My very first business plan.
Was for my very first business.
Life of Brian.
Brian was a business adviser I had back then.
The Life of Brian collided with the Life of Michael as I was invited to enter a business competition.
The LiveWIRE Awards.
The entry deadline was Monday.
And the conversation I was having with Brian.
Was on the Friday before.
The entry criteria was the business plan.
Said Brian on the Friday.
Summary, Products and Services, Marketing Research, Marketing Strategy, Operations, Finances. The usual. Cash flow. P&L. Balance Sheet. List startup costs too. Break them down. Say where the money came from to start this. And a Sales Projection. Do one of those.
Now I like a challenge.
I had all of this stuff.
On bits of paper.
In the pages of books I owned.
In my head.
So I smiled and said:
No problem Brian.
I can get that done for you.
Monday Morning OK?
Brian leant forward.
And said this:
I don’t give a shit whether you do it or not.
You’re not doing it for me.
You’re doing it for you.
I took two things from that.
Two things that I still remember today.
30 years later.
- I had to stand on my own two feet. This was it. The spotlight was on me. Brian was much cleverer than me. Much smarter. Much more experienced. But he was not stood where I was. He was behind me. I was leading. I was 21. He was (I don’t know) 30-odd. But I was leading.
- I started to write the document not in a way that I thought Brian wild want to see. But I wrote it in a way that was best for my business. I was totally focused on that. And, of course, that’s a good thing.
The Life of Brian collided with The Life of Michael as I was invite to enter a business competition.
And I’ll never forget it.