Today I am going to a celebration of life service for a friend and fellow entrepreneur, Jean Pickering. I met Jean around the same time I met Carol in 2010 when we all attended a truly excellent event together.

This isn’t the first time I have written an obituary on this blog. When Carol’s father, Bernie, left us way too soon, I wrote that post.

I have been thinking there should be a specific ritual or secret handshake – or something to indicate that we are entrepreneurs together. Something to show solidarity.

Jean was a connector and sharer of knowledge. She helped many people by:

Creating community

I folded my first business because I was too lonely. I have made it a point to stay connected to other entrepreneurs with this business. It’s important to have people around you who understand the ups and downs of growing a business. I think you need the folks who will celebrate with you, give you advice when you need it, and administer a loving kick in the butt when you need that.

Jean started Breakfast with Strangers, providing people with a community where the members invest in helping the other members find success in their personal, emotional, and professional lives.

Oddly enough, I have a client from that group through Jean even though I am not a morning person and never made it downtown for breakfast.

Sharing resources

You will most likely need help growing your business. Jean was great about promoting and sharing information about freelance resources, lawyers, insurance brokers, and coaches.

I am truly grateful for all the support she gave me as a career transition coach and speaker. She was often in the front row at my presentations, sharing pictures on social media.

She also was strong supporter from the very beginning of The Depression Discussions, and I will always remember her for that.

Recommending technology

Jean understood that entrepreneurs could benefit from technology, but she also knew they were often overwhelmed by it, and didn’t understand how to use it properly. Ditto for social media. Through her consulting agency, The Tektite Group, she supported people and businesses by doing personalized training for social media and technology.

Jean was often the first to jump on a new social media platform. We had a blast with Blab for a while.

Leaving a legacy

As I was posting the information for the breakfast in her honor, several people responded they would be there in spirit since they were no longer in Chicago. One person said that Jean was one of the kindest people he has ever met.

Another said he met the most amazing people through Jean.

All in all, that’s not a bad legacy.

Thank you for all of your support, Jean. Rest in peace.