Economic Gardening And Personal Finance

by Nicole · 3 comments

in Notes On Culture

I had breakfast this morning with Sheila, a friend and one of my former bosses, when we got to discussing business and the entrepreneurial attitude in general. She then mentioned the term economic gardening, which I had never heard of.

The idea was developed in Littleton Colorado in the 80s when one of the area’s largest employers left town, leading to increased unemployment and an important question for the economic development people in the community: What do we do now?

Before this, economic hunting, or recruiting big companies to come to an area and create jobs, was what was done. In this new era, Littleton issued the idea of economic gardening, or growing the jobs within the small businesses in the community. This became a big idea not just for Littleton but other communities across the United States.

Whether you have heard this term or not, it’s easy to understand that this idea is more important than ever. Beyond business and economic development, it can be seen in personal finance and people’s budgets on an individual or family basis. People are growing their own jobs, saving small amounts of cash consistently, and otherwise thinking small moving towards big rather than having something big just show up.

Growing is harder work but in many ways, much more empowering. With growth, someday you will have what you are working towards versus hunting where you may never find it. In uncertain times, who wants to leave things to chance?

I think if you are reading this job, you are already economically gardening in your own life (or at least thinking about it).  An isn’t it nice to know you can go on starting your financial life rather than wishing for your economic ‘prince charming’ (in the form of a perfect job or some sweepstakes to knocking on your front door with a big fat check)?

So whether you’re a business person or not, I thought this was a fun concept to know about. So what are you growing economically?


1 Chris Hooper June 11, 2010

"With growth, someday you will have what you are working towards versus hunting where you may never find it."

I wish I had this rebuttal up my sleeve when I was talking to a colleague about entering the lotto. Lotto isn't even like hunting though, it's more like throwing a spear in any general direction, and hoping it hits something.

I digress. Great blog, and interesting concept.

2 Kelly June 12, 2010

I think this represents a lot of the appeal of consulting for me- it's a chance to grow and expand my 'economic garden' (thanks for the fancy term to toss around!), and gives me a lot of job satisfaction as well.

3 Skye June 13, 2010

I think Chris's spear analogy is the best I've ever heard for the lottery.

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