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Economic Development is . . . (increasing the flow) of capital through the community and reducing its leakage.

Lipstick Kisses

A school principal was alerted by the janitor to a persistent problem in the girl’s bathroom: some of the girl students were leaving lipstick kisses on the mirrors. The janitor had left notices on the bathroom walls asking for the practice to cease, but to no avail; every evening the janitor would wipe away the kisses, and the next day many more kisses would be planted on the mirror. It had become a bit of a fashionable game.

The principal decided to take a CREATIVE approach to solving this persistent problem.  The next day she asked several girls from each class to meet with her in the bathroom. “Thank you for coming,” said the principal, “You will see there are several lipstick kisses in the mirrors in this washroom…” Some of the girls grinned at each other. “As you all understand, modern lipstick is cleverly designed to stay on the lips, and so the lipstick is not very easy to clean from the mirrors. We have therefore had to develop a very special cleaning regimen, and my hope is that when you see the effort involved you will help spread the word that we’d all be better off if those responsible for the kisses use tissue paper instead of the mirrors in future.”

At this point the janitor stepped forward, went into one of the stalls, dipped a sponge squeegee into the toilet bowl, and used it to clean one of the lipstick-covered mirrors. The janitor stepped back and smiled. The girls (wide-eyed and gaging) quickly departed. And from then on there were no more lipstick kisses on the mirrors.

The principal’s CREATIVE approach to her problem is very comparable to how entrepreneurs look to solve problems in the marketplace every day. Starting a business is about taking solutions to people’s problems and getting them into the hands of people that are willing to pay to have the problem go away.

Tama County is fortunate to have a system in place to bring solutions to market. If you haven’t heard about it yet, every quarter we have our own PITCH & BUILD COMPETITION (next one is May 28th). Open to anyone in the county, PITCH & BUILD entrepreneurs present their solutions to YOU the citizens of Tama County. They will have a unique opportunity to field questions and receive constructive feedback on all areas such as, value proposition, vision clarity, and sales/marketing/and strategy.

If you live in Tama County you are strongly encouraged to attend all of our PITCH & BUILDs. You might be saying to yourself “why would I come, I don’t want to start a business?” The entrepreneurs that do present need your questions, your insight to make their businesses’ more successful. A question you have might be the crucial viewpoint that helps a solution take form. Contact our office (641) 484-3108 and we can provide more the specific information on the next PITCH & BUILD.

Together like the school principal we can find a CREATIVE solution to growing OUR economy.


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