Perception affects economic reality

Robert Arrowsmith

Robert Arrowsmith

By Robert Arrowsmith


Oxford defines perception as the ability to see, hear, or become aware of something through the senses.

Through this process we gain information about properties and elements of the environment that are critical to our survival. It includes the five senses: touch, sight, taste, smell and hearing.
It also includes a set of senses involving the ability to detect changes in body positions and movements.

For everyone in some aspect, and for much of what occurs in life, it is reality either because we do not take the time to analyze these perceptions or we know that they are a one and done, and will never be a part of our lives again.

Perception does not get enough credit in the business world. Ego, self-developed reputation, comfort levels, self-satisfaction, knowing and willing to know only one way to do things, and a failure to see the big picture all play key roles in the economic failure of a community to evolve.

I have lived in “towns” vs. “cities” for several years now. I have lived and worked in towns in Vermont, Alaska, North Dakota, Michigan, Texas, Montana, and here. If there is one thing that each of these communities has in common is that many do not care about the perception of their community.

The people in these towns have developed their own satisfaction level they are happy with, and frankly do not care about what others on the outside really think about them.

Until they need financial help, and suddenly they do not know what to do about it.
Communities at times tend to lose track of the big picture. While you may be a big person in the community that you are in, to the face of the entire economic world, you are not even pennies on the dollar. And in today’s world, if you do not have dollar solutions, and dollar vision, progress will be severely stunted. Because of this, communities need to take advantage of every perception opportunity that they have.

Growing up, my family used to take trips to a cabin on the Colorado-New Mexico border. In the 1980s, our drive would take us through Clovis on the way. Or rather Mabry Drive through town.

Want to guess my perception of downtown Clovis? It took nearly 30 years, and actually riding around the community, to see that Clovis has so much more to offer. But because of my initial perception of Clovis it took over half my life to truly see what the area was about.

Revitalization and economic development requires vision, ambition, motivation, and drive. But you can have all the vision in the world and it will not matter to the outside that knows nothing about you other than as an initial potential opportunity.

You better have a positive perception. Without that, justification gets nowhere. And that is the reality we live in.

Robert Arrowsmith is publisher of Clovis Media Inc. Contact him at: