Playing hard – another cliché

One day, when my life settles down, if it settles down, I’m going to sit down and write H’s book of Similes, Metaphors and Occasional Clichés.

My present and long-running has been demanding of the like, and exhaustive in their application. Read through this blog and you’ll find a very liberal sprinkling of metaphors and similes, not to mention the much frowned upon cliché. Some of them have been creative I think, but many quite mundane. All have felt true at the time, no matter disparate they have become.

My latest cliché relates to skating on thin ice, which is what I’m doing now. In truth I’ve been on the stuff for ages tippy-toeing along hoping not tumble through. I’m on thin ice again, but feel as if I’m jumping up and down on it in hob-nailed boots.

It’s critical that I sell the shop, either whole or in part. Survival would be very difficult without it. For a while it looked like it wouldn’t happen. Then, maybe, it would. Common sense says take whatever offer you can get and get out of there. Well, I’ve got the firm offer, in writing, and I’ve rejected it.

Doubtless there are some of you scratching your head right now and thinking WTF H, what do you think you’re doing? Well, I’m being crazy brave.

This is a big punt. I had discussions with these girls the other night and we came to a ball-park arrangement. They went away to compose a letter of intent containing that and sent to me this morning.

I wasn’t completely surprised, but I was pissed off, to find that they submitted an offer $4K beneath the amount I had circled as my lowest acceptable offer. It’s all a part of the give and take, but it was disappointing.

The amount they proposed wouldn’t cover my costs. I’d end up about a grand out of pocket when you consider the variety of legal, financial and administrative costs to be applied.

I sighed. This was the moment. I could accept it and somehow scramble by, but with no margin and no sense of comfort. In real terms I’d be pretty much where I am now, minus 75% of a business.

I sent them a strong response. Told them that given my generosity (I had offered them 100% of the take up to $4,000 weekly) this was disappointing, and not a little insulting. I told them if they really wanted to partner with me then they had to do better. I told them to go off and think about it again.

I remember a few years back when mum’s will was in the news. It was a tough period, and we had little leverage. It took a long while before we even started negotiating. We had to play that hard knowing it could rebound on us. Finally when the offer came through one night by phone I thought about it and on impulse asked for an extra 2% between us. That could’ve gone bad. It didn’t, they accepted, and that was that.

Here I am again, in limbo, gone out on a limb (yes, I know, yet another…).

There might be something small in reserve. As anticipated the prick from the other week has returned sniffing around. I’ve given him till a revised LOI to come up with a credible offer.

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