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


A woman was watching t.v. when a breaking news story interrupted her show. A driver was wreaking havoc by driving the wrong way on Interstate 280.

She knew her husband took that interstate home from work and immediately called his cell phone to warn him.

Wife: Herman are you ok? I saw on the news that there is a guy going the wrong one the interstate. Just  wanted to check on you.

The husband replied – one guy?!? What are you talking about? “It’s not just one car. It’s hundreds of them!”

There is another long-running joke about men being unwilling to stop and ask for directions. Well, in reality it is no joke, a British insurance firm found that 25 percent of male motorists in Britain travel some 276 extra miles per year simply because they refuse to ask for directions. The study also concluded that three quarters of women polled have zero qualms about asking for help.

Today with technological advancement of GPS right from your car or phone we are spoiled. Back in the eighteenth century such luxuries were not available. We had a world-wide obstacle – what was known as “the longitude problem” the thorniest scientific dilemma of the day – and had been for centuries.  Lacking the ability to measure their longitude, sailors throughout the great ages of exploration had been literally lost at sea as soon as they lost sight of land.  Thousands of lives and the increasing fortunes of nations hung on a resolution.

One man, John Harrison, in complete opposition to the scientific community, dared to imagine a mechanical solution–a clock that would keep precise time at sea, something no clock had ever been able to do on land.  The scientific quest taken by Harrison in his forty-year obsession to build his perfect timekeeper, known today as the chronometer is described in Dava Sobel’s award-winning book entitled Longitude.

We all need to learn the importance of knowing exactly where we are going. This is especially true in business. Not knowing where we are going can get us in trouble. Knowing the direction is the first step in getting to where we need to be. Beyond seeing where you are headed another important lesson can be gleaned from the determination of John Harrison. He persevered for forty years – in spite of what all the other scientists insisted.  His story is a great example of never giving up even when everyone else does.

In order for growth to happen here we will need to have a real sense of direction and a desire to see a brighter, stronger economic future in Tama County. In case you’ve been busy with your day-to-day and haven’t seen the positive direction of our local economy on the horizon in Tama County – you can contact our office and we will get you up-to-date on all that is happening in the county. Contact us at (641) 484-3108.


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