Entertaining real-life stories with valuable lessons on how to succeed in business and in life
Entertaining and compelling real-life stories. The author is successful business, real estate, and media entrepreneur Dick Kazan.
Published on March 26th 2019
In the owners’ time of crisis, competitors ran their mom and pop bookstore

Husband and wife booksellers Seth Marko and Jennifer Powell
Husband and wife booksellers Seth Marko and Jennifer Powell
Photo: cnn.com

Seth Marko and his wife, Jennifer Powell own a charming, tiny San Diego bookstore, The Book Catapult, which has just one other employee.

Then on January 27th, a crisis struck:

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Seth, age 43, suddenly needed immediate open-heart surgery.

The surgery lasted 10-hours and Jennifer had arranged childcare for their 3-year-old daughter, and stayed at the hospital to support Seth.

Meanwhile, their one bookstore employee was out with the flu.

Jennifer’s friend, Scott Ehrig-Burgess, and his wife, were providing the childcare, but Scott, a competitor at a rival bookstore wanted to do more to help.

He had previously worked at The Book Catapult, and still had his keys, and knew how to run the cash register.

Scott also called mutual friends at competing bookstores, and soon had eight more volunteers.

Each day at noon, Scott would leave the Library Shop he manages, go to The Book Catapult and would train volunteers.

He then returned to the Library Shop but checked in throughout the afternoon, before returning to The Book Catapult at 6pm to finish up.

Seth was hospitalized for 11-days and is now home, completing his recovery. The volunteers still make themselves available when needed.

Jennifer and Seth are deeply grateful to Scott and the other volunteers who took care of their “second kid,” The Book Catapult in their time of crisis.

It is in such times people find out who their friends are, even if those friends are also competitors.

Editor's Note: To learn more, click here. To visit The Book Catapult, click here.

In the next KazanToday: A maker of free toy cars for poor children throughout the world.

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