A Tale of Two Entrepreneurs

Some people are born entrepreneurs, and some are made. Let me explain.

Across from our home, a classic neighborhood corner store — like the thousands that once anchored neighborhoods throughout Chicago and elsewhere — is now open after being shuttered a year ago. Our neighbor now operates the establishment, having held a “soft” opening last week. A “grand” opening is planned for November. Our neighbor has been through this before. She operated a successful breakfast/lunch restaurant for almost six years, with some catering jobs on the side. Fourteen hour days and the economy prompted her to shut the doors and seek a new way to earn a living. Opening the store — literally across from her home — was a natural progression for this lady, who has been her own boss and tasted success as an entrepreneur.

Her life is now less complicated, and her commute reduced to a 30-second walk. She has devoted time, resources and lots of energy to the store. It’s a long-term commitment, an entrepreneurial endeavor. Her goal is to run a successful neighborhood grocery and offer customers fresh food options, not just pre-packaged food. It’s a great concept, and we wish her all the best.

(In fact, I’m donating my time gratis to help generate awareness.)

Switch gears to me. My goal is to secure another full-time position in public relations, a profession I take very seriously. I uphold ethical standards and provide sound counsel.

But until that tremendous job offer is made, I’ve reached out to contacts and generated others to take on project work. I really don’t want to be an entrepreneur. Being part of an in-place team appeals to me.

Entrepreneurs have to cope with incorporation, licenses, letterhead, etc. — stuff I don’t want to address. But, I’m being totally realistic: It more than likely will take a while — into 2010 — before a position is offered and I accept. Until then, I will continue to network, complete paid assignments, learn and progress.

I plan to be a reluctant entrepreneur for as short a time as possible.

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