Vision for Success Headline Animator

Sunday, November 29, 2009


For the last couple of months, I have been a part of a joint effort to attract retailers to the local mall. The experience has offered an in-depth exposure to the retailers, large and small, and to their perception of our mall and the citizens of our community.

It has also added yet another dimension of experience related to inviting someone from outside the community into the community to do business.

The business of marketing, advertising, and leasing a mall has its similarities to that of marketing a city government or even local businesses.

These similarities lie in the questions that the outside businesses always want to know.

What is the average household income?

What can the city offer us?

What is the population of your town?

What are the vital demographics associated with this market (married couples, employed, education, etc.)?

I have seen local business owners work feverishly to improve every aspect of their business to accommodate anticipated inquiries from new tenant solicitations.

I also have watched as multiple government agencies, past and present, work to package the city/ county to be attractive to potential employers.

In general there is a misunderstanding from people who are not involved in the day to day process. There is a relationship process that is involved in establishing a community for attracting new companies to town.

For all of the warranted and unwarranted complaints about creating more jobs, better stores, and a higher quality of education, there is a prerequisite to accomplishing this goal.

Neither jobs and retailers nor education and quality of life concerns get better because we wish them to do so. It involves improving the product or service offered while marketing and advertising the advantages/ vision of our product or service over every other competitor. It comes from a concentrated effort of improving reach and frequency to solicited companies that might choose to plant themselves in our town.

It means nearly every citizen making sacrifices that are for the benefit of the entire community. It means company mergers, partnerships, acquisitions, and whatever it takes to remain relevant and in business under times of economic uncertainty.

Having evaluated our community from both a public and private perspective, I firmly believe our greatest assets are our work force and our location. These assets should be held up as the beacon of hope for our community.

It will be a joint effort of the small businesses in our town along with the robust companies that offer opportunities to boost the local economy that will differentiate us from everyone else.

Building relationships that leads to business takes time and an investment in someone's money. Lasting change starts with the right approach. Quick fixes hinder our ability to reach and sustain real change.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Opportunity is a destination!

As an elementary student, I had the opportunity to raise money for multiple sclerosis. I raised the most money in my class and was featured in the Anderson Herald for winning my very first dirt bike.

In high school I took drawings I had completed in my drafting class to a local architect (John S. Kane) and asked for an opportunity to work after school. John was gracious enough to hire me and I have been working in the field of architecture ever since.

While in college, I was heading back to my dorm and saw a posting for a study abroad trip to Italy. I took the opportunity to fill out the paper work and raised money from family members which allowed me to travel to Milan, Venice, and Lugano, Switzerland.

Opportunity is everywhere around us. Opportunities are places that we all pass by, some cease the place in time opportunity presents them, while others aren’t prepared and have to watch the opportunity escape them.
Opportunities have the potential to link us to places by our memory of them. Places are important!

Remember the last important decision you made? What opportunity presented itself that caused you to be where you are today?

Every opportunity doesn’t always lead to success. But the opportunity for success always exists.

How do we capitalize on opportunity? There are all kinds of opportunities which allow all of us to look at the same situation and even view the same facts but see something entirely different.

It is the way we see things that allows us to arrive at different opportunities. For instance, if we look at the unemployment rate of 10%, some people sign off in situations like these as hopeless, their words and actions follow their thoughts and before you know it when you come into contact with them they are walking billboards of despair.

While someone else might look at the unemployment rate and see the opportunity to market, sell to, or take advantage of the 90% of people who are still employed. Their energy and attention is fixed on solving a problem or servicing a need.

Opportunity is a destination. It is a place that is made by a sequence of decisions. It is a place that can be used to take us farther, higher, deeper into life changing life alter experiences. For some experience is what you get when you don’t get what you want. For others experience represent some of the most cherished moment in our lives.

To be prepared for the destination of opportunity, begin to take a holistic approach to every situation that you come in contact with daily. If you were on the outside of the situation how would you view it, what decision would you make? Our response is inevitably shaped by what we feed ourselves for information. Take inventory of your thoughts.

The opportunity is yours!

Monday, November 2, 2009

The act of giving involves more than monetary giving.

For the last few years I have had the distinct opportunity to serve on a number of boards. The experience has been engaging and insightful.

Of the few boards and committees that I have served I have been exposed to the heart and will of some of this community’s largest givers.

More recently, while serving on various boards, I have been fortunate enough to observe how men and women who understand the importance of giving operate.

When we think of giving we tend to associate it strictly to monetary giving. Though monetary giving is a large part of many non for profit organization’s existence, there are other categories that seem equally as viable and have drawn out the best of people in this community who not only want to see our community organizations, non for profits, and churches succeed, but will not stop contributing until they have nothing else to give.

This time of year especially represents the time of year when people begin to express their gratitude and take self inventory of things that are most important to them like the less fortunate and family.

I have often heard it said by my peers that you should establish a plan of giving in the areas of time, talent, and treasure.

With the constant reminder of the downturn in the economy and an almost disciplined reaction to request for financial assistance many people have chosen to cut back on what seems to be non essential giving.

It is impossible to give what you don’t have. For some people the very thought of giving makes them cringe.

This year as you prepare to gather holiday gifts include ways to give. There are a plethora of organizations, churches, and non for profits that will not meet their goals this year. Your service in time, your offering of your area of expertise, and of course your treasure might just be what is needed to help some organizations stay afloat this holiday season.

It is your time, your talent and your treasure that covers a holistic approach to giving.

I used to believe in the phrase give till it hurts, but then I realized giving doesn’t hurt, it helps. Whatever you choose to give when done with a right heart is never lost.

I am learning that those who are the biggest givers never go without. They always seem to have what they need when they need it. It is as if they need to give. They do it unselfishly, not to be recognized and not to receive anything in return, but to satisfy the part in all of us that was designed to help others.

From personal giving to corporate giving, our time, talent and treasure is required of us. Give what you can!