I have a problem catching ideas that I fall in love with..." - David Lynch
As I sorted my thoughts regarding this post, an overwhelming jumble of song lyrics, quotes and books came tumbling into mind. Money. Well, whether she works hard for it, whether it makes a rich man's life always sunny or the world go round, we can all agree that money weighs heavily on just about everyone.
But most of all on the hopeful entrepreneur.
Sure, there is probably the odd spoiled dilettante starting up a start-up who doesn't have to concern herself about where she'll get the financing. But, generally speaking, it seems likely that most hopefuls don't fall into the category of 'already wealthy'. And facing each and everyone of these - and myself, I shouldn't let it go without saying - is the decision of what we're willing to do in order to get what we need.
Nod, if you're catching that slight whiff of prostitution... *laughs. My partner is fond of reminding me of the Crack Whore* who gave 'it all up' for $5 - because that was all she needed to buy her fix. I'll give him the benefit of the doubt and assume he isn't actually comparing me to a street hustler... but the analogy stands. How do I determine what Crown & Queue is actually worth when it isn't worth anything right now? And how do I figure out how much I'm willing to risk its potential future in order to secure the funds that it needs in the present?
So do I give up future money or future control? Translation: Interest or Equity.
If I go the interest route - bank loan, personal loan, etc. I'm (no-pun!) banking on making this idea pay. Especially in the personal loan department as I'll continue to be liable for the interest and capital even if I go belly up. Y'ouch. There's absolutely no buffer in this option. Plus, because I have so little rep or pull right now, the pricetag on a sufficiently sizeable loan is going to be pretty hefty. BUT, on the flip side, if I am genuinely successful, I'll have repaid these loans within the next couple of years (mostly) and have a thriving business over which I have complete control. Hmm... Let me rephrase that, a thriving business over whose profit I have complete control . P.r.e.t.t.y attractive.
Though the equity route is pretty sexy too.... You've got to picture me the day I found out about Seedrs... I was all like: "Whhhaaaaaaa? These people are going to give me heaps of money and I wont have to pay it back if I fail?!!? Where do I SIGN?!" Sheesh.
Don't worry, I evenutally figured out that it wasn't so simple. If I source funds from Seedrs, or anything like it, or offer up Equity to a friendly investor**, I am basically giving up part of the ownership and control of Crown & Queue in exchange. I'll owe these people FOREVER, and they may not always take a backseat when it came to decisions. But in the short-term, I'm very realistically getting something for nothing. Plenty of those songs, quotes and books I mentioned earlier have very strong opinions about how safe or desirable an agreement like that is.
I'm very curious, given those parameters, what route you'd have pushed me to take...
But since I've already started moving in a direction, it'll have to be posthumous because... bit of news... I've just started moving forward on my first loan. I know, I know, I played that one close to the chest. But yes, introductory financing is now in place!
Not that it has really solved any of my mental dilemmas.
In the end, I eventually decided that true freedom has a price (in this case to the tune of 6%) - and if I wanted to have someone looking over my shoulder I'd continue working for other people. I figure, if I can't raise the funds I need by putting up my marker, well, there's still plenty enough time to selling off C&Q's 'body'....
*No, this isn't a euphismism for someone whom I am protecting... I'm pretty sure she really was a crack whore! It's an article or news segment he saw somewhere.
** And yes, I do mean my friends.