Guys, the podcast is half of a year old. We’ve recorded over 25 episodes…like, how did this happen so quickly?
With that in mind and a recent email I received, I thought it was a good time to revisit our purpose here at the Small-Minded Podcast and Molly Knuth Media, and what we believe about life in small towns.
You hear this message at the beginning of every episode:
At Small-Minded, we are flipping the script on what it means to be small-minded because we believe that being small is a good thing. Small steps lead to big impact. Small towns have a big heart. And small businesses play a big role in our modern way of life. Here at small-minded, we share stories and strategies to help small towns and small businesses flourish. Here’s to a life well-lived being small-minded.
It’s easy to say, but it’s harder to live and embody. But that’s why we repeat it. That’s why we focus on it. That’s why we have guests who can speak to this same mentality.
Being small-minded (in our sense of the phrase) is a good thing, because it reminds us why we choose to do life in these small communities. For many of us it’s where the farm is. Where we grew up, or where we want to raise our kids. For others it’s a way to have a direct impact on the community or to have lots of volunteer and outreach opportunities. For others it’s safety and a slower pace of life.
While we know that (and though I don’t believe media is the enemy), I do believe that small and rural are often portrayed in modern culture as “backwards” or primitive. Our towns are shown as places people land or get stuck. Full of stories of missed opportunities, rather than stories of folks who thoughtfully chose this place and this way of life.
But for all these portrayals, small towns are these stereotypes. People DO thoughtfully choose these rural, less-populated areas, and the data shows that.
In a recent study conducted by the moving company United Van Lines, states with the highest number of inbound residents are those that were largely rural: Idaho, South Dakota, Wyoming, and Arkansas, among others.
On the contrary, states with the highest number of outbound residents include New Jersey, New York, Illinois, Connecticut, and California, signaling a movement toward a more rural, less populated way of life for thousands of Americans.
So what does all this mean for you, reader, and for those of us here at the Small-Minded Podcast?
We need to live in a small-minded way that puts our small towns first. Thinking big for how to improve rural areas and provide that neighborly piece of Americana we crave. We want to admit our shortcomings and find ways to be welcoming and inclusive and modern, while also honoring the reasons that people love to live small.
That’s what we do here.
Bonus: Recent Listener Email
In a recent email, a listener asked me my thoughts on starting something new in her small town. After over a decade of working in her current business, she feels called to change direction and try something different. The possibility excites her, but in a small town she also has the very real fear of people talking about her decision and questions whether she’ll have support.
So in today’s episode of the podcast, I talk through making big choices and changes in a small town with the hope that my experiences can give you some guidance and encouragement.
In short: do the damn thing. If it’s on your heart and you can’t quit thinking about it, there’s a reason. You can dive right in, or you can make slow, steady progress. But even slow progress IS PROGRESS, right? You’ve got this, and if you’ve got big dreams while thinking small, you will be a blessing to your community for sure.
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