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You Can't Count on a City

While perusing PostSecret yesterday, this postcard caught my eye, mainly because it's from the city I call home:

Lots of people have been showing up in Nashville for years, just as they do in Los Angeles or New York, hoping that the particular infrastructure and industries in a city will help guide them to fame and fortune (and hopefully, fulfillment). 

And while certain cities do have history or geography on their sides that then lead to rises in particular lines of work (opening a ski resort is easier in Salt Lake City than Miami, for example), a city itself is neither responsible for your success or your failure.

Coincidentally, just last week while preparing an update for Batch investors, I wrote the following line:

The city matters.

I then unpacked these three words showcasing the characteristics a city must embody if Batch is to do pleasantly well there. Am I contradicting myself?

Hardly. In that same report, I also detailed how much people matter for our company. A lot of time and detail this year have been spent on finding the right folks for our team and then offering them support and encouragement. So yes; a city matters. But not as much as people do.

Not as much as you do.

If you're heading to LA to be in movies, Silicon Valley to be in tech, one of the Dakotas to be in natural resources, or Atlanta to be in traffic, that's a fine first step. But all of that moving around will be useless if you, too, aren't ready to work.

No one is at the airport in Nashville handing out recording contracts. No one is at the Lincoln Tunnel passing out jobs in finance or media. You should only move to a new city if you're willing to put in the hard work after you move.

A city is not wholly responsible for your future.

You know who or what else isn't?

  • Your parents
  • Your friends
  • Your disabilities
  • Your transcript
  • Your pedigree
  • Your past

Now that you've been freed from relying on something other than yourself when it comes to your future success, take a moment to focus and plan your work. The next step isn't to find a city and pack a truck. The next step is to get to work.

(It's like the next 100 steps, by the way.)

Sam DavidsonComment