Fear and Failure

This thought came to mind when a client/customer whom I’ve worked with over a number of years decided to finally step forward and purchase a home today which I’m convinced, barring any life changing intervening circumstances, will be transformed in time to be a great long term investment.  Thank goodness there are still those few who aren’t afraid of taking chances.  Like one of my long deceased relatives used to say, “You’ll never get ahead carrying a lunchpail.”  The few times I’ve shared that saying, I nearly always get a questioning reply by saying something like, “What’s that supposed to mean?”  I don’t explain its meaning anymore, I just tell them to think about it and the meaning will come to them.

While visiting with another long-term client today, the subject of possible small businesses we’re lacking in and around our Historic Downtown.  Nearly all of them she mentioned made sense–especially with the Park Inn Hotel getting people from all near and far corners coming to spend a night or two.

What really made sense was to open a small confectionery/candy shop where everything is made on site.  Everyone likes homemade sweets, and with our hotel visitors, it would give them one more thing to remember about their stay in Mason City. You do know smells and tastes are remembered the longest.  Whether you like it our not, you still know what a rotten potato or dead mouse smells like.

Another great idea was to open a coffee/tea house offering a venue of free WiFi, comfortable seating, along light soups and sandwiches.  I still believe it was a mistake for Jitters to move out of distance to the Historic Downtown.  Most certainly I wish them the best, but I think their business would be better today if they would’ve re-located closer to our Cultural Crescent.

One thing I know for sure, is that if and when we have more high caliber Downtown apartments, all of our current empty storefronts will be filled with thriving commerce. I could name off-hand a dozen small businesses we’re lacking that would be great “fits” if only all of those many young entrepreneurs living in North Iowa would set aside their fears of failure and just do it.  Like the Field of Dreams, if we build business models that our City is lacking, they will come.

You can’t imagine how many times I’ve wished for a bistro or lunch counter to be within walking distance of my office, because I absolutely hate getting in my car and driving somewhere either down south or out west to pick up something at a drive-thru/take-away.  I still remember those simple yet tasty lunches I was served at the Bamboo Terrace.  It was light, quick, and reasonably priced.  Their soups were always welcome–especially on days like today.

I’ve got to stop talking about good food because I’m beginning to grow hungry.  I hope I’ve given you all a little “food” for creation.  And don’t forget, the two greatest of evil thoughts are fear and failure.

Joe Chodur

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