In 2017 Josh Grogg, Isaiah Lehman, and I (Erik Mellinger) won the Launch LaGrange Entrepreneurship Challenge. The Shark Tank style competition was judged by college professors from the surrounding area and executives of local businesses. The journey from the original idea to the competition was a period of huge personal growth for me as an individual. I'd like to share three things I've learned since taking on the challenge of being a young business owner.
1. Owning a business has taught me skills a college setting cannot
I learned several skills that are continuously helping me in college as I study Finance and Spanish. Through this process I learned how to be proactive in my work, work independently, and how to make time for family while managing many aspects of life. These skills have continued to grow as the business improves and I progress in my academic career.
This is my graduation day from Lakeland High School. I am now attending IUPUI Kelley School of Business and am working to acquire a bachelors degree.
2. Business is in my dna
As I have grown as an entrepreneur, I have heard stories from my family about how my relatives have started businesses in the past. It has been interesting to me to find out my family history is full of entrepreneurs. Some of the businesses my family has been involved with are: FAN Coach, Monitor Coach, Franklin Coach, multiple family farms, Spring Fresh Carwash, SeeMORE INC, a gas service company, and a Paint & Fix it Shop. As a business entrepreneur, I find it reassuring that my family has a history of starting things from scratch and finding success within these start-ups.
A very sunny day in May! This was taken during the Mayfest Parade. This was the first day we took the Pedicabs to the Shipshewana Public. Right along my side was my mom supporting me all the way through.
3. You learn best by doing
My favorite thing about being an entrepreneur is that I’ve learned so much outside of a classroom setting; often I’ll be in class hearing a lecture about something I’ve learned from having my own business. (Often I learned from mistakes I’ve made but this too is part of being an entrepreneur). Overall I wouldn’t trade the journey for anything including all of the tiny heart attacks, late nights, and early mornings. All of these things have been a great learning experience that have shaped me as both an individual and business professional.
Thank you for learning more about me and the knowledge I've obtained as well as experienced I gained as a business owner of Shipshewana Pedicabs!
Enjoyed reading our article? Subscribe and stay up to date with all things Shipshewana!
Please feel free to contact us and share your experience and check back later to see if it is on our site!