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

Need Directions?

A man absolutely hated his wife’s cat and decided to get rid of him by driving him 20 blocks from his home and leaving him at the park.  As he was getting home, the cat was walking up the driveway.

The next day he decided to drive the cat 40 blocks away.  He put the beast out and headed home.
Driving back up his driveway, there was the cat!

He kept taking the cat further and further and the cat would always beat him home.

At last he decided to drive a few miles away, turn right, then left, past the bridge, then right again and another right until he reached what he thought was a safe distance from his home and left the cat there.

Hours later the man calls home to his wife: “Jen, is the cat there?”

“Yes”, the wife answers, “why do you ask?”  Frustrated, the man answered, “Put him on the phone, I’m lost and need directions!”

Directions. Are you the type of person that rushes past steps A through G by trying to look at the picture on the box? I’ll admit it. I’ve been there before. When my kids were smaller I spent many Christmas Eves re-building toys because I thought I could skip over details (step by step directions). One Barbie doll house for my daughter Bailey nearly drove me insane. I can remember thinking “it can’t be that hard, I’ll just look at the picture on the box”.  So ignoring the directions I made my own assumptions. Not good. Over the years I’ve learned the hard way many times that the lack of detail can cost you a ton of TIME.

Later in business I again had to learn the importance of details. Taking the time to build accurate growth projections takes time (time I thought I didn’t have) so I skipped doing the “detailed” projections and gave it my best “guess-timate”. How bad could it be right? After all, I knew that the business model was going to grow and change. Looking back I regret not spending the time on the details since I would have avoided many costly expenses along the way.

Tough lesson learned: the lack of detail can cost you a ton of MONEY. In fact the process of preparing quarterly updates to financial projections became extremely important. Doing them forced me to accurately predict what my goals mean to the company’s bottom line.

You hear this phrase a lot when people are considering starting or growing a business- “The devil’s in the details.” To me it expresses clearly the idea that whatever you do, you should do it thoroughly.

As we build our economy here in Tama County all of us need to dig into the details and of how we do what we do for if we don’t, trust me, it will cost you a lot of TIME and MONEY.



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