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Name Fame How some entrepreneurs handle sharing their handles.

By Geoff Williams

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

You're an unknown face in the crowd, a mild-mannered entrepreneur minding your own business--literally--when suddenly, somewhere else, someone who shares your name becomes famous. Is it good for your business? Bad? Or just surreal?

Anecdotal evidence suggests that it's kind of good, but mostly surreal. For years, Stephen King, 32, has had a sense of what it's like to be Stephen King. King is the owner of an Interior Door Replacement Co. franchise in Huntington Beach, California, not that other Stephen King guy in Maine who writes books.

Before King was an entrepreneur, living in an esteemed author's shadow had its perks. King was in the army, and whenever he flew overseas, he was always mistaken for a "famous American." On one trip to Korea, King was moved up to first class on the plane, was treated like royalty and had people constantly asking him for his autograph. Since he started his business in 2006, everyone's had some fun joking about his identity. King's PR firm has written pitches about "door horrors" and has dramatized do-it-yourself door installations gone wrong, and customers seem to enjoy his name. "I hope you won't be lurking around these doors once they get installed," a customer once told him.

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