In the past couple months, I have had the opportunity to meet plenty of young professionals who were drawn to Charlotte, and those who decided to leave Charlotte. Those who came, entered the city limits with wide-eyed expectations, while those who left didn’t leave out of angst, but were chasing “bigger” opportunities.
So what is the draw that Charlotte has? What bought the DNC to CLT? Besides being the biggest city in one of the swing states the Dems need to carry, Charlotte surely had a flavor that tasted better than Denver, and thankfully Cleveland.
As big as Charlotte is, it still doesn’t have that big-town vibe, that “make it here, make it anywhere” Sinatra mentality. Nor do the opportunities- though plenty of them- look like star-launchers.
Charlotte, it seems, is a place where you have to make something of yourself. You can’t just come here and expect big things to happen. You can’t “land a deal” here, but it is certainly possible to make one. You can’t run with an idea here until you network with a group of people who can help make your idea possible.
There was an article in a business magazine that said “There is No Such Thing as the ‘Self-Made Man’. I would agree, for with the world being so interconnected now, it would be a losing battle to go at it without assistance.
But what about the Self-Made City?
Charlotte doesn’t seem to be following the blueprints of Atlanta, Chicago, Denver, or New York. WHich looks like that may be the way to go. The next step for Charlotte, and rumors have already been spreading, that the city will embark on an Olympics bid.
Talk about opportunities.
I’m not lashing out on the young professionals who left. I wished they stayed and kept their talent in a city that is just about to take off. But Charlotte is different, in a good day. It’s a place where you can make your opportunity, and do what you want to progress. But it will take some time here.
Not like the other cities. Charlotte is, what it isn’t.