Are you new to a rural community? Are you trying to find your spark to ignite great opportunities?
Find your spark by learning how to step outside of your comfort zone. Even as a transplant, you can have the opportunity to become a respected and valuable member of your new community. And you can achieve great things within your new community.
How do I know this? Well, because not only have I seen proof of it in real time. I’ve lived it as well.
I grew up on the outskirts of a rural town of 300 people. Everyone knew everybody and it was a comfortable feeling. There’s a lot of pride in that rural community! Talk to me about how difficult it is to leave a comfortable environment where you know everyone has your back and move to a new place where you know hardly anyone.
So, when I left for college, I didn’t realize at the time how special my true rural hometown really is. Because the city just wasn’t for me. And I realized during my college years living in cities that rural living is where I wanted to spend my real life.
Living rural is one thing. But transplanting oneself from one rural community to another is a whole different experience. I followed my new husband three hours away to our new home and new adventure.
But transitioning hasn’t been easy. It has been a difficult adjustment for me. I went through a period where I was actually missing my old hometown. But, I just had to find my spark here. And after growing up rural, I new I had to step out and get myself involved in the community. People needed to find out who I was and what my strengths are.
Furthermore, I’ve definitely learned who my friends are and who they are not. I’ve learned who to associate myself with to thrive and grow as my own successful individual. And through all of my experiences, I’ve learned to bloom where I’m planted.
Finally, looking back on my experience, I can narrow down three ways I found my spark in my community.
3 Ways to Find Your Spark
1. Listen carefully to what people are saying. Just turn off all the sounds around you except for people talking. And pay attention. What are they talking about? What are they saying they need or what the community needs? Growing concerns? Maybe you’ll hear the next best suggestion needed to make the change the community needs.
2. Do things for others that will change their lives. If you focus only on agendas and events that help only you, people notice. But, if you strive to help others change their lives, they notice that more.
One thing about my old community with 300 people: You see most of those 300 people at every benefit, every fundraiser, every youth event just to be involved and help out their community and the people in it. You might inspire someone else to do the same. Now, how does that sound?
3. Associate yourselves with Kings and Queens! Absolutely! Kings and queens include mayors, school superintendents and principals, business owners, bankers, and much more. They usually make the majority of the decisions for the community. And they set the stage for the future of their communities as well.
Kings & Queens Are Just Like You & Me
First of all, these important community people are not scary or bigger than you. Because they are people just like you and me. I know because I grew up in a great community with great kingmakers.
So, in my hometown, I was a lifeguard at our tiny local pool during the summer. The mayor of the town actually came to check up on the swimming pool kids during the afternoon.
As a result, the mayor was my earliest memory of associating with a King maker of my community. And it was easy – Not scary! He was the mayor who gave the best candy to the kids on Halloween. He had a business in town. And he was sighted at every sporting event and around town every day. And the community followed in his leadership and caring nature.
Finally, Kings and Queens like the mayor care about members of their communities. They care about you. And they are great people to look up to and listen for important news and changes in the community. That’s the first skill you need to learn. You need to learn to listen to others.
First of all, open your ears and listen to others. Pay attention to the dynamics of your new community. You can only do this by listening to what is going on around you.
Finally, listen to what people are saying to know what people want. Not only does listening help you to become an important part of your community. But it also helps you to be a better business person as well because you can create what the people want. And that is powerful.
And by powerful, I mean life changing! So, that is how one becomes powerful. By listening, creating opportunities and changing peoples’ lives.
Then, Change Peoples’ Lives
If you change peoples’ lives, you will create a family for yourself in your community. You will create an amazing following to stand behind you. I’ve seen it happen over and over again in rural communities.
Find a way to create something that will change peoples’ lives. It needs to be genuine, authentic, and amazing. Probably nothing they can get anywhere else. Whether it’s opportunities, clubs, products, leadership, community activities, creating something for your community people that will help them will change their life and yours.
Hence, this will ignite your spark. And people will be coming to you for answers, so you’d better be ready.
Finally, Be Available
Yes, you need to be available and helpful. You can start by volunteering your time. Creating scenes where you are there and ready to help.
This is easy in rural communities because everyone comes out and helps. Serving unselfishly is contagious in rural communities. Consequently, unselfish serving and creative thinking is why rural communities continue to thrive.
So, put away the ego that tells you you’re too busy to help out. No one is too busy to serve in their community. And the more you serve, the more people will see you out and know you care. They will begin to come to you for advice and answers. The important Kings and Queens will want you to be on their important committees.
And you will be able to pick and choose which committees you sit on and relay your expertise. Slowly and slowly, your spark becomes ignited. But this is indeed the biggest picture.
Furthermore, people may not know who you are right now in your community. Kings and Queens may not know you. But they soon will as you find your spark. So, here’s how you can meet them and associate yourself with the most influential people in your new community to help you find your spark and ignite success.
How To Meet Kings & Queens?
How do you become associated with these important people when you’re a newbie? Easy! Get involved in community events that change other’s lives. It all ties in together and builds success.
So, I found my spark when I joined the YMCA and later became a group fitness instructor. Now, when I go in for my morning workouts, I’m running on the treadmill next to the economic development leader and lifting a barbell next to the local hospital’s anesthesiologist.
Furthermore, I’m changing people’s lives and volunteering at events for kids and families so I can be seen as someone to make a difference. Wow. So, the more I do get out and meet kings and queens, the people who can make more opportunities for me and others.
Consequently, it is so important to come together, especially in small town America that is growing smaller each and every day. But, when the people of small town America comes together, big things happen.
My original rural hometown of 300 people can put on a yearly event called Courtland Funday, which thousands of people come to enjoy. The weekend is loaded with events, local entertainment, friends, family, and good old hometown fun. I am always amazed at the number of people who flock to Courtland, Kansas – A town of one main street, no stop lights and just a few businesses.
Most of all, this is the wonderful community I have learned from. A community that has taught me how to lead, learn, and grow with just a few people. I’m bringing my skills learned with me to my new community where I can influence and help others.
Most Of All, Remember Where You Come From
And, I always remember the lessons I learned from the good small town community people: Do good for others, listen to each other, and it’s always who you know.
Because, there’s so many ways you can be creative and find your spark in your new community. First of all, listen to what is going on around you. Be active and involved in the community. Finally, volunteer to help others and be available to those people with whom you can make a difference. You’ll be surprised where you can find yourself as you find your spark.
Most of all, always remember where you find your spark. And remember who you learned from. And how you ignited it into something bigger that helped your community thrive.
LET ME KNOW HOW YOU FOUND YOUR SPARK IN YOUR NEW COMMUNITY
~ MUCH LOVE ~