You can’t change where you come from. But what if people judge you for it? This is a series I’ve been meaning to write for a while and I think it’s more important than ever to fight for our small towns.
I keep hearing about the death of rural communities. In fact, in 2014, 54% of the world’s population lived in cities. By 2050 it’s expected that 70% of all humankind will live in a city! I understand the why behind this, but I’ve come to really cherish my humble beginnings. It shaped me as a person.
It made me a dreamer
Growing up in a small town, a lot of people said to me, “you’ll never amount to anything.” This type of talk and small-mindedness made me think deeply about what I wanted to do with my life.
I was always a bit of a dreamer. Naturally, growing up in a rural community, everyone around me (except my grandmother and mother) would tell me to stop all this dreaming stuff and to just get a job like everyone else. But I knew I didn’t want to work where it was customary.
It forced me to become ambitious
Growing up in a working-class family forced me to be ambitious. I became obsessed with thinking of ways that would allow me to be different and make a name for myself. It hasn’t been easy and I’m not where I want to be just yet. But we’ve got many exciting new things happening at the Cadman Capital Group and I’ll be sharing more in the coming weeks!
My parents would always take me to the city, day trips to London, etc. This is what set the fire in me if you will – and the flame hasn’t been put out yet.
It keeps me grounded
My small town values keep me grounded. Having my grandmother’s and mother’s support gave me the confidence to do what I needed to do to be successful. It helped me to pick up and leave when I was just 17 to go travel the world.
When I got back, my world experience helped start my own business. But without the support from the two of them to do what was right for me, I would have been completely lost.
The countryside is where I feel the most ‘me’
I still spend the majority of my downtime in the country. I feel the mos ‘me’ when I’m connected to nature – when I’m around water or can feel the light all around me. I spend my time fishing, walking, and thinking, which are things you really can’t do in the city.
I also understand that cities just aren’t for everyone. There’s a lot of good in small towns "“ in fact, I recently wrote a series about stimulating small business in rural areas. I touched upon why university may not be for everyone, how important trade skills are in modern society, why green is good for you, and 4 ways a small town can boost its economy.
I'm forever grateful for my experience growing up in a rural community. But most of all, for my grandmother and mother for supporting me, no matter what. I hope my children feel the same way.
Giles Cadman is Chairman of The Cadman Capital Group, a group of cohesive, complementary companies, operating in the international trade, retail, leisure, and investment markets. Learn more about Giles.