Thursday, February 2, 2017

I Believe in Peoria

As the area received news this week that Caterpillar is moving their corporate headquarters out of Peoria, the anger and frustration was palpable. I'll admit, even I groaned at the thought of Peoria losing 300 of it's most highly paid workers. 

Then I remembered... so what?
CAT isn't my provider. It isn't yours either (and never was).

God doesn't need CAT to prosper us... just because that's one of the resources He's used so far, that doesn't mean we can't live without it. Peoria doesn't have to be the next Detroit.

This morning I represented Hire A Housewife in a room filled with 30 successful small business owners as part of I've Decided ( We sat in a huge circle and talked about who we are and what we do before discussing what we are doing to be community difference makers. And that's when I realized what people in Peoria and surrounding areas need to see. Part of the reason Peoria will succeed is sitting right here in this room with me! We are Peoria.

Individually, we are the small business owners who pour our blood, sweat, and tears into our ventures, often putting our core values ahead of our bottom line because we want to make a difference. We have vision, passion, and are constantly striving for excellence in what we do... not just to be the best small business, but in order to be here for our clients and our community for a very long time.

Together, we are the small business community, a tightly woven network of dedicated entrepreneurs and business owners who work together, building each other up and holding each other accountable, as well as teaching and learning from one another, creating an unbreakable foundation of support for this area.

The astounding thing is that these 30 people from I've Decided are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the amazing framework of business and leadership we have in Peoria. There are so many other great individuals, businesses, and networks intent on improving and sustaining Peoria for the future.

Remember, I said they are part of the reason that Peoria will thrive. Peoria is more than just them. And, while it is true that we also have our government, our leaders, and our other corporate entities, they are not all that make up Peoria either. I'm talking about you.

You are Peoria. 

It doesn't matter where you live in the Greater Peoria Area. It doesn't matter what you do for a living. It doesn't matter what your political or religious beliefs are.

You are Peoria.

I know what you are thinking...

"But I'm just one person. How can I help keep Peoria alive?"

First, when someone says something about the death of Peoria to you... you can speak life! Know that it doesn't have to be that way. Know that there is a foundation of entrepreneurship and small business in Peoria that is still strong. Remind them of that. We have the power of life and death in our tongues! Choose your words wisely.

Second, support Peoria purposefully. If you believe in Peoria and the surrounding communities, spend your money here! Amazon may be quick and easy, but it doesn't employ your next door neighbor. Netflix doesn't send volunteers to your child's school. VistaPrint didn't donate to your friend's fundraiser last year.

Third, refuse to be a victim. Stop focusing on what has been done to you and what might happen in the future. Focus on what you can do today to make life better... for you and for the rest of Peoria. When you accept that you have the ability to create change, you open up a whole new world to yourself.

We have the ability to dust ourselves off and keep moving forward, despite the naysayers.

So, what am I saying when I say that I believe in Peoria?

I'm saying you are Peoria.

I'm saying I believe in YOU.

Peoria, you can do this.


Death and life are in the power of the tongue.
Proverbs 18:21