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


An old prospector shuffled into the town of El Indio, Texas, leading an old tired mule.  The old man headed straight for the only saloon in town, to clear his parched throat.  He walked up to the saloon and tied his old mule to the hitch rail.

As he stood there, brushing some of the dust from his face and clothes, a young gunslinger stepped out of the saloon with a gun in one hand and a bottle of whiskey in the other. The young gunslinger looked at the old man and laughed, saying, “Hey old man, have you ever danced?” The old man looked up at the gunslinger and said, “No, I never did dance … Never really wanted to.”

A crowd had gathered as the gunslinger grinned and said, “Well, you old fool, you’re gonna dance now,” and started shooting at the old man’s feet. The old prospector, not wanting to get a toe blown off, started hopping around like a flea on a hot skillet.  Everybody was laughing, fit to be tied.  When his last bullet had been fired, the young gunslinger, still laughing, holstered his gun and turned around to go back into the saloon.

The old man turned to his pack mule, pulled out a double-barreled shotgun, and cocked both hammers.  The loud clicks carried clearly through the desert air. The crowd stopped laughing immediately. The young gunslinger heard the sounds too, and he turned around very slowly.

The silence was almost deafening.

The crowd watched as the young gunman stared at the old timer and the large gaping holes of those twin 10 gauge barrels.  The barrels of the shotgun never wavered in the old man’s hands, as he quietly said, “Son, have you dropped to your knees and begged for mercy?”

The gunslinger swallowed hard and said, “No sir … But… I’ve always wanted to.”

There are a few lessons for us all here:
Never be arrogant.
Don’t waste ammunition.
Whiskey makes you think you’re smarter than you are.
Always, always make sure you are AWARE of who has the power.
Don’t mess with old folks, they didn’t get old by being stupid.

An important trait in owning and developing a business is having a keen AWARENESS of what is going on around you. Successful business people are always able to spot the trends around them.

I have mentioned a fascinating book by Jonah Bergerin in the past: “Contagious: Why Things Catch On.”  In the book he states an example “Walk by the dairy section of any grocery store, and you’ll notice a half a wall devoted to Greek yogurt, and to think that most of these did not exist seven years ago. Now it seems like the times are a changing; a recent report by research firm Mintel indicates that Greek yogurt’s days of dominance are over. The report finds the new trend in the dairy aisle is yogurt smoothies and other yogurt drinks. These product categories are experiencing double-digit growth. The reason? It’s likely due to how portable yogurt drinks are. Spoon not required, yogurt drinks are ideal for life on the go, especially when you can screw the cap back on and have the rest later.

“Build a better mousetrap, and the world will beat a path to your door” is a phrase that is attributed to Ralph Waldo Emerson in the late nineteenth century. The phrase is actually a misquotation of his actual statement: “If a man has good corn or wood, or boards, or pigs, to sell, or can make better chairs or knives, crucibles or church organs, than anybody else, you will find a broad hard-beaten road to his house, though it be in the woods.”—Ralph Waldo Emerson. Always be AWARE.


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