When a recipe for success calls for a pinch of humility

Hi again,

I’m the first to admit I’ve been a bit cranky of late concerned that my city is flushing money down the proverbial toilet. But I’m in a better frame of mind at the moment and decided it was time to pay a visit to my old friend humility.

Humility is a good friend. The kind of friend that doesn’t pester and bother in tumultous times unless it really thinks it ought to. When you least expect it because you’re wrapped up in a train of thought that’s speeding towards derailment, it will quietly tap you on the shoulder and say “Hey you. We need to talk. Is now a good time?”

And here’s what humility had to say to me today “well, if you think you’re such a smarty pants, what would you do with $25,000 of public money to promote this place you claim to be so fond of?” Ok. Good point. I guess. Maybe even a really good point. I hear lots of pros and lots of cons for the Kansas website and the Florida Infomercial. But few alternatives. So here goes.

1) We do need a plan. But what does a plan look like? Who am I to scream from the digital rooftops “We need a plan”, when the truth is, I don’t have a plan. Who am I to talk? I have an idea of plan. A dream of a plan. A plan to have a plan. But do I have an actual plan? Nope. I don’t.

2) We all want Salmon Arm to thrive. Humility reminded me that I’m not the only one around town who wants that. Not by a long shot. Instead of looking at the intention behind recent decisions (website and informercial), I’m guilty of only looking at the tactics. Seems narrow-mindedness might have come to visit me too lately.

3) I’m always saying “it’s not how much money you spend, it’s how you spend your money”. So it’s time I put my public money where my blogger mouth is.

Let’s spend $25,000. Let’s do something we’ve never done before. Let’s tell the world we’re a hidden gem. And here, in my oh-so-humble smarty pants opinion, is what I would suggest.

Hire a blogger. A business grad from Okanagan College. Pay them $25,000. Buy them a camera, a laptop and an i-phone. Ask them to produce a 5 minute video every week for a year. 52 well crafted, personal and pointed messages. Ask them to build a social media network to share our stories (free for all on facebook and twitter). Tell stories about all our business sectors – engineering, innovation, trades, design, software, forestry, geo-thermal, music, arts, publishing, agriculture, manufacturing. Take our digital visitors on bike rides and hikes, houseboat trips and kayaking excursions and shopping trip downtown. Bring them to our farmer’s markets and our restaurants. Introduce them to our barristas, our bakers and our chefs. Invite them to a gallery opening or jazz night. Spend the weekend with them at our Roots and Blues festival. Go skiing with them at Larch Hills then buy them a well deserved beer at the Barley Station. Then, on week 52, invite them to town for real. And celebrate a year in the life of Salmon Arm.  Connect with a new generation of young digital natives from across the country and around the world. Make the best argument you can that life here is better. It’s because of all of us, what we share and how much we care about a place we call home. Not because we had to, but because we wanted to.

So often adversity and differences of opinion do nothing but create adversity and differences of opinion. We’re bigger than that. Well, at least I hope we are. And I apologize for being small-minded about it.

We can do this. Better. Bigger. Bolder. and 100% ours. And way more fun. Don’t you think?

One Response

  1. Very well said and excellent suggestions.

    As for me, I’m not quite ready to be humble and will probably remain annoyed for a little while longer because a mental calculation tells me that if one puts a dollar amount to all the hours of all the people, salaried and unsalaried, that participated in this, what I refer to as misguided good intentions, for the past six weeks, more than $20,000 has already been spent. And, I still wonder . . . is there a plan?

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