There was a point in my life where we moved a lot. This meant new cities, new states and new surroundings… and new opportunities.
When you land in a new environment, there are basics that have to be figured out pretty fast: where to get groceries and gasoline, the restaurants you want to frequent, and how to get to work. In traveling to and from those places, I invariably saw little strip mall shops with interesting or curiosity-inducing names. These went on the back burner of my mind. One day, I want to see what that is all about.
When I lived in Florida, and my daughter was little, I instituted Adventure Day. We chose a place that we had never been to and went inside and look around. The only rule was that we had to buy at least one thing. We did this about once a month.
Adventure Day was how I discovered the culturally diverse shops in various neighborhoods. This was how I found out about little known restaurants, and the coffee shop that patronized Fair Trade products. It was how I found world craft boutiques and a storefront that sold nothing but paper by the pound. This is how you find the treasures that most people pass by every day.
What does this mean for you?
Now, as we rebuild our country, it will be small businesses leading the charge. They need their communities as much as the communities need them. By patronizing small businesses, you encourage the owners. You strengthen neighborhood ties.
Adventure Day is how we began understanding about marginalized American Diverse businesses and the communities that support them. By telling your friends about them through word of mouth, on social media, and whatever other means, you encourage small business entrepreneurs and help them succeed. All these years later, my daughter and I both have continued shopping at specialty stores whenever we can. We are lucky to have so many to choose from. Additionally, being adventurous helps erase division lines between us. It helps you see that “they” are “us.”
I’m on a quest this year. It’s The Summer of Fun and Adventure and I am busting out of the “big box” in a big way. What about you? What is the eclectic, unique and possibly new business in your neighborhood?
I encourage you to find and share more common ground, and encourage your fellow business owner.
What’s outside your comfort zone? Make it an Adventure Day destination. Double the fun and take somebody with you!
And please follow me this summer as we rediscover fun. I’d love to hear what you’re doing in your end of the world, so drop a line and let me hear from you.
See you next time!