Monday, March 25, 2013

Motivation for Monday:
Two Entrepreneurial Tales
(for when you're feeling stalled)

This week, behind the scenes, and in prep for a research project I'm doing this summer about brainstorming, I'm looking at blog posts written during 2012 about fear. Fear is a "commonplace" or typical topic in entrepreneurship writing. even has an RSS feed for fear. Even if an entrepreneur isn't scared of starting a business, fear is such a common topic that it at least has to be dismissed by asking, "Am I scared to try this?"

Some people associate fear with risk and how risk-adverse a person is. Today's post is about two women who never took time to bother with fear.

This week, Pearl Malkin has been in the news. Her story reminds me of Rosemary Smith, and together, entrepreneurs can take something from their stories.

Grandma Pearl

“Grandma Pearl” Malkin, as she is called, raised money on Kickstarter for her entrepreneurial venture, “Happy Canes.”
She surpassed her goal of $3,500. She decorates canes with flowers and sells them on Etsy. If you are having a feeling-low kind of entrepreneurial day, you need to go read her story.

Happy Canes by Grandma Pearl came about when she received 8 canes as a gift and thought they were all ugly, so she decided to decorate them, according to her Etsy site.

As someone who has had to use a cane for a few weeks, I agree; canes are ugly.

Grandma Pearl’s story touched me because it reminds me of the 9/11 story that I remember when I am scared. 

Rosemary Smith

I know a lot of legal-types, especially law-firm workers. On the day the towers fell, I—like every American—counted friends in New York. One of my friends worked for the law firm of Sidley Austin, but in a different city. Sidley Austin was located in Tower One. She told me that only one Sidley worker, Rosemary Smith, didn’t make it out of the building.
Whenever I am scared to do something, I think about Rosemary Smith. According to one news report, she was 61 when she died and still had an entrepreneurial dream: she wanted to be a full-time chocolatier.

Rosemary’s story isn’t just about carrying around a dream, though, because she wasn’t just a victim of 9/11, but a survivor. Rosemary worked at the World Trade Center during the 1993 bombing. After the 1993 bombing, she went back to work.

If Rosemary could go back to work in a building that had been bombed and if Grandma Pearl can rally through Kickstarter and Etsy to make her entrepreneurial venture take off at 89, then the rest of us can pretty much find a way to do anything.

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