The Road to Entrepreneurship
July 14, 2020
by Jen Idalski

I’d like to share with you how and why I made the leap from a devoted employee to a self-employed entrepreneur.

The fact is, my family was getting the last of my energy and I didn’t want to sit at a desk all day.  I wanted to pick my son up from school, make him a snack, and help him with homework.  I needed to have more freedom with my schedule and I started daydreaming about what life would be outside of a 9-5 working environment.

I had worked in downtown Bay City, Michigan since I started my career as a social worker in 2009.  I watched the city transform thanks to new investors and change-makers who created wonderful spaces.  New developments, cool retail shops, and an indoor farmers market really inspired me to be a part of this growth.  I wasn’t sure how I could contribute yet, so I went from daydreaming to researching.

I went online and searched “small businesses with low start-up costs”.  I did not want to begin with debt.  Resigning from steady employment would be a big enough risk. One of the businesses that caught my eye was a concierge service.  I thought this had some potential.  It would fit my desire to be a part of the city growth and I could make my own hours.  I talked to friends and they emphatically agreed that this is a needed service.  I ordered a book about starting a concierge service and read it cover to cover.  My next step was to connect with business resources because I knew NOTHING about running a business.

Central Michigan University (CMURC) had just opened a location in Uptown Bay City.  They assist people with business development and growth.  I made an appointment, told them my idea and they thought it had great potential.  What followed was a CMURC membership, many strategy meetings, and a connection with the local SBDC office.  The idea was gaining momentum and I had the support of my family so I kept going.

The final product was a concierge service that focused on small businesses.  The majority of businesses in Bay County have 4 or less employees.  Therefore many business owners had no resource to delegate, and I’m happy 989Concierge filled that void.  It was a wonderful journey to the starting line and I hope anyone reading this knows it’s possible to create the life you want.