One of the things that I’ve been trying to do more is spending more of my time in the local Atlanta scene, so to speak, and getting to know the economy and people around me geographically.
It’s been an interesting experience, let me assure you, as I completely love being a digital native and having all of you be my virtual friends! I feel like my influence is as tangible and as real as possible and I’m creating incredible value for people – I couldn’t be happier!
But the influence that I can have locally and geographically central to Atlanta is an area that I haven’t been investing much time in and after squarely planting my roots here with my wife and two kids I’ve made the jump back into the local environment and context to see what’s what. That’s partly why I started visiting all of the Atlanta Coworking spots around town!
And the result has been obviously much slower than what can be done in the online world but it’s been really satisfying – I’ve learned more about our Atlanta (and Georgia) economy and have met incredibly passionate small business owners and entrepreneurs who are desperately interested in reviving our local economy.
For example, joining a local think tank sponsored by Dell the other day was just one small thing of many things that I hope to do so that I can continue to help do my part to stimulate our local context.
I suggest that you do the same.
You see, we spend so much time online and so much time investing in our digital friends (really they are “acquaintances”) that we forget how important our local footprint really is.
I think the challenge is that most of us are simply hell-bent on “maximizing” our energy that we forget that the fact that growing X number of followers a day may feel like progress it’s actual return on investment or overall value may be very limited (or nothing at all).
I have met some incredible people, in the flesh, and the relationships I’m establishing and creating have reminded me the truth of making sure that whatever my “strategy” really is that it has to include a local component. Not just a part but a significant part.
I love investing in people – I always have and I always will. Heck, that’s why I’m willing to mentor groups and teams out of state! But we can always do better.
Perhaps the next best thing that you can do is to have coffee with that person that you promised you’d follow up with and never did. Perhaps a handshake will be better than those 10 followers that you get in the next 10 minutes.
Marinate on that for a bit and let me know your thoughts.