“YOUR POSITIVE ACTION COMBINED WITH
POSITIVE THINKING RESULTS IN SUCCESS.”
Through the years of studying, brainstorming, and working on rural development I have found some opportunities. Mostly from our past. A lot of this comes from the research for KANSAS ODDITIES. There are a lot of companies and great ideas that had their start in Kansas and then were sold off or moved away. Once in a while there is the chance to bring them back.
In the study of rural development the most successful areas have individuals that see opportunities or just work for opportunities. Every ECO-Devo leader has their sights set on attracting companies from somewhere else. Yet this is just what every other area is also looking for. Sometimes the movers and shakers are locals who invest their own capital in the town or area that they grew up in. Others do it because they have been attracted to the town for various reasons.
A lot of successful people in our rural areas were laughed at as they went after their dreams. For all the success stories there are a dozen failures. But the one thing you will find in common with these people is desire, passion, willingness to work hard, and the spirit that is not crushed by defeat but invigorated by it.
When I started to write this piece I thought I had found the ultimate opportunity. Like most things that are too good to be true, so was this. A very popular line of jeans and western wear that started in Kansas was reported to be spun off from the investment company that owned them. Well when I researched it the company was just dividing its long list of name brands into a separate company and was not up for sale after all.
Well so much for that idea. But wait, there is still a story here. From airplanes to lawn mowers there are still things out there that should be brought back to Kansas and new companies created along with jobs.
A few years ago I was wanting to start a manufacturing company in my area and found that there are dozens of agencies that represent companies that are for sale and many are very easy to move to a new location and create employment. These companies would be great assets to the community. However for a variety of reasons the local business community was not interested in helping this venture to get started. In fact there were some outrageous assumptions made as to who was working with me to start all of this. The answer was no one.
However the assumptions of many are not dissuaded by the facts. So as result I dropped that project. But there are so many opportunities that rural towns and areas could be taking advantage of. What it takes is the willingness to go out on a limb and just do it. Of course a little financial help is always an asset but do not count on the local financial institutions to do this. I find that it not only takes the opportunity to create or find the business it takes creative financing.
There is also one other thing that is hard to overcome and that is the coffee shop experts. More ideas and opportunities have been killed by the coffee shop experts and their creative cost analysis. Rule of thumb, everything will cost a “million dollars”. This is the standard cost analysis no matter what the idea is. There is also the “we never have done it this a way”. Then there is “they tried that over there and it was a big flop”. Most generally it is that they do not want to see the town grow and make things louder and especially “there may be a tax increase if we tried this”.
This comes back to ‘ATTITUDE’. If you are sure something will not work it is a self fulfilling prophecy, it won’t.
I am hoping to see many of you at the Kansas State Fair this year. I will be in the SOUTHCENTRAL KANSAS TOURISM ASSOCIATION booth selling and signing KANSAS ODDITIES on the first day of the fair. Yes I am planning on a Pronto Pup.