Hey candidates, do you have any fresh ideas?

Wash, rinse and repeat, it’s election time in the City of Hickory. At least we see actual contests taking place for the Ward 1, 2, and 3 seats available during this cycle. But, once again we see the machinations of Hickory’s dubiously complicated electoral format with 845 votes out of 13,000 registered voters (6.5%) in those wards. Sixty people voting in Ward 3 means barely 1 out of 100 voters voted in that ward. Folks, that is proof positive of a broken system.

Even if the “Me Too” messages of the candidates running does little to inspire the electorate, more than 1 out of 100 could accidentally stumble into an election booth and cast a vote. It seems to me that this is symbolic of some sort of protest.

For years we have been told by community leaders that we all need to be positive, of like mind, just push “the Brand,” stick to the Message. That is the mindset of a salesperson. Personally, I think we need to operate with the mindset of an entrepreneur. That mindset is different.

It reminds me of the breakfast plate of eggs and bacon … the chicken that provides the eggs is involved. The hog that provides the bacon is committed.

The entrepreneur has everything to lose. That makes them look for problems and identify solutions. Identifying problems is not being negative. It is being smart. Identifying problems is a money maker. It is figuring out what people want and need and creating it. That is how product development and evolution takes place. The salesman can claim perfection (no problems) all day long, but in reality sells or doesn’t sell products. If the salesman fails, they just move on to the next job. It isn’t their product. The entrepreneur can lose everything. They are committed.

We live in a new economy — an economy defined by creativity. Hickory has been generic for far too long. We can’t copy our way to progress and prosperity. We have to have unique assets that set us apart from our competition. We need new ideas.

So, it isn’t about the message. In the end it is about your reality … your identity. How good is your product and will the target consumers buy it?

Hey candidates, what are you selling? Do you have any fresh ideas … anything innovative? If people want generic, they can get that at Walmart.

James Thomas Shell


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