See what kind of events are happening at a local level. Explore all aspects of your community. Don’t just go to events that are directly connected to you or your career. Go to ones that are a bit out of your element. You might find someone who is in need of your expertise, and you’ll be exploited for your talent, since everyone else in your field is busy sitting at home waiting for the next “applicable” event.
Not just at larger venues, but at smaller, more intimate venues as well. Everyone’s got something that they’re good at, but sometimes they don’t have the motivation to follow through. Next time you see someone who’s doing a great job at what they do, approach them and give them your praise. Then, find out what you can do to help them out. Next thing you know, they’ll have a connection that will help you out.
In your peripherals. Always be on the lookout for something new, or a place that could use a boost. Next time you want to host an event, celebrate your birthday, or go out to dinner, etc., try to use one of these businesses. It will not only show how connected and invested you are with your city to those you invite, but the business will be grateful. Get to know the Owner’s history as well as the story behind the spot. Detroit’s history is fascinating, but the history of a Detroiter is sometimes even more so.
One day they’ll be running things, creating things, or destroying things. The local Youth have a lot to offer, and are more often than not taken for granted or underestimated. Go to schools and see if they need volunteers for after school programs. Set up your own after school programs to teach valuable skills to them. Don’t just discount them because they’re young. There’s plenty of youngsters out there in the world that can do incredible things, if only we’d let them. Continue to encourage them and let them explore who they are and what they can do to change the world.
Because it can be a scary thing. You can work your entire life toward something that you believe in, and when the opportunity arrives to turn that dream into an actual possibility, some people become paralyzed. Don’t let the fear of success hold you down. Not many people are given a break, so seize the opportunities to spread your message as much as you can. The more you network successfully, the more opportunities will arise. Many people say, “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” Those people obviously followed this guide.
Photography by Khaaliq Thomas