How do you relate to a new person? You might choose to be defensive. After all, there are some bad eggs out there. There is a certain logic to keeping unknown people at arm’s length. It’s safe.
Personally, I tend to view new people as potential friends or partners. My philosophy is that there are a lot more good people out there than bad. If I am open and welcoming I might befriend a few turkeys, but I’ll come out far ahead in the long run. I apply this to my business, and it has led me to new friendships as well as new opportunities.
So it should come as no surprise that I maintain this same view of the world when I put on my Santa Paula Chamber hat. I have made it my job to lean forward, and embrace entrepreneurs looking to create a business in our town. So far I have not been disappointed. Some great businesses have opened this year, and we are all better off because they did. More new businesses are on their way. Am I worried that a business might come to town that might turn out to be a detriment?
There are a lot more business out there I’d welcome to town than those I’d turn away. With the odds in my favor, I want all the new businesses we can get. Some may be a poor fit for the community, some may fail… but one will be our next business of the year. One will be the Limoneira for the next century. We won’t know who it will be when they arrive. But I hope we greet them with open arms.