You and I have within us the creative intelligence to recognize the conditions of existence that support our growth and we what the wherewithal to place ourselves in such an environment. ~ Stewart Emery
If you’ve never lived in a place that seemed inhospitable and incompatible with your dreams, you probably have no idea how soul-squashing that can be. Emotional well-being, creativity and the ability to spot opportunities are all hampered when our environment is out of sync with our goals.
Staying in such a place can be an act of self-sabotage.
In The Little Money Bible, Stuart Wilde talks about closing the gap between where you are and where you want to be. He says: “Certain industries are located in certain places in the world. If you’re a long way from where the action is, you may want to consider closing the gap.
“For example, if you want to make it big in movies, you’ve more or less got to be in New York or Los Angeles. Closing the physical distance is a matter of showing up in the marketplace, becoming a face that people know, demonstrating your expertise, and getting into the loop where the movers and shakers are.
“People who could bestow great opportunities on you aren’t scouring the distant hills for talent. They’re in the flow.”
Living in a place that you love is one of the genuine rewards of being self-employed—and it’s not always a city that draws those who work for themselves.
I first noticed this trend among mail order entrepreneurs who frequently seemed to flee urban areas in order to live in quiet, scenic environments.
Gary Comer was a billionaire who frequently showed up on lists of the wealthiest Americans. There’s a good chance that you’ve never heard of him, but he’s a perfect example of what I’m talking about.
Comer started a little mail order company in a garage in Chicago, but once he got a glimpse of the real potential for his business, he relocated it to a rural area of southern Wisconsin. It was there that he built the powerhouse known as Lands’ End.
Why Dodgeville, Wisconsin? Here’s what Comer said about that: “The main reason we are here is that I fell in love with the gently rolling hills and woods and cornfields and being able to see the changing seasons. And then we found that along with all that nature had to offer us, we came to know what a remarkable group of people we were joining with in the community.
“It’s a farm community, and our fellow workers were the sons and daughters of farmers and their families included a fine bunch of kids. We quickly found that they are the kind of people who get up mighty early in the morning, because they may have a cow or two to milk before coming to work. When we first came here, we started small. But the business and the community have been good to us.”
Once you’ve determined what you love most, it seems logical and prudent to do it in a place that you love—and that loves you back. While our personal location may also be determined by demands of our businesses or families, it’s important to remember that we’re living in a new world where technology makes options available to us that were unheard of a few years ago.
You can plunk yourself down on the western slopes of Colorado or in an Alpine village and run an international consultancy. You could follow the lead of the couple who opened a virtual art gallery from their island home near Vancouver.
Perhaps dividing your time, as writer Julia Cameron does, between lively New York City and funky Santa Fe is more your style.
Or maybe your perfect World Headquarters has wheels.
Where you choose to grow your dreams should be as consciously chosen as the dreams themselves. Sometimes a dream that’s not growing needs to be transplanted to more fertile soil. The freedom and willingness to do that is a reward worth cultivating.