Can You Really Never Go Home Again?

by Dennis Blank

Don't Forget the Motor City

 Dear Coach Lou:                                      When people ask me where I live these days, I usually reply, "In my car." I just got back from a four day road trip with my daughter, from Massachusetts to Detroit, where she started a new job last week. She just graduated from business school and will now be working in marketing for General Motors - you know, the government owned car company.                              

This is her dream job, but she'd never seen the sausage being made, so we stopped in our old home town of Warren, Ohio and got a tour of the GM Lordstown Assembly plant, where they are just beginning to make the new Chevy Cruze, which I think might be a big hit.

Then we went to Detroit and I had a good chance to look around America's most beleaguered city. While it is ten times bigger, there are a lot of similarities to Warren. I won't go into it all here, but I wrote about it on The Daily Blank when I got home.

As you may know, Warren's population is now about one-third less than when we graduated from high school, and one in four homes in the city are vacant - not for sale - vacant. Good jobs are hard to find there and unemployment is very high; those problems bring a lot of other problems along with them.

I think much of the success I've had in life was due to the things I learned and the people I met in Warren growing up. I'd really like to make a contribution to that community as part of my Life 3.0 plan. Got any ideas for me?

Your pal,



Dear d'

Congratulations on getting your daughter launched into her new career. I am sure she will do well (if she is anything like her papa).

I hope your car is big. I mean can you drive and sleep in comfort? If you are going to be living [sic] in it for a while that would be important. Interesting that you say you live in your car and then made a couple of trips to GM locations. Significant? I think not.

You have a compassionate nature and a soft place in your heart for Warren. Interesting that you want to make a difference and give back in Life 3.0 and you are wondering how you can help your childhood community. What have you thought about?

Where and how can you contribute your learning on being successful to one of the businesses there (as an unpaid consultant perhaps)? Maybe they can pay you in beer or hotdogs.

Or, how about writing a book about growing up there (fictionalized or not) and donating some of the proceeds to your favorite local cause? You can accomplish two goals in one effort.

When you think of the town, where does you interest and passion land? Think about what you know and who you know and start to throw around some ideas. Someone who still has their pulse on the town will certainly have some good ways for you to make a contribution.

Let me know what you think.

Coach Lou

Coach Lou is a co-founder of Chain Reaction Partners, an executive and leadership training consultancy in Boulder, Colorado.  d'blank is the author of The Daily Blank blog.

by Dennis Blank | Friday, August 6, 2010 | Career Change, Dream Careers, Hiring a Life Coach

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