I learned recently that a particular local publication will not write about my company’s success because I used to be a freelance writer who contributed to that publication. One editor there has decided that it is a conflict of interest.
I respect the editor’s journalistic integrity, truly I do. And yet it appears to be unnecessary and arbitrary. Because if we are truly dedicated to rebuilding Michigan and seeing our local economy once again thrive, then I believe we all ought to support one another and celebrate the success stories of individuals who reinvent themselves.
We have no shortage of dismal stories to tell – companies closing, bankruptcies, stores standing vacant on streets and downtowns known for decades for upscale spending. People out of work. Families floundering. Homes lost to foreclosure and nowhere for a couple or family to turn.
I am certain this editor would write about me if, God Forbid, I had tanked as a journalist and lost my family home and ended up on the street. That’s news? Not in my book. And thankfully it didn’t happen.
While I was a journalist for 15 years, I always cringed to read story after story devoted to the sadness, the devastation, the scandal and the corruption, for I am and always be an idealist who believes in silver linings and sunlight on dark days.
In any economy, I am grateful to my clients for the interesting, challenging work they give me and my employees. I am grateful to my parents for encouraging me to strike out on not one, but two entrepreneurial paths. I’m grateful, too, that the same editor will write about my interesting and innovative clients when they do newsworthy things.
And I am grateful for my perspective: that there is room for everyone, that there is enough business to go around, that competition is healthy but meanness is not, and that all it takes to succeed is try, try, try something new and keep trying new things all the days of your life.
I’m all for putting my hands in the dirt and doing whatever it takes to make it. If that isn’t a great story, I don’t know what is.