My friend Deb Brown has a serendipity story for us. She is the director of the chamber of commerce in Webster City, Iowa. She’s going to tell you how she makes serendipity happen.
By Deb Brown
Last Tuesday I was in Kansas City and talking to a fellow about maker spaces. Maker spaces are where people can come together and take ideas and create things. Follow along – I’m going somewhere here.
Friday a young man walked into my office at the Chamber of Commerce because he heard it was the place to come learn about things. He’s an engineer that moved here a year ago to follow a job with the local foundry. And oh, he and his friends own a 3D printer back home, and he’s looking for a maker space here where he could do something.
Saturday my friend and I had breakfast at the local Hy-Vee because it was Farm to Fork 99 Cent buffet, and I sat with the coffee boys, and we talked about Doodle Bugs (scooters). They were originally built in the 1940’s. Doodle Bug Club members have a reunion every year here in Webster City. They need parts made for their Doodle Bugs. My friend said too bad we don’t have a maker space where they could help make them parts.
Still with me? Is your brain working like mine? Hold on, it gets better.
Monday we had a town hall meeting, and lots of things were talked about. One young lady shared that she wanted our town to be the kind of town that welcomed families and businesses that encouraged maker spaces that could start rolling out new businesses from ideas created there.
Today I had a couple stop in my office looking for a building. To start a museum. We talked, and they liked the idea of including a maker space in the building.
In one week’s time that was a whole lot of serendipity. How did that happen? Getting out and talking to people, finding out what they are interested in, what things they are working on, what makes them excited. Listening to stories from other communities to see what kind of cool things they are doing. Making yourself available for conversations, letting it be known you want to hear what people are doing.
Now the next step – connecting these people. Serendipity only works if you add the hard work and connect the players to each other.
- About the Author
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Deb Brown comes from a farm outside of Geneva, Iowa, population 141. Her heart lies in sharing the possibilities for small towns. Deb travels a lot, taking back roads when possible, and talking to the locals, sharing stories of other small towns and encouraging anyone who will listen. She’s the co-founder of www.saveyour.town and owner of Building Possibility.