Good morning and happy June! What a beautiful time of year to be alive in Wisconsin! This week I’m going to pen a story about the importance of community and supporting those who live around you. I think this a well known idea to many, but to some it might not be something they’ve thought about or considered in a while. You can consider this blog post to be a potential counter argument to “Do It Yourself-ing”.
I’m the first one to admit that self sufficiency and taking care of your own “stuff”, from finances, to cars, to your lawns, is important. However, how far is too far? When does doing it all yourself start to detract from the community you are a part of? That’s what I’d like to discuss today. Many, many moons ago, humans did not have communities as we know them today. Thus, every man and woman was a “Jack of all trades” or “Renaissance Man”. Just to get by, you had to be a skilled farmer, blacksmith, cobbler, seamstress, and carpenter. It was all one could do to simply survive, let alone thrive. Enter communities! Humans realized at some point along the way that having certain individuals SPECIALIZE in areas that they were truly skilled, was better for the entire community. One person was a home builder, and he taught his apprentices how to excel in that field. One person a baker, one a tailor, one a blacksmith. This allowed humanity to thrive and innovate. The landscape of humanity was forever changed. No longer were humans spread so thin that they could barely keep their heads above water. These communities helped individuals FOCUS. BUT – one requirement to this Near-Utopian like scenario: Everyone had to support one another. If someone was going to become a cobbler and open a shoe store, it required everyone in the community to support that person and their expertise by buying shoes from them. If they didn’t, that community would fall right back into the same sort of “survival mentality” that persisted in the past.
Today, I am calling everyone to live the same way that the early adopters of this sense of community lived. I’m asking all of us to support your local businesses and organizations. There are a few reasons why this is good advice for everyone to heed. First, an individual can only focus on so many things at once and can only truly excel at a handful of things. If you attempt to be a total “Do It Yourself-er”, inherently there will be several things that you struggle with and you’ll do a less than outstanding job on certain tasks. Enter professionals. From morticians to car mechanics to landscapers to Realtors, there are Experience, Trained, and Qualified professionals in most every field that will do an outstanding job at the task you need completed. This goes along with the old adages of, “Buy on Price, Buy Twice” and “Stepping over Dollars to chase Dimes”. Often times we are so focused on saving a few bucks that we will do a substandard job that needs redoing in the near future or we miss out on a large opportunity due because we didn’t consult a fantastic professional.
I’ll give you an example: I have a client who is selling his home. He looked up the “Zestimate” and it said his home was worth $85-90K. If he would have stuck a For Sale By Owner sign in the yard, he would have left $15-20K on the table. He was very smart though and contacted me. We sold his house for $25K more than that, and he is walking away with WAY more money than if he would have done it himself.
Reason two is this: Those who make their living from the community are the community. From Realtors to restaurant owners, they sponsor sports teams and events, volunteer at many events, coach youth sports teams, serve on non-profit organization boards, chaperone school events, and generally support the entire community. And in turn, they require your support. There is no more generous individual than a successful business owner. But, they depend on the community to keep their doors open so they can provide outstanding service and quality products, and then in turn give back to the communities they serve.
Local businesses and business owners are the backbone of the cities and towns that we call home. Your support is viewed as the greatest honor and compliment that you could ever bestow upon us, and we live and work only to serve and serve well. I encourage you to think twice the next time you buy from a big box store, or decide to spend an entire weekend replacing the set of brakes on your wife’s car. There are businesses and professionals out there who are depending on you, and can provide incredible value for you in the form of extra time, money, and quality, expert service. And, at the end of the day, relationships are the only thing that truly matter. And there’s no better way to foster healthy relationships in a community than by supporting a local business, and thus empowering the entire community and creating opportunity for all!
Until next time ~ Tim Nelson | RE/MAX Affiliates | 715-529-0239