So you want to be your own boss but don’t know what to do next?

Every community has various resources available to help entrepreneurs. All you have to do is seek them out.

Want to be your own boss, but just not sure how? Have a great idea but don’t know what to do or where to go next? Are you fed up with the daily grind and just want to take a lead on your own career? These are concepts that many working class individuals think about throughout their careers. Many take the leap of faith and strike out on their own, while many of us just take a deep breath and return to the monotonous routine of the daily grind.

For some the routine is a comfortable and safe place to be. But for the rest of us who are always looking for the next opportunity and how to grow professionally, then sometimes, we can be our own biggest hurdle.

What about when we have a passion for something entirely different for what it is we are currently doing to make a living, but realistically do not know how to acquire that dream? Is it money, is it knowledge, is it coaching or mentorship, or nerves and fear of the unknown? The good news is that there are resources out there to help. The biggest stumbling block might be you! Sometimes we just need to get out of our own ways.

Though every community is different, here are a few helpful resources:

  • SCORE (Service Corp. for Retired Executives)
    • Find your local SCORE chapter to contact an experience counselor to assist you. 
  • SBDC (Small Business Development Center)
    • Michigan Small Business Development Centers are location around the state and have direct connection to resources such as developing a business plan, sourcing capital, incorporating, etc. 
  • Startup / Makers Weekend events
    • Various events around the state that allow attendees from a variety of backgrounds to come together the work on ideas, develop a rudimentary working prototype, then pitch to potential financial backers at the end of the event. 
  • Business Incubators / Open Space locations
    • Some communities have thriving incubator space available for entrepreneurs to further develop concepts with a variety of resources to assist 
  • Chambers of Commerce
    • Networking Events
    • Entrepreneurial Clubs / Roundtables

There are many more resources out there, but these are just a few ideas to get you started. It’s important to not let an idea be stifled by a lack of resources. You must take the initiative to seek out assistance, be persistent in getting all the answers you need, then stick it out to success.

Every community has relatively close access to one or more of these resources to get started. Just get out of your own way and do it with a little help from those great resources.

Michigan State University Extension has had a unique relationship with the regional economic development organization Northern Lakes Economic Alliance (NLEA) for more than 20 years. Recognizing the strength of combining resources, this partnership focuses on economic development, entrepreneurship growth and community infrastructure throughout a four-county region in the northwest Lower Peninsula, specifically Antrim, Charlevoix, Cheboygan and Emmet counties. As a result, the NLEA utilizes resources offered through MSU Extension as it provides leadership to state-wide programs sponsored by MSU Extension.

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