This morning's NPR Morning Edition featured the third in a series on Los Angeles's Skid Row, a neighborhood that is notorious for its homeless and drug addicted population. The segment featured a police officer who is a part of the city's "Safe City" initiative, a program designed to put a visible police presence on Skid Row in an effort to improve the quality of life there. The officer said that, in order to do his job, he can't just address drug dealers and other obvious law breakers. He also has to ensure that people don't just sit on the sidewalk. He said that one person sitting on the sidewalk will attract other people, and eventually, you'll have groups of people congregating and doing drugs on the sidewalk. This leads to drug dealers, gangs and eventually loss of life.
The story made me think about how the same thing happens in a positive sense when it comes to business. One person makes her business successful. Then, other people join her to connect and learn from her successes. They begin to congregate together, and before you know it, there's a huge community of people feeding off of each other's energy and ideas. This is when positive opportunities begin to manifest themselves and suddenly, everyone experiences an elevated quality of life.
Your children will do what you do. Your neighbors who want to start a business will do what you do. One good actor leads to another. Let your light shine before everyone so that they can see the good business work you are doing and follow your lead. The contribution you make today, no matter how small, will encourage someone, and you may never even know about it.
Question: Do you find that congregating with other business people helps you be more successful? If so, feel free to leave your comments here. I'd love to hear from you!