My wife and I moved to Roseburg in 2008 for her work. We thought it was going to be a couple year “stint” and we’d move on… but like many others here, we got swept into the awesomeness of this area. Now, we’re here to stay and I’m inspired everyday by the new stories I hear from people here doing awesome things. Building great businesses. Making big impacts in other areas of their life. And just all around great people with a zest for life that I haven’t seen many other places.
In fact just last month I met two separate young couples who moved to Roseburg to start companies. One from the SF bay area who just bought the Umpqua Sweets and Treats business so they could get out of the big city and live a higher quality of life. He was an early employee at the tech company GoPro. Young people migrating from the “big city” and fancy jobs to live life and build businesses here is one that’ll inspire others to stay or to check out Roseburg as a place to land.
But in the last 5 months or so, some amazing things have been happening… our own story with my company has been unfolding and I hope it inspires a few more people to go out and do what makes your heart sing and stay here in the area to start (or grow) your company in a bigger way.
Carrot is in it’s 3rd full year in business and we decided to base it here in Roseburg (and keep it here) as part of our mission. Over the course of this year our little software company (which the Portland types keep asking why I’m keeping it in Roseburg) has grown from 5 employees to 10… we’ve doubled revenue and profits this year over last… we purchased a well respected local company to add to our team… we were nominated and made it into the finals just recently for the big Oregon Entrepreneur Network “Entrepreneur Achievement Award” this fall against some stiff competition… and we’re seeing other software startups start to percolate here in the area that before never would have gave Roseburg a chance before we all started to change the Roseburg entrepreneur culture story 5 years ago.
I don’t care how big the business is (RFP) or how small (1 person startups)… Roseburg is an amazing place to live and run a company. There are always reasons and excuses to count Roseburg out… it happens in every city across the country… but it’s a choice we all have to decide, to be a part of the solution rather than run from the problem. To find something we believe in so much, a story that we want to be a part of creating, that we find the ways to make it work in this area that we love so much.
Believe me, Portland, Bend, and Eugene all have more resources for software companies like ours. More qualified employees for the computer programming positions. More mentors experienced in software. More funding. But for those of us who truly feel that Roseburg is a worthy cause worth fighting for, a worthy story worth telling, we’ve been able to find ways to attract amazing people to our teams (even from outside the area), grow our companies at crazy fast speeds, increase our profits, and tell our Roseburg story in hopes it’ll inspire others to be a part of the solution too. I can think of a ton of examples of these types of companies that are doing just that (Orenco, Lone Rock Timber, Carrot, Pure Bulk, FCR, TMS… the list goes on). The more we share the excitement that we see going on here in our area with others inside and outside of the area the more we see that excitement building.
It’s all about intentionally creating your story, and for us, Roseburg is a critical role in that story.
So, what’s your story?
Tell that story, whatever it is, the more you do the more it’ll excite you about the mission you’re on and the more people will be attracted to it. Your story can inspire others. Tell it. All. The. Time. And don’t forget to work into that story that your story, is also a Roseburg story.