Success Is Hard Work

November 10, 2005
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MUSKEGON — Being an entrepreneur means working hard, having confidence and sometimes being a little bit crazy, according to the four panelists at the Muskegon Area Chamber of Commerce 2005 Business Diversity Showcase Luncheon.

Panelists Derrek Knox of Gold Shield Transportation, Brianna Scott of Drake & Scott PLLC, Carl Lewis of Harbor Cinema and Lounge, and Elena Wilson of El Camino Tacos spoke about what it means to them to be entrepreneurs, and some of the challenges they face.

“There are a lot of ups and downs in a business,” Lewis said. “And a lot of emotional rollercoaster rides that an entrepreneur has to endure.”

Lewis and Knox stressed that having support from the community, from family, and from the faith community all are important for success. Lewis also said minority entrepreneurs have to have the self-confidence and character to deal with stereotypes that may occur.

Knox said getting up before 6 a.m. to run his transportation business comes from the call to serve others and the community.

“We all have a duty to each other,” he said.

He also acknowledged that not everyone has the drive to bring an idea to life as a business.

“You also have to be somewhat crazy,” he said, laughing.

Scott said she talked to many different attorneys to learn from their experiences before going out on her own.

“I did a lot of research,” she said.

Wilson said she looks to the positive side when running the business founded by her father.

“You have to take the good with the bad and smile at it every day,” she said.

About 170 business owners and community members gathered at the Muskegon Country Club to hear the panelists and see more than 20 exhibits of minority and women-owned businesses.

“It was an awesome event today,” said Cindy Larsen, president of the Muskegon Area Chamber of Commerce.

Larsen said supporting small business owners, especially minority and women owners, helps to make the country stronger through their work.

“It’s so important,” she said. “Owning your own business is the ultimate freedom.”    

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