The search for Entrepreneurs

Submitted by DesireeSchmitt on Fri, 12/19/2008 - 12:24.

So, while I'm fighting to save my home (reference Tremont Social Capital Thread) my personal and professional life have been severely suffering (duh).

I am a business owner in Tremont and I service Tremont, Ohio City, Near West Downtown, and Detroit Shoreway. My clients, subcontractors, and tenants have suffered this month as well because my eye is on my home, not on the business. I am, afterall, only one person.

My business is holding its own given the economic downturn. What is it missing is my focus this December to grab that infamous 80% of retail sales during the holiday season. The push is missing because I've been fighting for my home, and unable to market my business. Thank you City of Cleveland. Way to support your business and community leaders.

Then yesterday, I pick up the PD and read where Cleveland lacks brain power. We need to hit the streets and recruit talent from the East and West Coast. Oh, and we're our own worst enemy as far as attitude, enthusiasm and morale go...


Who is fostering that sentiment? The people commenting for the article? The firms that are supposed to be fostering business in Cleveland?

You are telling us as entrepreneurs that we must suck? Because you need to go elsewhere to find brain gain?

I'm a little salty and pissed off. No one has helped me with my business. These firms say I don't fit their target audience??? So my business is self funded and operates on its own. I have no credit. I have no mentor. In fact, I have no support systems. So when rain storms like today flood my shop? Oh yeah. It's me who has to fix it AND keep the money flowing.

How about catering to the talent that has chosen to stay on in this hardship we know as Cleveland? Where is the support and funding for those pioneers or hangers on?  I've been told countless times to move my Concierge Service to Portland, L.A., D.C., etc.  I've been offerend funding by investors to relocate to another city... But I choose to stay here...

And how about not insulting us when you haven't done your homework to know who is out here standing behind Cleveland and might I say... kicking a$$.


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The best REALNEO posting ever, IMHO

I was in your shop this week and bought two scarves. I hadn't planned to buy anything - I was just checking out the scene around all the energy in Tremont, and happened by your business, and saw you have scarves (and lots of other cool stuff) and I needed one. It was marked $4.99, which is a steal - and then it was like 75% off... so I bought two.

I plan to write up my visit - I love the real Tremont - and as an expert in things great about NEO I can say the old and new may coexist in Tremont, but it is the old traditional impoverished Cleveland loving folks of the REAL Tremont that make the area at all interesting to any of the people the Power Brokers hope to attract. 

That applies to all aspects of NEO, and the Cleveland Foundation's strategy to spend their and our money (the state of Ohio provided lots of the dollars here) to the East and West coasts to hire their friends in corporate recruiting to hire (at very considerable incremental cost) supposed "entrepreneurs" to do what the F here? Be "Entrepreneurs" in residence at Jump Start until the next pet insurance business comes along. Or, perhaps, to work at GCP companies that are always looking for talent, and would love to have the search for the talent paid for by the taxpayers.

As taxpayer money is being spent, it seems reasonable the searches should start in Ohio - we're a BIG state. These carpetbaggers need to be thrown out of town with a good old Cleveland Bum's Rush.

You in?

What a stupid idea - I am so glad you posted this here.

There are many smart entrepreneurial people here in NEO needing support.

And, many local entrepreneurs are working on real valuable talent attraction - Richard Herman is a genius in the area of global business development and has very sophisticated plans in motiuon. I'm working on developing the local foods, open source and social computing industries here to attract people and companies to work specifically in those sectors - and I welcome people from all over the world. But I know what jobs need to be filled, what value we need from them, and what return on investment to expect - this is not speculation.

You - us - all that - that is worth investing economic development money in - not corporate charity!

Gee... who paid for that study? GCP and Cleveland Foundation? Look for the McKensey label, as well.

Disrupt IT

Thank you for stopping in

Thank you for stopping in and patronizing our shop.   There is nothing else like it in Cleveland and we really appreciate the business... especially with the craziness going on...

As for the ideas...  I'm in...

And I hope that the rest of my fellow entrepreneurs who are busy hitting it hard are in as well.

I'm willing to lift my head up from the grind stone to take a look at what's going on...  Hell, it looks as tho I have to, whether I have time or not...

