Thoughts about business and economic development in rural areas.


November 2007
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Archive for November 26th, 2007

Texas Attitudes

Modesty is a virtue….most of the time. When it comes to promoting your community, it can be a real drawback. Sometimes we are too close to our own community to appreciate what might be a real positive to a person who is new to the area or to a business that is considering locating here. Sometimes. Most of the time we are just too critical of what our area has and way too quick to point out what it lacks. Rural communities seem to do this more often expecially when they feel they are being compared with urban areas.

To counter that I suggest we develop a case of ‘Texas Attitudes.’ I’m talking about framing what we have in a positive way and not being afraid to boast a little bit. I call this ‘Texas Attitudes’ not just because of the Texas stereotype but because of a tourism commercial that the State of Texas aired on stations in Wisconsin several years back. In that commercial they were touting several reasons why we should vacation in Texas including a statement that Texas had over 500 lakes.

500 lakes! 500 LAKES! Now there’s a selling point sure to lure Wisconsinites…until you realize that plenty of Wisconsin COUNTIES have more lakes than that. In fact Wisconsin has over 15,000 lakes and if we want more we don’t have to travel to Texas, we can just go next door to Minnesota and visit some of the 11,000 they have over there. I checked several Texas tourism sites as I wrote this and found out that only ONE of their lakes is even natural. The rest are all manmade and I’ll bet that the ’500′ number included some large cattle watering troughs!

Not sure how many Wisconsin folks hopped on a plane to go visit one of those lakes but you’ve got to hand it to them for bravado. And frankly, we can all learn a little something from them. I’m not suggesting we should become braggarts and play footloose with the facts, but we shouldn’t sell ourselves short either.

A little dose of ‘Texas Attitudes’ can be a good thing.