You Can't

a story from Tim Storm, Founder of FatWallet.com. 

August 5, 2017

In my time operating FatWallet.com at the facility in Rockton, IL we would host community events as a way of spreading the FatWallet love around and hoping that it would spread. (it did)

One of these events was to host an event for the Rockton Chamber of Commerce. The idea was that we would throw down some food and drink, I’d give a talk about FatWallet, I’d do some Q&A and then we would give some tours of our space. I recall expecting something like 30 minutes for my talk and Q&A before doing the tours. If I recall correctly, we ended up going for nearly two and a half hours. 

But there was one moment in the night where I was asked a question that I wasn’t prepared for.

The question - “What can we do to encourage more businesses like yours to move here to our area?”

Now I can go on about entrepreneurship, share battle stories and the like, but this is the only question of the night that I didn’t know the answer before it was asked.

This was an important question and deserved the best answer I could give. 

I stopped myself from talking. I closed my eyes. I put my hands together and raised them to my chin as I thought about the question silently. Not a sound in the room. Just me. Thinking.

As the answer came to me, I recognized the silence in me and just soaked it in. I waited for a few more moments and then answered.

“You can’t.”

The room deflated a bit.

“BUT! You can grow them. You can make sure that you are doing the things that will foster a business idea to turn in to a business. Make sure the infrastructure is there to support them. Make sure the internet is good. Make sure that there are quality education opportunities. Support the businesses that want to make it work. Let them grow and don’t get in their way.”

I never would have moved my business to Rockton, IL if I hadn’t grown up in the area. I grew up following along to my big sister’s ice skating lessons at the Wagon Wheel Ice Palace - the very place where I had built a 30,000 sqft Class A Office space. In fact, we found the buried cement floor of the ice palace the day we broke ground for the building.

That 30,000 sqft office space has been sitting empty for too long. Magic happens there. It needs to happen again.

Let’s do some growing, shall we?

RockTek.Works will be opening for business very soon. Drop me a note if you'd like to be a part of it. It'll be special.