The future of your town is in the crowd. You’re crowd-sourcing the kind of town you want to live in. But you can’t crowd-source until you have a crowd. So where does the crowd come from?
You draw a crowd with a big idea. You talk about it, you do things related to it, and generally you run your mouth about it in the best way possible.
It’s not just about spreading the word. It’s also about changing attitudes, changing the climate so that people feel more comfortable joining your crowd.
You present the brighter future as normal, as a non-scary thing to be involved in.
Sure, it’s still scary for you because you care so much. But you don’t need everyone to care as much as you do. You need a lot of people doing small things to add up to something big. So it doesn’t have to be scary for them because they can join in a small way.
You draw a crowd with an event that stakes a claim on a brighter future, like a Tour of Empty Buildings.
You change attitudes by giving awards (lots of awards, not just one or two) for entrepreneurs and risk-takers.
You show how much you care about local business owners by breaking out the weed-whackers and window cleaner. You support them by asking how they are doing.
It all makes a difference. It builds the climate that welcomes action. It draws a crowd that can draw a bigger crowd. It brings in a lot of people who are traditionally left out of strategic plans.
You make yourself the focal point for the conversation you want to have about your town.
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