In the past few months, something has become clear to many of us: what matters most are those around us. Conversely, what matters least are those distant who care the least—specifically large, impersonal corporations.
Right now, it’s those corporations that are raking in the profits. You’ve probably read reports that Amazon founder Jeff Bezos is on track to become the world’s first trillionaire. Trillionaire. If he were to share that equally with all his employees, he could give them each $1.25 million. He could make every employee an instant millionaire. By the end of the day he’d make another $200 million.
How much does your neighbour earn? The school bus driver? The cashier at the grocery store? Your yoga instructor? The nurse at the community health center who weighed your babies and ensured they were healthy? These are the people that matter most—the people in my network and in your network.
It’s time to choose sides.
Our communities, our neighbourhoods, and our lovely city provide us with everything we need. And since we went into a virtual lockdown in March, we’ve really experienced how important the people around us really are. We can do without a massive corporation making money off impulse purchases. We cannot do without the people in our network.
It’s time to become mindful about who we are supporting. We must lock into our network with pride, loyalty, and dollars.
Even if we supported our local businesses with no benefit to ourselves, it would be the right thing to do. But our network gives so much more back to us than what we give individually. Sure, we’re more aware of all the generosity in our community during the past few months, but it’s always been there. Maybe we’ve even taken our local businesses for granted, just assuming they’ll always be there. Now the risk of losing some of them is very real.
You won’t be shocked if I tell you that Mr. Bezos will never see you on the street and ask if you’re doing OK. He won’t offer to pick up your groceries or your prescriptions. He won’t keep an eye on your house when you’re away or shovel the sidewalk in front of your house after it snows. That’s no type of judgement about what type of person he is. It’s simply because he is not in your network.
Our local businesses are in your network—and mine. They’ll look out for us, so let’s look out for them. I absolutely understand that there are often price differences when it comes to supporting local businesses. Whenever you can, however you can, pay the price. It will always come back to you and your community.
If you know of a local individual offering a product or service, spread the word! Help to connect them to your network, and keep your eyes and ears open for those around you that you can add to your network. A growing network is a powerful thing!
Over the decades, I’ve built my business because of networking. Yes, I’ve travelled far and wide, so I have a pretty big ‘general’ network. But the people that have enriched my life the most are those who are local. I see them, they see me, and we really are getting through this together.
So please, from today on, be mindful of which side you’re on. Choose to support local people and businesses. Let’s take care of our network and thrive together as our network takes care of us in return.
Please consider passing this around to your network and associates.