The Color of Success – Skate across America Day 32

November 4, 2010



Total Distance for today: 0
Total Distance for Trip: approx. 233 miles
LOCATION: Fowlerville, MI
STATUS: Briefly in Michigan for a meeting at the Mayor’s Office in Detroit about the Entrepreneurial Academy


We had our meeting with the Mayor’s Group Planning Executive, Carla Henderson, in Detroit, today. It was interesting, because we were jumping without being sure what to expect. We came with what we had: ideas for revitalizing a City desperately in need of ideas, a presentation, and a business plan. At first, I started to present our plan, just as planned, but we learned fairly quickly that our most important task here was to learn, not to teach! We were correct: Detroit needs ideas like ours, and it needs them from all kinds of people, organizations, and initiatives.


We had the opportunity to get a clearer understanding of the intense innovation and entrepreneurial activity that is already rocking the city! This was not disappointing to hear! I don’t believe in competition in most situations: Typically, the fact that someone else is already trying to implement some of your ideas is evidence that they truly are needed! That is the case in the City of Detroit, where the Mayor, Carla Henderson, and their team have organized the “Detroit Works Project.” This projects goal is serve as a creative and innovative blueprint for the future of the city, and it is ripe with entrepreneurial energy!


Our primary success in this meeting was to learn the name of the person who needs to be our “go to guy” for our work in Detroit: Phillip Cooley. He’s a young man with an absurd amount of energy and passion for the revitalization of Detroit. He co-chairs the advisory task force (along with four others) to the Mayor and Carla Henderson. Basically, we believe that getting him on board with our project as the key to integrating into the already considerable effort to innovate, revitalize, and recreate Detroit. Carla Henderson has offered to make the introduction!


Moral of the story? We came in with the intention of getting a meeting with Mayor Bing, but we ended up with an introduction to the person who will help us to get this thing moving on the ground level. Success will not always look the way you think it is supposed to look. Just be sure that you don’t miss it because you thought it should look differently!


By the way: Tomorrow, I speak to the students at Smith Elementary School in Fowlerville before heading back to Baltimore to continue the skate. I here they’re pretty excited!

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