Lesson #6: Economic Developers Are Full of Wisdom

As the only person doing business retention in a city of 230,000, I was always on the go, always busy, and always concerned about different businesses who needed something. It was so rare that I would take the time to sit down and ask my mentors important questions and listen to all of their stories.

Since starting at Impact DataSource, I’ve started a podcast “Economic Development Secrets,” where I have the opportunity to sit down with different economic developers throughout the country and pick their brains. I ask them about their communities, the exciting new developments and the process to achieve them. We also discuss their struggles and they share advice for fellow economic developers. (Check out the different podcast episodes here.) Not only has the podcast given me a new perspective, but I’ve also had the opportunity to do various webinars with site selectors and speak with various consultants at different economic development conferences.

I know you are all busy – each economic developer usually does the work of about five people. However, what I can’t stress enough is: you MUST take time for yourself to grow in your own career by spending time with your ED peers. Listen to what they do in their communities, ask questions, or ask for advice for your own community. Also, be sure to make time for conferences. You are not alone in this very noble profession that creates the perfect place for that young couple to start their family, helps that small business turn their lights on, and cultivates a business atmosphere that will allow your citizens to succeed.

I am not suggesting that everyone leave their community and become an economic development consultant. But if you are ever confused or need help, please reach out to myself, another economic development consultant, or a peer. One thing across the board stands true: Economic Developers love to talk!!


This post is part of a series of 7. Check out the links below and stay tuned for future posts:

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