I fell across an insight earlier in the week that left me shaking my head at its directness and simplicity, but most especially because of its truth. It has to do with why so many of us stay in unhappy situations be it a job, a relationship or where we live.
It suggested people resist taking a chance because they focus on what they would have to give up and could lose instead of on what they would gain.
Sort of a variation of the old 'a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush' when we should be thinking you cannot win if you do not play, especially if you do not play, you feel that means you cannot lose. For many of us, the "not losing" part trumps the attraction of any potential opportunity.
I don't think aversion to risk is Norwich-specific; it's more true than not in almost anyplace you can name. As Pink Floyd once sang, "there's too many home fires burning and not enough trees." There's just about no place that couldn't use a lot more energy and engagement to overcome ennui and entropy; more enthusiastic beginners and fewer discouraged experts.
As I suggested in this space last week, the game's afoot in Chelsea and many other places across Norwich if/when we choose to see it. It's not smooth but it's steady and sometimes it's despite, and other times because of, our efforts. The dogs bark but the caravan moves forward. And life goes on.
Last week in remarks offered at a Global Entrepreneurs Summit in the White House President Obama said, "...we believe in the power of entrepreneurship -- the basic notion that if you’ve got an idea and if you really work hard and you’re able to pick yourself up (even) if you stumble a couple of times, you can eventually turn that idea into a reality.
"And this matters...because...the spirit of entrepreneurship can help us to tackle some of the greatest challenges that we face around the world...."
And while that should hearten those in down-turned downtowns everywhere working to earn a living and make better lives for themselves, their families and their neighbors, there's more immediate and tangible (as in fold up and put in your wallet) local help available, the Business Resource Roundup, this afternoon starting at 5 in the Mohegan Sun Convention Center.
This is a free event, open to entrepreneurs, start ups and small businesses who call today 888-835-2333 extension 2040, sponsored by the Community Economic Development Fund, which has two million dollars in loan capital available expressly to help existing Norwich businesses, start-ups or any (other) business looking to (re) locate in Norwich.
There will be information on the Norwich Job Creation Program, incentives on opening a business in downtown and participation from Norwich local banks and organizations like the Small Business Administration, the Southeastern Connecticut Chapter of the Service Corps of Retired Executives, and the Connecticut Economic Resource Center, among others.
There's even a buffet dinner, so bring your appetite and an extra napkin to write down your next Big Idea.