I just finished attending a seminar with Pat McGill, (www.patmcgill.net) who presented to a wide variety of women in positions of business and leadership. Thanks to Pat, many sponsors, and my organization Deuel Area Development, it was possible and affordable, to bring Pat to our little area of South Dakota. Taking full advantage, women from South Dakota and Minnesota attended this great opportunity to hear Pat. Many had heard her before, but I had not.
Because of my position as an Economic Development Director, I am able to attend many conferences and seminars and I’m always learning. I find it very difficult to bring information back to a community, to pass on what I’ve learned and get the information to the right person. What I am finding is many of the conferences and seminars are formatted much the same; breakout sessions, small groups and speakers. They are great and provide a learning environment.
However, Pat’s style and presentation is totally different from what I have been experiencing. Her uniqueness, her enthusiasm, and zest is contagious. She comes from an angle that is ‘uniquely hers talking about uniquely you,’ as that business owner and leader. It’s a viewpoint of caring for yourself before you can care for your business or customer. It’s a viewpoint of knowing yourself and loving yourself, and your personal uniqueness and style that helps you lead, manage or deal with others. What comes across boldly as well, is her years of experience and how it is integrated in her seminar. She has KNOWN and has LIVED a multitude of experiences and her passion to promote, teach and help others just spills out of her. It was refreshing to be a part of a totally different type of seminar, a very personal one where you feel astonished that a ‘one-on-one is taking place in a room filled with women’.
A take-away that I took from this seminar after all these years of working a multitude of jobs is I have found my passion in this new business I have begun, my online business directory. I absolutely love and want to bring people to “local” businesses; to anyone’s local business, be it on a city street, home or a rural highway. I want to promote destinations, a group or cluster of businesses that are uniquely their own and not big box stores, or a large franchise that runs amuck in so many of our larger communities. Those 'big businesses' in bigger cities that economic development organizations want to bring to their communities because economic development, in most people’s minds, means 200 plus jobs with big wages and more, and should be thought of as ‘the target’.
But what about your communities of 200, 700, 1500, 3000? What about those communities where the last remaining business is hanging by a thread? Or what about that community where the grocery store just closed, or those local stores that cannot compete with the whole “out-shopping experience”? I am concerned and challenged to instill in our citizens the need to "go local”. My passion grows for local businesses and promoting them.
How do we instill in our youth and adults to spend at home as much as possible? In a rural community, how to get the citizens to take ownership of their ‘ruralness’ and to think of how their community is going to survive the next 10, 25, 50 years? There are rural and city businesses that need “Pat McGill” to assess and personally coach one-on-one with communities and individuals. Local businesses also need the dedicated Travel Backroads Directory. I truly believe my directory can promote your local business. I LOVE this directory and I LOVE promoting business. It is a great realization that I discovered, with enthusiasm and through Pat’s seminar, that I am finally, right where I need and want to be!