Opportunity says "We're Open"
“I remember.” I found myself saying that a lot as I walked around the city recently. I was remembering certain stores and restaurants that were open then and were now closed. I remembered the cute towels I got from the one bath store. Then there was the art store that had great framed art. Then there was the Italian restaurant where we had Kim’s birthday lunch. Then there was Border’s. The big beautiful three level, “don’t sit in the window sill please” monotone staff person Borders on Broad and Chestnut streets. It too was closed. My mind was full of good times, good memories, and concern.
Someone said recently there is a lot going on in Philly and Philly has a lot to offer. And I nodded in agreement. But when I was strolling down memory lane, I was disagreeing. Where were the businesses going? Small business owners weren’t phree to keep there businesses open. Philly streets had holes in them. Not pot holes. Although Philly streets have lots of those. But these were holes where once the dreams of entrepreneurs were actualized.
I would be lying if I said I wasn’t a little disheartened. But then I remembered the signs I saw on the closed buildings. One said “Thank you Philadelphia for 25 great years!” A few others just had leasing information posted. But one, the big beautiful Borders building had a big ol’ yellow and white “Great Flagship Opportunity” sign posted in the window.
That sign made me think. It made me think about my own flagship store one day. I thought about if I would want my flagship store in Philadelphia or in another city. I thought about other flagship stores in other parts of the country and how they differed from their “non” flagship stores. It made me wonder about what other entrepreneur has looked at the space as a flagship space.
I soon found myself not so sad that the space was vacant. I suppose in part because the vacant space of something moving out was an opportunity for something to move in. It’s all about perspective.
The person who posted the sign at Borders saw the space as an opportunity for an entrepreneur to establish not just a store but their flagship, their signature. It welcomed something to come in. The other stores posted signs that simply said something had moved out.
Great entrepreneurs know when. They know when to call it quits, pull up the anchor, set sail, and move out. But they also know when there is an opportunity to pull up to the dock, lower the anchor, and settle in.