It is the one question I have asked more times than I can possibly recall and the person who has to find an answer for me is usually a young, successful business owner running a business at a profit and making a self actualizing living off his ambitions.
“How did you raise capital for your business?”
I asked this young “CEO” ignoring the restraint to bite my tongue. I watched his reaction carefully as he moved in his executive chair wondering if he would balk and I held his gaze with a direct “yep I just asked you that” look on my face.
“It was my money”, he said. I listened on for what I was looking for.
“......I have a partner”. I took that in and listened further.
I didn’t need to know the truth, the whole truth or nothing but the truth. I just needed to make sense of the larger question on my mind - “How will I do it”?
The word “partner”and “capital”added up to investment funding and I mulled over the possibilities in my head.
“How did you start your business?”
I clearly remember asking another “MD” on a Monday morning, recalling how markedly different his prospects appeared to me only two years ago. It was crunch time to get critical work done but he answered my questions- maybe it was the easier option.
"The contract from my first job was the breakthrough". But I not only listened, I saw.
I saw the way he faced and handled the business challenges coming in through the earpiece of his black berry phone with firm instructions and quick decisions.
It was just as much an answer to the question.
“How did you set up your office space?”
He was dodgy, this young “entrepreneur” fresh out of NYSC complete with a brag to his mates to come and work for him.
“Not everything you see is paid for”. He was dodgy but I understood that he was trading services for services.
It’s like living with a condition, this question I live with. This curious streak in my nature.
And yet I get taken aback when the question is thrown at me.
“How do you manage it?”
“How do you do it all?”
“How did you come about that?”And although I answer, I am usually caught off guard by the realisation that I am also figuring things out and “doing” it and someone wants to know my “how?”