10 Apr

What does community mean?

 

I’m so blown away and inspired by the incredible people I met in Cambodia. And I want to share a couple of stories because they resonated with me in so many ways.

The idea that you can ethically build an industry, as opposed to just a market share in business, was beautifully brought to life in the community I was invited into. Here are a few of the examples of this flourishing in Cambodia.

Candy in the street

It’s not unusual to see sweets and candy on the street outside shops and businesses, and in front of stalls in the markets. The theory is that the best way to appease the bad spirits, that are affecting your prosperity, is to offer them sugar and sweets. And it works! Seriously, it does. What happens is that these beautiful people see the sweets, understand the struggle, and come to support that business.

Street food and seating

There’s a really popular vendor that I had breakfast at several times. She closes at 9am. Just when a new flow of people appear. It’s seems crazy, she could do so well then. Her beautiful rationale – “I start work at 6. By 9 I have earned enough for me, so now the next family can come and earn what they need.”

In the local markets

Vendors often suggest that you buy a few things from their friends and neighbours, sharing the success and ensuring that everyone gets a share.

 

Humbled?… I was, still am.

Here’s what I’m pondering:

In business, are you supporting a marketplace, or just working towards growing your market share. Where’s the sweet spot?

How do we support other businesses? Other than just by purchasing from them…

How do we support our friends and community businesses? Other than by sharing a gripe about how hot damn challenging business is…

Let’s share a little love.