October 30, 2015

A Lesson In Building…


Starting a festival is a lot of work. We began building “Art in the Rough” about three months ago as a way to promote Imlay City in a new way. You see, Imlay City is in a competition called “America’s Best Communities”. As semifinalists, we were awarded $65,000 to begin a community revitalization plan and part of the deal is that there can be no profit made by the city. When we had a little extra left in the budget, we decided to host a kickoff party. What was original called “mike’s crazy pop-up art show idea” became Art in the Rough.

My goal when dreaming up Art in the Rough was to prove to my community and our neighbors that Imlay City is more than a dried up farm town. We have so much potential here, and the future is bright! Imagine Imlay City with a surge of culture! I BELIEVE that Imlay City will become a FOOD and BEVERAGE DESTINATION in the next 5 years. I BELIEVE that Imlay City will be a buzzing town FILLED WITH CULTURE i.e. art, music, people of all kinds! Art in the Rough is a celebration of that belief!

Its unbelievable how much effort goes into an event like this! As I sit here contemplating the effort, it occurs to me how building an art show is like building a community, or a restaurant. The components that make us successful are the same!

Step 1. Passion is a requirement.
No offense, but if you lack passion, nobody will give a shit about your cause. Honestly.

Step 2. Have a Reason
Without reason, nobody will follow you. Art in the rough plays a VITAL role in revitalization by bringing CULTURE which brings EXCITEMENT and INTRIGUE.

Step 3. Forget about the hours
Building something new takes commitment. You will not succeed if you’re concerned about your effort. You must become a martyr for the cause!

Step 4. Hit the pavement
I mean this figuratively, but in many ways, literally! Get out there and fight! Be willing to reach out to those you do not know! DON’T BE AFRAID! I’ve never met a timid leader nor a nervous entrepreneur.

Step 5. Stand strong for your cause
Success requires relentless pursuit of perfection! Never waiver for any reason. You will be approached with opportunities to sell out, and its up to you as the fearless leader to stay true to your conviction and FIGHT FOR THE CAUSE! Never give up!

Step 6. Have a Vision
You need a final destination before you can give directions on how to get there! Imlay City WILL be a food and beverage destination, and I have dedicated my life to making sure that happens. Hows that for a vision?

Step 7. Have fun!
Nobody wants to be around an old sourpuss, so loosen up and smile a little! Laughing will not kill you. I promise.

Step 8. Work hard for the RIGHT reasons!
We have experienced tremendous support from our community! I believe that we are supported because our efforts are for the right reasons. Have integrity!

Step 9. Don’t make excuses!
We have a “family value” at The Mulefoot we call MacGyver. Give me a shoelace, a paperclip, and a air compressor and I will make a bomb! There is no problem that my team cannot solve. We are limited only by our minds!

Step 10. When you fall, get back up
You will fail. I once received a call from the bank informing me that the State of Michigan levied my bank account for $10,000. Do you have ANY idea what that feels like after 9 months of 100-hour work weeks with NO PAY? It sucks. It just plain sucks. The point is, you don’t sit around and cry all day. You get off your ass and figure it out! Never give up. Never give in! Remain steadfast in your mission for greatness!

Step 11. Help your neighbor. We’re a team!
Spend locally, support your neighbor, give to your community! I am not suggesting that you give away all of your hard earned dollars. I would encourage you to invest your brain power and energy into your community! I promise that energy will be returned with interest!
I don’t claim to be an expert in business or civic policy, but what I do know is my experience building “things” in Imlay City! There ideals have helped me become successful and continue to be rules that I live by.

I hope that I have been an encouragement to all of you, and I am very serious when I say that I WILL HELP YOU START A BUSINESS IN IMLAY CITY! This is the land of opportunity! We have the most gorgeous farm land in the entire country! YOU HAVE A SUPPORT SYSTEM with the DDA, Chamber of Commerce, the City of Imlay City, and in ME! The Mulefoot team is here to help in any way necessary to promote a community of craftsmanship and quality! There is plenty of available AFFORDABLE real estate in downtown, and we want YOU there!

See you soon in Imlay City!

Michael Romine

About theMike Romine

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