It takes an Idea Village: thank you, Tim Williamson
This morning, it was announced that Idea Village CEO Tim Williamson made the difficult decision leave the company he founded to accept a position as President of Nola Media Group. This letter is in response to the news, expressing sentiments that, undoubtedly, are shared by many of the entrepreneurs whose lives have been forever altered by his vision.
Dear Mr. Williamson, You don’t know me.
I was but one of the many faces in the crowd during Idea Village’s annual New Orleans Entrepreneur’s Week, seeking insight, wisdom and an opportunity to be part of the energy of like-minded individuals who believe that life is not meant to be lived in a box defined by others–it’s meant to be celebrated by forging new paths in an all-too-often cookie-cutter world.
You don’t know me. I was one of the many ’treps who took advantage of the Idea Village’s IdeaSessions, embracing an opportunity to meet with one of your many mentors to test the waters regarding my idea in support of arts and artists.
When I walked through the door of Idea Village, the first thing I saw was art on the wall that stated, simply, “Trust Your Crazy Ideas.” It was like I had found my new home. My village. My tribe.
You don’t know me. I’m that oddball that others often watch from afar and say, “There she goes again.” It happens often, when I propose an idea that’s so outrageous, so seemingly impossible, that it provokes quiet chuckles and eyerolls of the naysayers. But I’ve learned from your efforts that those folks don’t matter. They are the ones who fail to see the big picture, who may never understand that in this vast universe of possibilities, the only ideas that become reality are those that are launched by the dreamers and embraced by those who know that nearly anything is, indeed, possible, if you surround yourself with the right people and adopt a “whatever it takes” mentality.
Dear Mr. Williamson, you know me.
I’m that person with an unquenchable thirst to learn, to grow and to make a difference in the world, by taking a chance and doing things differently. I’m the person who feels that there’s a debt to you I can never repay, a depth of gratitude I can never fully articulate, and a belief that it is okay to throw away the cookie cutters. To dare. To dream. To do. It’s okay, because you said so.
I am not one person, I am everybody who has stepped through the doors of Idea Village, who has soaked in the experience that is NOEW, who has worked hard to bring their visions to reality, and the many more who are just beginning that journey.
And there are thousands of us, and tens or hundreds of thousands whose lives have been enriched by the services and products that have blossomed via the seeds you have planted and the gardens you have watered.
While I have no doubt that you will blaze incredible new trails in your role as President of Nola Media Group and its flagship, The Times-Picayune, this truth remains: you will never fully know the depths of the impact you have made with your idea, your belief in the entrepreneurial spirit and your affirmation that it is, indeed, okay to trust your crazy ideas.
After all, as yet another visionary taught us, it’s the crazy ideas that change the world.
We thank you.
See Tim Williamson’s farewell message to Idea Village, click here.
See the Nola Media Group announcement here.