“You ask any actor—they’ll tell you they’d rather shoot on location because you don’t have to invent the energy, the energy is there.”
Several years ago I was doing a seminar where a young man in the front of the room kept saying, “That won’t work in my town because [take your pick]…It’s too small, too conservative, too many sign laws, bad zoning, not enough traffic, no good retail locations available…”
After my usual spiel on “Why most towns really aren’t that different” (THEY ARE NOT.) I finally gave up and said, “For $99 Greyhound will take you anywhere you want to go!” (Which was a popular ad campaign at the time.) Everyone but him laughed.
While you may think this answer is a little trite, nasty, or obvious, believe me it is not. Many people simply do not consider the simple answers to their own problems because they place a great many mental constraints on their thinking.
“I can’t do that because …[take your pick once more]… I grew up here, my friends are here, I like it here, my parents are here, I have family here, I know everyone here.”
If you run the only coffee shop in a town of 1200 people, it may well be better than being one of ten coffee shops in a town of 50,000, but it’s not nearly as good as being the only coffee shop in a town of 10,000 people.
When I opened my second karate school, I was the ONLY karate school in an affluent town of 60,000 people. When I sold my karate school I was one of 23 schools and recreation center programs in the same town! Unless the market demand grew by 2000 plus percent, (it didn’t) something had to give.
I was still the best school in town, and likely the most profitable, but business was getting much harder to acquire and would only have gotten worse. Even if I had wanted to stay in the karate business at the time, it would have made far more sense to sell that school and open somewhere else.
I am constantly amazed by the number of people unwilling to change locations to massively increase their opportunities for success, and by the number of people who expect the status quo to be maintained despite a massive increase in competition.
Even if you are not in any type of retail business, the location question can still raise a number of important issues. For instance, are you in the right part of the country? As a rule, in America, the South is a far cheaper place from which to operate a business than the North or the West. The middle states like Texas, Oklahoma, and Missouri are the perfect place to locate a business that ships nationwide. And the prospect of living a better lifestyle in the sun can attract workers to take slightly less pay in return for better weather and living conditions in places like Florida.
This country is a large and wonderful place. If you can’t make a living doing what you want in one area, move closer to the major city in your state. Better still, move to a fast-growing area in the Sunbelt—like Nevada, Texas, Florida, or California. There is no reason on earth why you can’t do it, other than your own lack of desire.
It was this very location factor that a decade ago convinced me to move my business from California to Florida. The result was an immediate improvement in shipping time to my clients, since 90% of them were East of the Mississippi, decreased phone costs, and the beauty of no state taxes. As soon as my lease ran out in California, I rented a new office in Florida that cost $20,000 a year less. I bought a bigger house for the same money and generally improved my business and my life with the simple decision to relocate. While that’s a step not everyone wants to take, it is something to consider.
You have to be willing to move where the opportunity is. Fish where the fish are and the other fishermen aren’t.
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