What Can We Learn from Jesus, Ryan Adams and the Implications for the Triangle?

Surprised by the title I bet…but it was inspired out of two recent encounters with local entrepreneurs. They both threw out the Jesus reference…the Ryan Adams one is mine.

Whiskeytown Album Cover

Often you can’t get a speaking gig or a meeting in your hometown, but if someone from the outside comes in, somehow they have instant credibility. It happens all the time. That seems so irrational to me.

Doesn’t it seem logical that you would at least consider someone who shares your physical community? Doesn’t it behoove us, to support local talent so the whole community thrives.

So what does this have to do with Jesus or Ryan Adams?

This same scenario happened to both people:

  • Jesus tried to teach in his hometown Nazareth, and the whole town rejected him, so he had to go elsewhere. (It’s true, I had to look it up since it has been a while since my Sunday School days.)
  • Ryan Adams used to be in an amazing local band called Whiskeytown, playing small local music venues around town, but he had to abandon his hometown to find success and fame elsewhere (NYC).

My point is just a request to consider local talent, companies and the jewels in the rough here. Instead of always having the same old same old speakers or the ones outside the market, look within. Instead of investing only in B2B tech startups, consider consumer or life sciences too. A service provider business owner is still an entrepreneur. Tech or product startups can’t do very much if they didn’t have a lawyer, accountant or marketing firm to help them.

Let’s not lose amazing people to other markets. Many of our most successful entrepreneurs here in the Triangle have left to go to Silicon Valley or other places because they were not supported here. Only returning after they have made their fame elsewhere and only now the Triangle recognizes their clout or talent.

Let’s strive to create an open, supportive and inclusive community. That type of place will be a beacon for talent and success to come here now and forever. That is a differentiator strategy for this region to embrace in order to compete in the global marketplace. That is the place I want to call home.

About the author

Melissa Kennedy

I am an innovative, practical problem-solver with an MBA. Pioneered one of the first social media strategic plans for a Fortune 100 company, including monthly online TV program viewed by 120,000 customers. Created a scalable channel marketing service model and established a new customer communication channel through partner web syndication. Developed marketing plan for start-up technology firm. Launched first comprehensive marketing campaign for major science and technology university's $1 Billion fund-raising effort. Award-winning performance for 15 years across functions, industries and organizations.

My passion for results goes beyond professional pursuits. I am a global facilitator and co-organizer of Startup Weekends and serve as an advocate and volunteer for many local charities including Food Bank of Central/Eastern NC, North Carolina International Affairs Council and Connected Women of North Carolina. Plus, I have served as the President for the Triangle Interactive Marketing Association,

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