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

Taking Directions

When Johnny was learning to drive in the winter, his Dad told him, “If you’re ever lost in the snow, wait for a plow truck, then follow it.”

One cold, snowy night, Johnny got lost on the way home. The snow was blowing so fast and piling up so high, he couldn’t see any street signs. With no map in his car and a dead cell phone, he thought he might be stranded, so he pulled over to the side of the road.

Then breaking through the flurries, Johnny saw the headlights of a plow truck in his rearview mirror. Thanking his lucky stars, he turned in and followed the truck, hopeful that it would lead him back somewhere that he recognized.

He followed that truck for what felt like hours. He turned left, Johnny would turn left. He’d swing to the right, and Johnny was right on his tail. After a while, he saw brake lights from the plow, followed by four-way flashers. The plow had stopped, and he saw the driver get out and approach his car. Johnny rolled down the window to talk to him.

“Why are you following me, kid?” the plow driver asked.

“Well sir, my dad told me if I was ever lost in a snowstorm, I should wait for a plow truck and then follow it.”

“Well,” said the plow driver. “I just finished clearing the Target parking lot. Want to follow me over to Best Buy??”

Asking for advice and guidance to help you run your business is a sound idea; however, blindly following that advice without listening to your own instincts can sometimes be trouble.  When you’re worried and stressed about keeping your business afloat, it’s tempting to rely on someone else’s strategy.

Before making that mistake, consider this analogy; most cars today have GPS systems.  Most smart phones have one.  The taxis in New York have them.  And if you don’t have one you can access on the go, you can get directions from online mapping sites.  It’s simple.  Type in where you want to go and follow the directions to your desired destination.

So why not get directions for your business, too?   Well, what happens if your GPS is wrong and does not realize there is road construction?  What happens if the business directions you get are wrong for your business? Just blindly following directions without listening to your instincts can get you lost.


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