I want to talk share a quick story about fate, perseverance and always saying hello to the person sitting next to you on the aeroplane.
It was a 5:30am-ish flight to Sydney, and as per usual I was running late. Extremely late.
I managed to make the plane though was the last to get on. When I sat down, all huffed and puffed, I realised this beautiful smiling lady who shined as bright as the days sky at 5 o’clock in the morning. With my usual “out there” personality, I, despite been tired and still waking up, started conversation.
The flight from Canberra to Sydney is a pretty short sharp flight and I manage to get talking with this lovely lady named Julie. Julie had a wealth of experience in her life in the pathology & health business, she had was asking me what I was doing and of course put in my usual sales hat on, I had told her that I was redefining the whole sports apparel industry forever. I guess with that type of passion at 6am someone might tune in and listen.
We talked and talked and probably could’ve talked for another five hours if the plane time allowed it.
Though I had to run as I had meetings back to back and was in the midst of starting a capital raise so time was like gold to me, and i was constantly run off my feet.
I promised to keep in touch with Julie and gave her my business card as she said she had a daughter in marketing and maybe other one they use our services.
Julie followed up with me A few days later via email with a lovely note to say that she was inspired by my story and that if I ever had require investment capital to get in touch with her she said she wasn’t superrich that she would love to help me. She had mentioned she’d backed someone in the US and loved believing in people.
I was astonished by her email as at that time I was in the midst of pitching for my first seed round of capital and was daily faced with the intense questions of;
- How are you justifying your valuation?
- How many shareholders do you have, and what type of shares are they on, etc.?
- Where are you going to take the company and when are you going to exit?
- How much money are we gonna make out of you?All of the questions investors, or want to be investors will ask you. It often makes it a very uncomfortable dance to do when there is 100% no purpose to your cause.
I’m never one to believe to take money from anyone unless you feel they can add value to your life a new company’s growth in some capacity so I urged to meet with Julie and talk to her about her kind offer. She had told me she’d been involved with business’ before, and had backed great stories in the USA and was in a position to do the same here.
I still remember the moments before I first met Julie for a coffee that day I was burnt out completely. Some days beyond what my health could handle. We were growing the business through the day, and then I would spend every waking hour with my sister and the team doing our investment documents etc. We had no money to pay firms for Financial Models, Term Sheets and relevant doc’s – it was a hard fight.
Raising capital is often like having two full time job times – At the same time. And when you’re doing it off the smell of an oily rag in an early stage business getting screwed around by potential want to be investors left right and centre it goes to does get time-consuming, not to mention emotionally thick with crap.
Julie became our first ever seed investor and I still remember almost crying when she wrote the first cheque, because I realised that on that day, it was all worth it. The perseverance of believing that someone would one day invest was actually possible so long as I’ve kept my mind to it, ACTUALLY happened.
If I hadn’t asked the second question, if I hadn’t not spoken to this person because I felt that I was too busy if I hadn’t sees the opportunity Julie put in front of me, I wouldn’t have made it happen.
I think that by nature the world gets ahead of us often we get caught up in the day today is and sometimes we don’t think forward or think bigger than ourselves.
I would like to inspire movement here of thinking digger and always asking the second question. You never EVER know who you will sit next to on the airplane.