I had my meeting yesterday afternoon about the proposal to start-up a new bit of business. About an hour before-hand I was feeling a bit nervous about it. I settled as I prepared myself, putting on my suit and getting my game face on (I always feel sexy in a suit). By the time I got there I was fine.
I was a little early. I lingered in the street downwind from a burger joint. They smelt so good I was salivating. I paced up and down a bit and then right on the stroke of 3.30 went in.
I didn’t expect to get a straight forward outcome from yesterdays meeting. For a start it was very much up in the air as to whether I fit in with his plans, and there was a question mark regarding whether it was right for me. Then there was the question of structure, of opportunities, and ultimately what the financial split might be. I expected some wrangling on that subject if we got that far.
I came out of the meeting with a lot still unresolved, but pretty much all of it different from what I anticipated.
He wants me. He expects me to be there. He things I would be a great complement to their team. He offered me a desk in his office, the use of his resources, some business cards with his logo on them.
As far as money is concerned, well know, he couldn’t offer me a salary – something I anticipated – but he was more generous with the revenue split than even asked for – and I asked a lot (80/20).
They’re going through an exciting phase right now that might make them, or might fizzle out. I reckon it might work, and so, as he said, there are great possibilities. Come on board he said, you’ll get a share of that, and I’d happily make you GM when things settle down.
So, what’s the sticking point? Turns out the original opportunity he put to me may not be as handy as it first seemed. Having said that, he said yesterday he’d rather use me much more broadly in any case. What I have are consulting and strategic skills that no-one but he has in the business. On top of that I have a finance background in a shop-full of ex-engineers. Most importantly, I have the entrepreneurial get up and go he needs.
That’s all well and good, but it’s that get up and go he’s counting on – and which I have to manifest. Basically he’s saying here’s my office, use it, here are my people, deploy them, now go out and find the business. It’s the finding business which is the tough bit.
What helps is having the backing of a solid player in the market, as opposed to being a solo operator. He’s said they’ll happily promote me, but there are no current opportunities – I have to plough fresh fields. I keep everything I make, and push any grunt work onto them.
I’m thinking about it over the weekend. It doesn’t solve my immediate problems, but there’s definitely some promise in the venture – effectively a joint venture. And if things take off as he hopes it would be a good place to be.
I think he’s a pretty solid citizen. There are lots who’ll blow smoke up your arse, but I don’t think that’s in his nature. He strikes me as being hard-working, smart, enterprising, honest.
Wait and see.