I would be taking training wheels off and on trying to figure it out. Whenever my mom came out to help or see if I was alright I would tell her to go inside and let me keep trying.

Fall after fall I went, with fresh new cuts as the day went on, I kept on pushing. I hated my bike, but I wanted to conquer it. I couldn’t give up now so I kept on trying. Determination is what forced me to continue. If I stopped now, I would have felt I had failed. I wanted to ride a bike on two wheels and wouldn’t let a few cuts and scrapes get in my way. Finally, I did it. I succeeded and was now riding my bike all around the block.

What was I seeking? Recognition? Glory? No, I told myself I wanted to teach myself to ride a bike and I did it. I did not do this for anyone else but myself. I wanted to do it without the help of others but wanted to push myself to see what I was truly capable of. If you always rely on other people you will never realize your full potential. Push yourself to the limit. Watch yourself fall, but when you do, find a way to pick yourself up and keep going. This is a great example of the importance of determination.

If you want something, don’t let anything stop you. Show resilience in your work. Have a can-do attitude everyday. Most importantly, show determination and believe in yourself. You are capable of much more than you think. Test your limits and don’t be afraid to fail. Failure is what keeps us going and forces us to try again. If we never fail there would be no point in pushing for anything more. We would get no satisfaction in achieving success because we never really earned it. With failure comes greater satisfaction and rewards. Believe in yourself and keep on pedaling!





Inspiration

25 07 2011

Inspiration is everywhere, you just have to look. Often people become complacent, accepting things for how they are. Don’t fall into this trap. Find something new or find ways to improve what already is. The world is full of opportunities and those willing to take the chance will be rewarded for their efforts.

You never know when that one big idea will hit. For me it happened as I was working my summer job for a venture capital firm in Detroit. This line of work forced me to get in the mindset of finding something better. Before, I always knew I wanted to be an entrepreneur but just settled with the idea that it will come later on. I didn’t actively pursue a new idea. At Detroit Venture Partners I was working exclusively with local entrepreneurs and felt the window was open. Don’t dwell on the obstacles, find the idea and the path will come. An entrepreneur’s biggest mistake is to put off what they can do today. If you have an idea, act on it before it is too late. Someone will always be biting at your heels and being the first to act is key to gaining market share.

I come from a small town called Lake Orion, Michigan. If I am going to call Lake Orion home, then I want to be sure to make it is the best it can be. If you were to purchase a new home, you wouldn’t just keep it empty. Instead, you will decorate it with pictures, plants, furniture, and painted walls. The home is one way to represent who you are just as Lake Orion represents who I am. There is no way to hide it. When the grass gets to long, you cut it. When your roof is leaking, you fix it. I am from Lake Orion and I can’t change that, so why not make it better. In Lake Orion, I noticed a trend of local businesses constantly failing and new ones coming in. There is no growth, only change that is keeping Lake Orion at a standstill. Instead of watching business after business fail, why not find some way to help our business environment. I don’t want Lake Orion to be a place where you don’t even know a business exists until you drive pass it.  My solution is to give businesses a voice in the community. Town My Way aims to develop an online marketing platform for local businesses to reach out to their potential customers directly. I want to create a more vibrant and exciting community where local businesses and consumers can interact on a more personal level.

Ideas don’t come easy, so when you have one, don’t wait but see what you can do today. Surround yourself with innovative thinkers. Hearing how others think influences how you perceive the world. Seeing how change can happen allows you to find ways to make change happen. If you surround yourself with Debbie-downers you may feel as if the world has no hope for change. The fact is the world is open for change, you just have to listen. Find flaws with the world and figure out a way to make it better.

I spent countless hours trying to figure out what an entrepreneur was or how they got their idea. I figured ideas just came magically without having to work at it. This frustrated me because I wasn’t coming up with any good ideas. The problem was I didn’t actively seek out new ideas. I sat back and waited, but the first thing I learned from my summer internship is you cannot afford to wait. Look at the world around you. Think through your typical day. I’m sure there are thousands of nuisances you wish you could avoid or make better. When you see something that can be improved, write it down. Start making a list and figuring out ways to solve those problems. It doesn’t have to be anything major or some revelation that no one else has thought of. Everything can use improvements and it is our job to keep improving the world around us.

Now, my mind never turns off. I can’t walk down the street without discovering new ideas. I no longer see the world for what it is but I see it for what it can be. There is so much potential and I am excited to see what we as a society can create. It doesn’t take one of us, it takes all of us. I will leave you with this short video and all I ask is for you to follow. Leaders can’t create anything great without the support of the people around them. To be successful, you can never do it on your own.





Hello world!

20 07 2011

For as long as I can remember I have been studying entrepreneurs and trying to get inside their head. What is it like to start up a company? Where does the initial idea come from? What steps can I take today? All of these are difficult questions to answer, varying from person to person. What I have learned is there is no one formula.

The goal of the Town My Way blog is to help you understand the journey. I will take you from the very beginning of being a startup through the whole process. There is sure to be ups and downs, but be sure to always enjoy the ride. I never thought I would be launching my own business at this point in my life. I am still in school at Oberlin College and thought that was just a dream I would pack away until I had a couple years of work experience under my belt after school. Then the idea came and I couldn’t ignore it.

I was fortunate to secure an internship with Detroit Venture Partners this summer which has really helped inspire me to start my own business. Through Josh Linkner’s inspirational writing and Dan Gilbert’s passion, I began to look at the world in a different way. Instead of seeing the world for what it is, I try and see the world for what it could be. How can I help improve what’s around us?

Lake Orion is the start. I have grown up here and see a need for a more vibrant community. I want to help businesses market themselves to their consumers and for consumers to communicate back. Today is the beginning of the new journey. Follow me on twitter, like me on facebook, and check in with my blog. Let the road to success begin!