You asked for first steps, I have one

When Deb Brown and I did our preview of 2017, we noticed a pattern in the questions that you sent in. Many of you face related questions, ones that other towns are also dealing with. So I wanted to share one of those answers this week. 

Jonya from Minnesota asked: 
What are some good first steps that a very small town (1338 people) can take?

I do know that Jonya has already started a community website and a Facebook page, which are both great steps forward. So I tried to think of a first step that applies no matter what small town you’re in, or what project you’re working on. 

Get out and talk to people in person.

You’re in a small town, and that’s an advantage for you. You’re located close to people you need to work with. Imagine trying to talk face to face with everyone across an entire state, or even in an online community based around some other interest. You can’t do it! So build on that advantage and talk to people in person. 

When you do, be ready to focus on what’s in it for them (whatever your project is.) 

Listen to the people you meet. Rarely does anyone come around to actually listen to their concerns. So listen a lot. 

Share the info over and over. They won’t get it the first time. If you’re asking people to do something, they’ll say they will do it, and they will forget. People are busy. It’s up to you to be patient and keep sharing the info over and over. 
Keep shaping the future of your town,