And I’m Becky McCray.
We believe small towns can be saved — including yours.
Small towns thrive when they set themselves apart. We’ve joined forces to show you practical steps to help you shape a brighter future for your small town.
Change Agents from the Old Way to the New Way
In the old way, you’ve got:
- A formal structure
- Someone must be in control
- Just a few old guys
- You’ve got to make decisions
- Meetings, meetings, meetings.
- And they are often held in back rooms and closed to most people.
- Each thing you do has to be big.
- Very little action, mostly talk talk talk.
- Failure is bad.
Most of us know about the old way. In fact, a lot of our towns are still living under the old way structure. We work in organizations that require we have a board, or someone in charge. There are schedules to follow, and meetings to attend. At each one of those meetings, decisions are made and ideas are narrowed down to the one good one. We don’t talk about failure. The projects we do are of such a large scale, that failure is not an option. And if it does fail, you can bet we find someone to blame (and it’s not us).
The new way is the future and the future is now. In this way, you’ve got:
- Informal gatherings
- Chaos is good, it brings lots of ideas with it.
- There are many people involved.
- We test out ideas, build them and learn from the ones that don’t work.
- We are connected to each other, and keep building new connections.
- There are many small steps and lots of action.
It’s a challenge to convert to the new way. There’s a lot of us somewhere in the middle. Doing things, the old way, and trying out a few things in the new way.
Our goal at SaveYour.Town is to help you effectively transition to the new way.
We will be your Change Agents. We are not the experts on small towns, we are the experts FOR small towns, including yours. You’ll hear lots of stories of small towns doing things the new way. It’s going to feel weird and strange, and yet somehow right. You’ll slip back into the old way once and awhile (I know I did). You’ll find out people you thought were in the future track are really a part of the committee of negativity. You’ll find people in your crowd who you never expected to be there.
John F. Kennedy said it well: Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.
Why are we called Save Your Town?
Because that is what you are going to do, save your town. No one is coming to do it for you. No factory or big business is going to save you. No outside expert has the one right answer. It’s you. You are going to shift a few key behaviors away from bureaucracy and officials and toward the people. You’ll let go of old formal rules and organizations in order to empower everyone to play a small but meaningful role. You’ll focus more on tiny experiments by lots of people rather than a few big bets made by only a handful of official leaders. You’ll welcome all ideas, from all the people in your town. That’s who’s coming to save your town: all of you.
Deb grew up on a farm outside of Geneva, Iowa, population 141. Her first entrepreneurial venture was raising a hog. You’d find her either with her nose in a history book or out exploring abandoned houses and buildings. Funny, things haven’t changed much, she’s still working on filling empty buildings in small towns.
A wealth of experience includes foreign casualty insurance underwriting, bartending, managing internet stores and luggage stores, selling knives, leading a chamber and working with small towns. Deb has lived in tiny towns, small towns, small cities and a major metro city. Yet, she’s come home to a small town and travels to many others to help. Deb is a relentless optimist and knows how to build possibility in your small town. Better yet, she inspires you to take small steps towards a brighter future for your community.
- Invite Deb to speak at your next event or to visit your town
- Review Deb’s newsletters from the past year
- Read Deb’s latest at Building Possibility or her archive of good stuff at Need a Little Advice
- Join Deb on Twitter, Facebook or Pinterest
Becky McCray believes small towns have a future. She watches the global trends in the economy, technology and society, then she delivers practical steps rural people can implement right now to shape the future of their town. Her advice is based on her real world experience as a retail store owner and cattle rancher. She makes her home in Hopeton, Oklahoma, a town of 30 people. She doesn’t just talk about rural issues; she lives them.
- Invite Becky to speak at your next event or to visit your town
- Review Becky’s newsletters from the past year
- Read Becky’s articles at Small Biz Survival
- Join Becky on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook
Together, we’re teaching you specific ways to make your small town a better place. We’re creating the courses, toolkits and online communities that will help you learn, grow and take action.
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