I grew up around New York. New York was and always will be “The City”. I think you can be more than 500 miles from New York and if referring to “the city” you still mean New York, even if 100 cities lie between you and New York. But I haven’t lived in or around New York (unless you count Boston and DC) as an adult. Now, spending a bit more quality time in the city, I’ve come to respect and admire it in a much different way. As an entrepreneur.
Whenever I visit the city, I’m torn between wanting to look like a local and wanting to appreciate the city in all its beauty. Locals aren’t gawking upward at the magnitude of the skyscrapers. But I am. I’m at once overwhelmed by the sheer amount of commerce that takes place in such a small geographic area, the beauty of the diverse architecture, and the will and energy of the bustling crowds. And now, looking at it from an entrepreneurial vantage, I can’t help but be taken by the notion of how much business there might be to gain with just a wee bit of effort.
It seems to me one could spend a year tackling the businesses that call home to one single office tower on one city block in Manhattan. For a small business like mine, there’s no reason to believe I will make much progress on Fortune 100 or Fortune 500 companies who make up a fair share of the real estate in these gleaming office towers. But how about the 22nd floor of the building on the corner that has a dozen office suites, each a boutique business not dissimilar from my own? I bet they could use my services. And what if only one of every twenty businesses could indeed utilize me? Then I’d only find one new client every other floor? And in a building with 50 floors? Could I not stand to gain 25 new clients? And that’s just one building!
The math here is only a little far-fetched. But the hyperbole here does make a point. With some dedication, an entrepreneur might be able to uncover many hidden fortunes up and down the limitless commercial thoroughfares that make up the island of Manhattan. And I’m poised to uncover whether or not that’s true.
After spending last New Year’s in southeastern Minnesota, I’m more convinced than ever that the world absolutely revolves around New York. At 11:00p CST, yes one hour before the New Year would take effect in the town I was celebrating, we celebrated the New Year! Noisemakers, party favors and kisses galore – Happy New Year! And then an hour to go. When the ball drops in Times Square, it’s the New Year even one time zone west. Then they replay the hour of entertainment for all those parties interested in celebrating their New Year at the actual moment. How is that explained other than New York is the center of the universe?
I love DC, I do. But I’m infatuated with New York. Dare I call it an obsession. And every time I get wind of her, I’m considering an affair. It seems inevitable.