Inspiring Lessons Learned From Small Town USA
Candor is located on Film Row, the up-and-coming district in OKC. But we don’t spend all of our time in hip and trendy spots. Candor represents multiple clients who have been expanding westward to rural Oklahoma. We’ve spent many hours in the land of cowboy boots and pie auctions, and we’ve learned a few things along the way.
I’m what some people call “city folk.” I am a type-A, on-the-go Millennial with my phone in one hand and coffee in the other. In rural areas, I’ve learned to slow the pace and focus on getting to know the people around me.
Asking questions and making conversation has become my favorite part of the job. Need to know about an event in Okarche? Ask the newspaper editor, and he’ll give you the history, the contact person and the best option for lunch afterward. Need to hold a meeting in Watonga? Call the Chamber of Commerce for a list of every event space and local caterer within 50 miles, photos and contact numbers included.
I’ve met reporters, principals, mayors, firefighters, landowners, rodeo coordinators and people from all walks of life.
These relationships are vital to Candor’s success, but they didn’t come through quick emails and cookie-cutter press releases. We took the time to send thank-you cards, learn about each town, ask for backstories and shake a few hands.
Relationships I’ve made through business became personal by simply taking the time to invest in others. Remembering details about an acquaintance or sending a congratulatory card hopefully makes me memorable and builds trust, which benefits both parties in the long run.
Maybe it’s time everyone takes a hint from people who live in other parts of the state or have different experiences. Not only do we benefit professionally, we grow personally and become more thoughtful and genuine neighbors.