Indy: Drop the Humble Act and Admit We’re Awesome

December 29, 2016 By Tom

I’ve had enough.

Enough of the people saying that “Indianapolis is just too humble,” and, “We’re just afraid to admit we’re cool.”

I’m a Midwestern kid with Midwest Lake roots, and I love the low key nature of my fellow natives.

But, we’re doing damage to ourselves. We’re holding our city hostage by not being willing to say “Indianapolis is the best damn city in the country.”

That laid back attitude has been why it’s taken so long for Indy to start to be recognized across the country in various surveys and articles. The Humble-Hoosier mentality is great when we’re all out together on a Friday night, but I’m begging you that when you start talking to people from outside Indy, brag about how cool we are.

Don’t lead with, “well shucks, the cost of living is low, and the young professional scene is friendly, and every May the Snakepit is a lot of fun.”

How about, “we have a great culture of arts/food/sports/young people kicking ass/it’s a fun place to live, work, play…and it’s only getting better.”

Yes, it can seem a little tacky and forced to have to lead with the fact our city is the gem of the Midwest. But, here’s the thing, NOBODY else is going to do it for us. We’re not even faking it till we make it like so many startups do–we’re already hot and fun and have turned this from a one night stand into a long term relationship of awesomeness.

Seriously. Drop the Hoosier-Humbleness. Just stop.

Ever talk to an Ohio State or Notre Dame fan? You know in the first two minutes that they’re fans and that they think it’s awesome, and they’re awesome, and everything about their passion is awesome. I’m not saying go all scarlet and gray on me, but find some middle ground. For once, I encourage you to be a bit like those fan bases. Proclaim loudly that Indianapolis is awesome.

Sure, we have our issues (who doesn’t?) and I can look at our young leadership in Central Indiana surrounded by rural county thinking and understand our desire to be quiet and reserved so we don’t rock the boat with fellow Hoosiers…but you know what? The successes we have here continue to carry the weight of those other counties even when they don’t like us because we’re equality supporting/want to buy beer on Sundays/risk taking/risk tolerant/public transit craving young professionals.

This is a bottom-up movement. The kind of thing we need buy-in from the mid-twenties crowd. We need to enable and encourage those young professionals who both grew up here and showed up with their bags for their first job out of college, to embrace the representation when they travel, to be an evangelist for Indianapolis, and be damn proud of what this city is. I can shout it from the rooftops, so can my age, industry, and community peers…but we need buy-in from the youngest of the professional base to represent the truth about this great town.

Think I’m right and you want to stand behind this with me? I’ll buy you a cup of coffee and we can plot.

Think I’m wrong and think I’m an idiot and Indianapolis is just a Cow-Town? I’ll buy you a cup of coffee and you can tell me why I’m wrong.

Make your 2017 resolution to be a champion for Indianapolis. Share it with those you talk with. Post about it on social media (and use the always awesome #NoMeanCity hashtag). And find other ways to get involved like IndyHub, JCI, Forte, Leadership Indianapolis, and many more.

And, if I ask you over coffee what your favorite thing about Indy is and you say “cost of living”, I apologize in advance for the comments that will come out of my mouth.