Monday, January 12, 2009

The First Few Steps

Setting the bar low is a problem--except in a limbo contest. The problem with low goals are that they are too easily attained. A real vision does not confuse baby steps with giant steps.

Some three weeks ago, when I created the Made in Michigan Facebook group, I set a few goals. I knew that this was a good idea. The problem with my vision was that this is the greatest idea and the timing is right. I didn't fully recognize what was in my hands. I wasn't wrong, but rather a lower level of right. The goal was for the group to be 500 people strong by March 1, 2009. My eyes were open but that's not vision considering we went 500 strong this morning at exactly 9:00 am. We were then supposed to have 1,000 guests by June 1, 2009. The eraser is already in my hand. I fell forward not backward. I'm setting new!

At 500 members, we've already grabbed the attention of a few major food retailers and manufacturers. At 5,000 members, our dance card starts to get pretty full. At 50,000 members, real change is occuring and Lansing starts to notice. At 5,000,000 members, the state of Michigan has pulled as together, as a majority, and we make head way out of a recession.

Facebook has allowed us to get started. I'm amazed at how quickly people will become part of groups such as "1,000,000 People United Who Like Cheese Pizza" or "I Bet I Can Find 1,000,000 People Who Like Breathing." From the mundane to the magnificant, it's all there. Our Facebook page is just the first step. Made in Michigan is taking the next step today.

It's not a fad. It's common sense. Common sense is free but if not properly exercised it can be costly. It's the way it should always be--in times of recession and boom. You've witnessed the frustration of American companies sending their operations to other states and overseas. Then it should be easy to draw the line when it comes to Michigan businesses. Loyalties should be given to those who stand loyal to us. It's purchasing dollars that will tell the story of your loyalty. Being part of the Made in Michgan movement is also free. You are already part of it and as long as you live here, you will always be part of it.

Made in Michigan is taking it's first steps in reconnecting the relationships between consumer, producer, and retailer. We're going to be hosting Michigan product fairs inside grocery stores around the state. We're going to introduce you to both new and familiar Michigan made products. Further, we're telling retailers to step up awareness of Michigan made products. Also, we're asking the producers to focus on competitive pricing without sacrificing product quality. Our initial efforts will be in the retail food industry, then on to the retail service industry and on to heavy manufacturing. We anticipate hosting regional and state-wide product expos uniting all three retail groups under one roof. It's going to be huge!

Take your first step. Visit our Facebook page often and watch for big changes. Read the blog. Refer us to your friends, neighbors, and coworkers. There is never a fee, no membership dues, or even secret handshakes. Your next trip to the grocery store, spend just $10 on Michigan made products. That purchase is your oath.

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