Trouble(?) in the Heartland

I read this article this morning http://www.inc.com/eric-markowitz/starting-up-in-the-heartland.html and although I agree that the Midwestern disposition makes talking about ourselves (or what we do) more difficult  I do not agree that this “humility is a problem”. To suggest that we start talking and acting like the entrepreneurs on the coasts would be funny to watch but I am not sure it would be successful.  The author references the efforts of the Omaha chamber of commerce to try and build a thriving entrepreneurial environment and I think he can do this but not in the way the author suggests. 


If you accept the premise that our rural roots contribute to our taciturn and humble nature it seems to me that those virtues are what you ought to build on.  Agrarian communities are not confused about the interdependent nature of their existence.  Even where large corporate farms dominate, they understand  as Wendell Berry observed, that “Communities are built and sustained by the mutual dependence of their members.”  Entrepreneurial communities can and do benefit from the same approach.  


Of course your business will never survive if no one knows you exist.  But you can become known through your participation and contribution to the community you live, work in and sustain.  


Perhaps they are already doing this in Omaha, but it seems to me that all the start ups would benefit from helping each other the way it used to happen in rural communities when harvests had to be brought in and barns raised.  

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Dan Clark

Dan Clark

Principal of Bowline Consulting, process designer/fixer, wireless telecom veteran, addicted pick up soccer player, fly fisher, backpacker, beer brewer, guitar player, choir singer, recovering bag piper

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