I consider myself a real writer and real writers don’t write social media or use buzz words like “organic”, “drill down”, and “synergy”.  For me, anything trendy is akin to ipecac—vomit inducing.  I worked hard in University; I studied the classics and the canonized.  Real writers conform to literary devices and genre formulas.  I taught my children neat, proper English and when they were small, we enjoyed reading novels like Tom SawyerThe War of the Worlds, and The Wizard of Oz.

And then…they grew up and became owners of the cell phone.  I received text messages with letters like:  BRB, BTW, NO PROBS, and OMW, and I would stare wide-eyed at my screen.  What was this horrible new form of communication?   Their language wasn’t even language and so I made the decision to become an ‘urban diction’ snob.  I did not approve of this linguistic de-evolution…this millennial speak…

We, the team at Everything Olds, are offering a series of webinars, hosted by a community business person, every 2nd and 4th Tuesday of each month. To promote the interesting and engaging business building webinars, I decided to write a blog; but before I write anything, I research.

The webinars are produced and delivered by Roger Brooks, a “top-rated speaker in North America on the subjects of tourism and downtowns.”  So, why am I sharing this information?  Well, when I decided to write about the webinars, I wasn’t sure why or how Roger Brooks was relevant to our community, particularly for our local businesses.  I saw him like the “urban diction” for which I have such disdain.  I love Olds.  I love Uptowne.  I shop local.  What’s to fix?  We have an amazing Uptowne Olds group that has made strides in continuing to grow and promote our local businesses.

But then I thought, why not Roger Brooks?  We can always educate ourselves.  We can listen and learn from others.  We don’t want to take away from our own progress, but we can add to it.  And further to this, I thought about my own snobbery and so I re-examined my dedication to despising the gross urban diction.  I can keep the language I love, but I can also add to it.  I can stay ‘woke’.  After all, we aren’t speaking Middle English anymore and I’m sure Chaucer is okay with that.

Like language, business evolves, and to stay relevant, we must evolve with it.  We must continue to learn.  We are a stubborn species. We want to learn, we want to progress, we want to move forward.  But sometimes we get stuck in what we already know; what already works.  Sometimes status-quo overrules the desire to keep learning.

I have expanded my vocabulary and I regularly refer to the Urban Dictionary for these new words I am using. But honestly, some of them are weird and I still won’t use them….baby steps.

If you would like to participate in the Roger Brooks webinars, we welcome you.  Please email me dmartens@oldsinstitute.com or call me at:  403-556-1105 to register.  There is no cost to attend.  The webinars are hosted at Everything Olds and start at 7:00 pm….btw.

Coming up:

February 13, 2018 – Is Your Downtown Open After 6 PM?

Seventy percent of all consumer retail spending now takes place after 6:00 pm. Are you open? One of the primary reasons downtowns are dying is because most downtown retailers close between 5:00 and 6:00 pm, sending local residents – and visitors – to other destinations.

February 27, 2018 – Parking is Not Just for Lovers

Roger teaches the 10 things to know and do about downtown parking. This webinar is a doozy – and an eye opener! Parking should be an economic development tool and should not be considered a general fund revenue source! That doesn’t mean, however, that it should be free.

If you would like to share your thoughts on “the story of Olds” – what’s working and where we might do better – please take a couple moments to complete our online survey: www.surveymonkey.com/r/StoryOfOlds 

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