Sunday, June 19, 2011

Opportunity, Success, and How We Define Them

I've been thinking a lot about opportunity and the community I see around me. There's a lot to love about New Ulm and Southern Minnesota in general. Yeah, I'm biased; its home. Its where I grew up. But its also where I chose to stay after (very brief) time away. Bias aside, it bothers me to see people dismissing this area without taking a thoughtful look around to see what the possibilities are.

As I've been mulling, I opened the Sunday paper (on Monday) and ran into a wonderful story printed from a MN Public Radio report about a doctor in Osakis, MN. Dr. Susan Rutten Wasson is building a practice in this town of about 1,500 people 12 miles from Alexandria, MN. She doesn't take any insurance payments, just cash. Its a great story and I recommend you take a moment to read it or view it.

As I was reading the story about Dr. Wasson, there were three things that made me say "exactly!"

1. She understood she wasn't going to get rich
2. That was ok, because:
3. The lifestyle and quality of life is wonderful

I'll be writing some thoughts on these three points eventually, but the thing I hope the world can learn is this: Money is not the same thing as success. Opportunity is not a chance to grab what you deserve.

I truly believe this. It is why I choose to live and work where I do. Its been the foundation of how I approach my customers and co-workers.

If we choose to redefine success not in monetary terms, but in terms of our community and family, there are a lot of new business possibilities present themselves. As a technologist, I see this part of Minnesota and see a fertile field ready for sowing. Now we just need to find the seed.