I had one of those meetings yesterday.
I had thought that I would be pitching my business BoothChat to a few investors and I was excited. We only found out late on Wednesday, so Thursday was a whirl of activity getting things ready and writing a presentation. Friday morning involved an early train and lots of mumbling to myself as I practiced the presentation.
Then when the meeting finally arrived it was one bloke in a room who looked a bit distracted and didn’t seem to “get” it.
It wasn’t necessarily bad, but it certainly wasn’t good. And it got me thinking… and worrying.
This is what I do. This is what puts food on the table for my family. I’ve invested a lot of time and energy and emotion into this (and some money too). I believe in it, I really do, but when someone else appears not to then it’s hard. It kind of knocked the wind from my sails and put me in a bit of a funk for the rest of the day. I questioned what I’m doing and worried about whether it would ever be a success. To have to rely on other people in this way (whether it’s for investment, for sales or just to work with and support you in all the other ways that are important), when some of them don’t quite get it is hard.
I work hard at this, sometimes to the detriment of the time I can spend with my family, almost always to the detriment of the time I can spend on myself and the training I’d like to do and it felt that hard work was being ignored. Sometimes I’d just like the hard work to be recognised and rewarded.
Of course I know I’m not the only person going through these thoughts, but I’m normally quite a positive person (even if I can look a bit miserable at times eh Lucy!) and this is the first time for a long time that it hit me like this.
To bring it back to the swimming etc, what I love about this is that you don’t have to rely on anyone else. You define success and then you strive to achieve it through your own physical efforts. For me last year success was defined as completing the Windermere swim, this year I’ve set some time-based goals, but they’re all down to my work hard. I don’t have to “sell”, to convince others to be a success.
Not only that, but the time spent training can be a great opportunity to unwind, relax, recharge and almost meditate. This morning I got on my road bike for the time in possibly years. I didn’t go far (17km in 50 mins), but I enjoyed it, relaxed and got yesterday’s disappointing day out of my system.
11 responses to “Disappointing Day”
Great post Patrick, I love the way you put into words the sort of things I think and feel.
First of all, a firm pat on the back for springing into action and going to the investment meeting. You saw an opportunity and you went for it.
Secondly, not everyone is going to ‘get it’ and that’s ok. You already have people buying into the idea in the form of paying international clients! I think you can class that as a good thing (understatement!). With regards to finding investment, think of it as dating. It takes time to find the right partner and it’s likely that your first date ever won’t turn out to be the love of your life. So, chin up, get yourself back on the saddle and carry on dating.
Don’t forget that you rely on other people for JoshuaPR to exist. You’ve surrounded yourself by a great team and with combined hard work you own a successful business. So yeah, it sucks a bit to depend on others for certain things but with time and patience it all falls into place.
Completely agree with you on how wonderful it is to only depend on yourself when it comes to training. What you get from it is directly proportionate with how much you put in. Like you, I’ll be at the start line of the Southwell Tri in May!
Hi Lucy, thanks for that. I know that overall it is positive – both in terms of the way that things are developing (with the international sales as you mention and the team), it’s just that on Friday it didn’t feel it. Actually that’s not even right, it still felt positive, but it also caused me to question it and me. You’re absolutely right and I am going to carry on dating (from an investment point of view, not an actual dating point of view – just in case my wife reads this!).
Oh I forgot to say, it’s good that you save your smiles. Makes it all the more significant when you do smile!
Thank you for your overwhelming positivity – I love it that you think I ration my smiles when most people just think I’m miserable. Because of that you can have one of the rare smiles :-).
Pitching to potential investors is like cold calling to the Nth degree – you don’t get to meet them or get any sense of what interests them, you have to expose your self and your business baby, and they have 100 reasons not to be interested, only a few of which could be down to you. That is the rational view, I can see it is very hard to focus on the rational view when your emotions are so involved.
Thanks for that John. I’m back to rational now and I agree entirely with you. On Friday I was obviously a little bit emotional, but also I think it was the surge of adrenalin in advance of the meeting and then the sudden loss of that adrenalin.
Fortunately, I’ve never had to look for investors. However, when I began my business, I frequently found myself in the situation of people ‘not getting it’ – and it’s tough. However, proving the sceptics wrong is part of the fun, and the single-minded determination which got you across Windermere will also enable you to learn from Friday and start afresh next time. In the meantime – their loss!
As an aside, I don’t run or cycle (never have) and do hardly any swimming these days, although I used to be an instructor. However, I did take up Aikido a year and a half ago. If anyone had told me that I would take up a Marshall Art in my 50’s I would have said they were a sandwich short of a picnic. However, I love it for all the reasons you describe – I’ve got nothing to prove to anyone but myself 🙂
Patrick, I have just read your post and all the other comments. I agree wholeheartedly that what you are doing is very much like a sales person doing a cold call. You will meet at least a dozen people who don’t get it for every one that does. Sometimes I think that a presentation can be too rigid or formal for some people so perhaps it is worth having a back up plan when you do these, and try to find out what turns them on (in a business sense), then proceed to present to them with this in mind.
Great way to bounce back and get refocused. Having some bumpy times in my personal life recently has proven a challenge to staying focused in my training. But I realized like you that I can control my training and the outcomes associated with it, where as I cannot control others. Great post and keep the head up and all will workout.
Thanks Chatter. Good luck with the new job.