Tales from the city: When you’re being lectured on ‘business rules’
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The Power Playbook's Rose Herceg reports from whichever city she finds herself in about the stories she sees and hears in boardrooms, business lunches and dinners across Australia (and sometimes the world).
Place: Sydney cafe
Players at the table: Female entrepreneur and 60-year-old male and (potential) financier for the business.
The scene: Female starts to explain her idea and development of business to date. It's online and it breaks many of the old school rules of retail. It's lean (as most start-ups are) and it's about getting it up and then making changes based on customer feedback and sales results. It's classic garage idea stuff but the early results and the seismic opportunity speaks for itself. Even the most conservative investor would jump in. Male starts to lecture entrepreneur about 'business rules' none of which seem to apply to the cowboy landscape of online start-ups (as the rules are written and changed daily). He treats woman like a complete idiot and tells her he will only invest under certain conditions. Woman overreacts and points out his lack of experience in the digital world and the meeting ends very, very badly.
Power play do-over? (If this entrepreneur could turn back the clock and have that moment again)
"I really appreciate you giving me your valuable time. Let me go away and think about what you've said and recommended".
And that's it. Nothing more. You can't teach an old dog new tricks, especially when he has no desire to learn. Give him his dignity and a wide berth. Your job isn't to educate. It's to find the money you need to grow your business. Professional, calm: and very powerful too.
Next week we sit in on a weighty conversation...