Why I am investing in Sheltowee's Business in a Box Sheltowee Outpost Alex Day Jul 28 2014 Sheltowee's Business in a Box is a project in which I have been making a considerable investment. It is being designed as a resource for entrepreneurs, but also contains important and helpful information for a much broader audience. In this blog post I want to share some of the reasons I think that this will serve a need. When I started Sheltowee over 14 years ago, the advice and resources that I relied upon were mostly provided by groups that were either heavily supported by, or run by government agencies. They were the gate keepers to the resources and funds to which I wanted access. In hindsight, it has become apparent that I was relying heavily upon advice and counsel from individuals who were definitely NOT entrepreneurs. Many of them were self-proclaimed experts who thought they were experts because their job was to help entrepreneurs. For the most part they were well intentioned, but they were also ill equipped to truly counsel me as someone starting a new company. They had read about it, they had talked with lots of entrepreneurs, but they had never done it. I want Sheltowee's Business in a Box to be a resource that is built by entrepreneurs who have done it. It is easy to not recognize what over 25 years of experience with entrepreneurial companies has taught me. Many of the problems which confront new entrepreneurs seem very basic to me, simply because I have been faced with them before. It is easy to not recognize what you have learned when you have been fighting in the trenches. I wanted Sheltowee's Business in a Box to be a depository of some of this knowledge which I have gleaned from lots of experience (and remember that experience is code for "mistakes"). Will Rogers said that good judgment comes from experience and experience comes from bad judgment. I want to create a repository for the knowledge from OTHER entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs are often fiercely independent and we sometimes forget that the entrepreneurial community needs us to provide feedback and give help to those coming up behind us. It is so easy to get busy and focused on our own projects that we forget that there is a need to give back to, and help build the entrepreneurial community. I hope that Sheltowee's Business in a Box can be an easy way for entrepreneurs to give back. The final reason that I will give, is that I have not been able to find anything like it in the community yet. There are lots of resources, but where do you start? And many of the resources have an agenda. Their agenda is to sell a certain business or certain opportunity. Sheltowee's Business in a Box absolutely has a profit motive. But one of the key reasons we are charging for access to the site is that I am a strong believer that if you get something for nothing, you will consider to be worth less. If something is really bringing value to the table then, it should be worth paying. We will be promoting businesses and our sponsors, but we will also be very upfront about what we are promoting and what we get out of it. We will always attempt to provide an honest and transparent assessment of the items we promote. In short, Sheltowee's Business in a Box is: A community for business people with a focus on entrepreneurs that provides resources. A place where experienced entrepreneurs can give back to the community by sharing their knowledge and experiences. A resource where ANYONE can find value. The Life Planning tools and other information that we provide will be helpful to corporate types as well as entrepreneurs. A platform that will promote our sponsors and provide an honest and transparent account when we are being paid to promote something. What Sheltowee's Business in a Box is NOT: A platform to promote a particular business or business model under the guise of "independence" or impartiality. A platform that uses hyperbole and half-truths to promote entrepreneurism. A free source of information. We intend to provide value and we intend for it to be worth a small monthly fee to part of the community. Solely an online presence. A key must be live interactions on a local basis. So I hope that my investment in Sheltowee's Business in a Box is a way to help other people find the tools, resources and inspiration they need to grow and create.