I mean, who is to say these firms don't recruit some upstart that is going to compete with me?  They get all the benefits and kudos and funding and I get snuffed out after years of hard work on my own dime and time?

It could happen... not just to me... but to anyone... in any industry.

Start with the home team... that's my vote...  you won't find anyone more committed than your home team. 

Recruit someone?  They'll leave to the next highest bidder... and then what do we have left?  brain flee?

All the little pieces add up ...

Cleveland -- and America --sadly, has a very shortsighted view of what a business is and who an entrepreneur is. Around the globe many individuals selling goods or services on a very small scale are the heart of economies. They give a region its character, and these people have a pride and self reliance that you don't find among DHL, Walmart or casino workers. Ironically there is website that many socially conscious Americans are using to give loans to support such entrepreuers in third world countries (which is great), but we rarely support or appreciate such people in our own home town. We are now seeing the consequences of driving out small businesses in favor of big corporations. When the big out of town company leaves its like when the Grinch Stole Christmas.

I came back to my hometown

I came back to my hometown Cleveland thinking that things would finally be different, that I could have a better quality of life while pursuing my entrepreneurial goals (which have included writing full time and also co-owning a shop), but it's shocking to me that we continue such short-sighted policies and thought processes.

From the PD article: "The Cleveland Plus marketing campaign needs more money for that challenge, as well as building the region's brand nationwide"

Seriously? Are you kidding me? No, we need more money made available for new and growing businesses like Desiree's and mine. We bootstrapped everything from our own pockets and have been in the black from day one, yet I can't think of a local source who'd be willing to give a fiber-and-fabric-based business a loan of any kind.

The Cleveland Plus people need to get a clue, too. When the Cleveland Minus show went up at Asterisk Gallery in Tremont (a show that was so packed to the gills opening night you could barely squeeze in the door), they sent a C&D to the gallery owner and -- as a charming f**k you, a stack of Cleveland Plus stickers, too.

All aspects of my businesses are more or less based solidly in the leisure industry. When the it'll-never-happen Medical Mart sales tax coup happened, did that benefit me? Hell no. It did, however, make our customers think longer and harder about how many things they were buying, and cut back accordingly. We already have the highest sales tax in the state -- I moved back from Massachusetts, so-called "Taxachusetts," and they aren't even as high as we are -- 5% statewide!

Biz Bizarre in NEO

>Your comment that Cleveland Plus was alert enough at the time of the Cleveland Minus event  to mail out their promotional literature…and the unavoidable insinuation that this was spit in your eye, reminded me of my experience with the PutItOnThe Ballont .com campaign. 

Cleveland Plus – who’s  PR person at the time was, I believe, Nancy Lesic, hired an air plane to trail around a banner encouraging the public “don’t sign the petition”. Nancy's stunt struck me as not only constitutionally challenged but also plain obnoxious.

So that is Joe Roman’s Greater Cleveland Partnership.   Too Well Paid executives – Especially Joe - watching the main of Cuyahoga going down the river. And you, coming from Massachusetts,  impolitely tossed.... 

After 3 or 4 decades of Cuyahoga decay.. you would think that new management would be engaged…


And now, today, it is up to us to turn the soil over....


A little aside.   The day that Ms. Lesic hired the air plane I was collecting petition signatures at Whiskey Island.  I always have my camera with me, but I will be Damned I could not catch a view of the plane 

 So, to be honest, I have an ax to grind...and I want it very sharp!

I say...  f**k 'em. 

I say... 

f**k 'em. 

Reading all these posts struck me with a common theme...  our "leaders" are in fact not leaders, so I'm going to quit referring to our general mass of leadership as "leaders," for they are but squelchers.

I realize this can't be a sweeping generalization, so when I see someone behaving like an actual leader, then I'll call it out.

Until then...  we entrepreneurs need to unite.  I'm getting sick of this crap.  There is no reason Cleveland shouldn't be a destination - as it is - on its own.

We don't need no stinkin' marketing/branding campaigns!  Make it easy to do business and consume here... and then... they will come.

Des you make a good point.I

Des you make a good point.

I think what I appreciate and, in part, what you are pointing out is there is much daily success and that needs to be celebrated and publicized.