I met with Solicitor's brother early this morning. Brother-In-Law is an architect and the company he owns designs houses for the top house builders in the country. At the ripe old age of 32 Brother-In-Law is a millionaire.
In addition to his main company, he has shares and investments in other companies. So when it comes to starting my own company Brother-In-Law's advice is a great way to start.
I took my business plans along with me.
"Elise, this isn't going to be easy." He warned as he flicked through my perfectly arranged folder. "As far as industries go, this one has suffered the most in the current financial climate."
I nodded. I'm aware of the current situation. Solicitor trades with stocks and shares on a daily basis.
"The question is, do you enjoy this?" He asked.
"It's not about enjoying it, it's about believing in it."
I enjoy writing, but I don't believe that I will ever make a successful career from it.
"You hit the nail on the head."
We sat down with steamy mugs of tea.
"Do you have enough contacts? It's not what you know, it's who you know."
"I've got a database of over 1500." Carefully collected over the past year.
"New business model plans?"
"Yep, I've got 6." Narrowed down from 21.
"A nice suit?"
"Are you joking?" I have about 15.
"A male business partner?"
"A male business partner?"
"You can't be serious!"
"I'm very serious."
My mouth hung open.
"Elise, this isn't some media company. The industry your planning to embark on is dominated by men."
"Isn't every industry?"
"Ninety-Nine percent is pretty high. Higher than the average industry." He sighed. "You need a male partner. I'm not being sexist but there's no way you can break into it without a man with you."
"That's not fair!"
"I know. I'm sorry. I know you're more than capable, but in my honest opinion they won't take you seriously."
I almost cried.
"But the plans are perfect!"
"I know. But you'll need a man to speak to the men."
"How many of the database are women?"
"Elise, how many-"
I'd never even thought about it.
"Maybe we should talk some more. Go over some options."
"I can do it." I told him defiantly. "I have contacts."
He shook his head.
"It won't matter. Trust me I know what I'm talking about."
He gave examples. Lots of examples.
A man would rather have a male mechanic fix his car.
A male stock broker is more trusted than a female broker.
Male sports commentators
Male IT consultants
Bottom line. I need a male partner.
On my way home I went through all the possible candidates.
Good Points: um... I like him..
Bad Points: He's stoned. He hates waking up early. He dresses like a student. He's not business minded.
Good Points: He's logical. He's business minded. We can have sex during lunch times.
Bad Points: His career is pretty much sorted.
Good Points: He looks and sounds like a typical man. He even uses the phrase "What's up with you? Are you on your period or something?". He's logical. He's business minded.
Bad Points: We'd argue too much and eventually kill each other.
Good Points: He knows the industry. He's a successful business man. He's logical. We get on well.
Bad Points: I can't actually think of any....
But I don't want to share!