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

Who You Know

Two friends were arguing in a bar one day. Harvey, the first guy, was bragging how he knew everybody. He knew everyone, and everyone knew him. There wasn’t a person that he hadn’t met.

Bob, even though he was his good friend, didn’t believe him. “Harvey, you can’t know everyone.” He said. “I bet you don’t know the Mayor.”

Harvey said, “Sure I do.” He pulled out his cell phone and dialed a number. After a moment he said, “Hi, this is Harvey. Could you tell my friend Bob here who you are?”

He hands the phone to Bob. The voice on the phone was unmistakably the Mayor, who said to Bob, “How’s my old friend Harvey treating you?” Bob was taken aback. He talked to the Mayor for a few moments before he handed the phone back.

“OK, you win that one. But I bet you don’t know the President!” he challenged. Harvey smiled and dragged his friend out to the car. “We’re going to DC.”

He said. A few hours later, they pull up to the White House. The security guys immediately recognized Harvey and let him through. Just then, the President came out of the front door walking his dog. Harvey leaned out the window and waved. Then, to Bob’s chagrin, the President walked right over to the car and talked with Harvey for a good fifteen minutes.

Bob was starting to get a little perturbed. He figured that maybe Harvey only knew people in the US. So he said, “I bet that you don’t know the Pope….”

Harvey just grinned and drove to the airport. The next day, they were standing outside the Pope’s residence. Harvey didn’t think that he’d be able to get Bob in, since the security was so tight. But Bob agreed that if he saw the Pope and Harvey together in the Pope’s window, then he would admit that Harvey knew everyone.

A short while later, Harvey walked out onto the balcony, arm in arm with the Pope. The Pope waved to the screaming crowds in the street. Harvey looked down into the crowd, trying to find Bob. To his shock he saw his friend collapsed in an unconscious heap on the ground. He quickly rushed down to see what had happened to his friend.

“Bob, Bob!” Harvey shook his friend. “Are you ok?? What happened??”

“Yeah. I’m OK.” he replied. “But that was quite a shock.”

“What? When you saw me up there with the Pope?” Harvey asked.

“No,” said Bob. “When the guy next to me in the crowd said, “Hey, who’s that guy up there with Harvey?””

Harvey’s example reminds us of the adage that we’ve all heard many times; “it’s often not what you know, but who you know that is important”. This wisdom is directly applicable when it comes to promoting our business and our county too. Information travels virtually instantly with social media. We should carefully consider how we can use this technology with “who we know” to help build Tama County in our business, social, and educational networks to build a stronger economy.

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