Better Together: Grow Where You’re Planted

A bi-weekly column exploring the intersection of entrepreneurship and community by Sam Davidson

My grandfather, the first entrepreneur I knew, spent his time tending to rose gardens on the campus of Mississippi State. In the thick of summer, we’d visit him for a few weeks and I would often go with him to water, prune, monitor, and care for what seemed like acres and acres of bushes. 

When I moved into my current home, I planted rose bushes as soon as I could. Over the past few years, they’ve grown nicely, filling in a once-empty space.

As I get older I don’t have the time I would like to plant, tend, prune, transplant, water, and harvest. Perhaps one day I will and I’ll still remember PaPaw and the trips in his pickup to “help” him work. 

The interesting thing about my rose bushes is they don’t require as much maintenance as they used to. When newly planted I was sure to keep to a strict schedule as I felt their survival depended on it. But now, years later, the bushes have deep roots and even a long dry spell coupled with thick Tennessee humidity won’t permanently harm them. They’ve gotten to a point where they’re still growing but don’t require as much regular attention. 

If I notice one lilting or falling, I’m sure I’ll jump into action to assess the situation. I’ll water, monitor, and keep a watchful eye. If need be, I may even move the plant to another spot that offers more of what the plant needs at that moment.

You get the point; the metaphor here is clear. Roses, kids, pets, investments – they all need proper care and attention. At some point they start to care more for themselves but if things go awry you jump in to help reset. 

That’s a lot of what we do here at the EC.

Entrepreneurs come to us at various stages along their continuum: idea, plan, launch, grow, scale, exit. Some have been around the block a few times (we call those serial entrepreneurs) and for others this is their first rodeo as a full time founder. With our variety of services and opportunities we surround entrepreneurs to help them with the one thing they want to do: grow. 

Growth, of course, is in the eye of the beholder. Maybe it’s revenue, maybe it’s the number of employees. Perhaps you’re looking to expand your product line or add to your mission. However you want to grow, our role is to make sure you have the vital resources to do that. 

That’s why I’m excited to share the EC’s new membership options. After a lot of work, conversations, comparative analysis, and research, we have three incredible options to help you grow. 

Our monthly Membership is designed for you no matter the size of your business, your industry, or your experience level. At its core (and at the core of all our membership tiers) is our advisor network. This group of 200+ volunteers is ready and willing to help any entrepreneur navigate an uncertain or challenging issue or problem. You can book appointments virtually or in person; the database is searchable by areas of expertise and other filters. Additionally, you’ll have the option to cowork a few days a month, attend our weekly events, participate in online discussions, plus other perks AND you’ll have all the vital resources at your fingertips to grow your business.

The CoWork+ membership includes all of the Membership benefits plus the ability to cowork at our space downtown. Drop in, meet other entrepreneurs, and find a quiet and convenient place to work, take meetings, and spend time focused on your next goal. As always, free parking and coffee, on us! 

And our All Access membership lets you work 24/7 from the EC, complete with your own dedicated desk.

On top of this, we’ll keep offering our hallmark services and opportunities you love: stage and industry-based accelerator programs, weekly member educational and social events, capital education events, pitch opportunities, connections to capital resources, and anything else we come across that will help you take your idea to the next level. 

We want you to grow where you’re planted. We know that the EC can be a critical resource for you during this journey, whether you’re just beginning and need a lot of care, or you’re further along seeking your next opportunity. 

Growth is better when it’s together. 

Come join us at our next EC Member lunch on July 11th, to hear more about membership and ask us questions. 

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