Trash-talking and small towns 

Years ago, I helped organize a Trash-Off Day for a small town. The mayor and lots of local volunteers helped pick up trash and clean up the town for just one day. I helped. You bet I did.

But one person made a specific point of telling me he was not going to participate because he had much better things to do with his time. He implied that picking up trash was beneath him.

He kinda missed the point. We did pick up trash. The town was a little cleaner when we got finished. But it wasn’t just about the trash.

We also sent a signal to other people in town about appearances. It was a message about creating a cleaner town.

And those of us who picked up trash also built stronger community with each other. We talked and laughed and worked together.

Cleaner town, a good example, and stronger community bonds. It isn’t just about the trash.

Making the Front Page

David, from the Red Dirt Distillery in Dorrigo, New South Wales, Australia, asked permission to reprint the “I’m not an expert” story for his local paper, the Don Dorrigo Gazette and Guy Fawkes Advocate. It’s the only newspaper in Australia printed by letterpress and has one of the best newspaper names anywhere.

“The story has been said before,” David said, “but you have summarised it beautifully and I believe that it doesn’t hurt to remind the community just how important their local small businesses are!!”

We made it onto the front page. It’s a bigger honor to me than any number of mentions in famous newspapers. Thank you, David and the Don Dorrigo Gazette.

If you’d like to reprint my columns in your local paper or your organization’s newsletter, hit reply and tell me. I don’t charge for it.

Keep shaping the future of your community,

PS – I ran across a potential tool for organizing your own entrepreneur training in rural areas. It’s My Own Business, a free, comprehensive and graded online course on starting a business. Groups of potential business owners could work on the lessons together. It’s also available in Spanish. Find it at