For a second time in October, I had the privilege of joining a rural community bursting with energy, vision, and entrepreneurial spirit. The Portage la Prairie Chamber of Commerce invited me to speak during its annual Best Business Awards Gala, and the talent and accomplishment was far from limited in the room. 

Portage la Prairie, like Morden, is a town (formally known as a city) glued together by humble roots, loyalty, genuine care for thy neighbour, and a strong, strong connection to agriculture. The Portage optimism is contagious. It has the will and determination of a metropolis but the approachability of your next door neighbour - a notable blend of societal dichotomies that have been preserved since its inception in 1907. 

In speaking to Best Business nominees, Community award nominees, young leaders and youth nominees, I felt immense pride in sharing stories of my rural roots, successes and challenges, the concept of "failure", resilience, and vision. Each experience related back to the power of community and how each opportunity was presented by one or more people who cared to provide it. 

As we continue to grow as towns, cities, individuals, provinces, and communities, we must maintain the power "togetherness" brings, and the success that is always realized when we can put selflessness ahead of selfish gain. As Simon Sinek says, Start With Why, and the rest will come.