1000x your impact
This morning I met with a policy advisory to one of St. Louis's mayoral candidates. We chatted quite a bit about where the entrepreneurial community is at and what a future city hall administration might focus on to help it further flourish. I mentioned the value of
investing in scale-up growth rather than just birthing more startups
the importance of not forgetting Main Street entrepreneurs along the way. Our city's restaurant and bar cultures are enjoyed locally and recognized nationally (xxxx, Esquire) and yet we must not forget they face many of the same operating challenges as a high-tech company. The same can be said for our arts community (visual, musical and performance), which provides much of the enrichment and enjoyment we seek out in our spare time. These arenas must not be taken for granted.
not just worrying about talent attraction and retention but focusing on the amenities people want in a city.... see above bullet ;)
It was a fun and valuable discussion. And it reminded me, I know my city reasonably well and there are ways I might help support and influence it. National politics are discussed at an incredible pace at this point in time. They should be, they're important. But local politics are discussed less often and people are significantly less inclined to vote in a municipal election. Ezra Klein, the founder of Vox says, "People underestimate and underinvest in city and state politics — but it’s an ideal place to start for anyone who wants to create change."
The national conversation is crowded and loud. The local conversation is almost at a whisper and relatively open. I ended up at the discussion this morning because after attending a Mayoral Monday forum at Tick Tock Tavern, I found myself chatting with one of the volunteers Lyda Krewson and he asked if I'd meet with one of her policy advisors. I vocalized a couple of opinions and suddenly I'm sitting around the discussion table. All of this is not to pat myself on the back and say, "well done LeBeau." Just a reminder that getting involved and working to make an impact can begin simply. And if you want to make an impact, its pretty clear by the numbers it would be easier to start at the local level.
The city of St. Louis's population is roughly 320,000
Our country's population is about 320,000,000
Our city makes up 0.1% of the national population. Its hard to get heard above everything else nationally. But on a local level you're working to influence and be involved with an audience 1,000 times smaller. Shrink your market. Increase your impact.
Go Forth Boldly