When I was a big gift charity fundraiser, asking for funding was my bread and butter. Who would have thought that meeting the Barclays Business Advisor in my local branch about my new business project would make me so twitchy.
(you can read here about my new business plans).
In reality it wasn't that scary at all - not at all like the Dragon's Den experience I'd built it up to be. Maybe that was because I'd done my prep and answered her questions almost before she asked them. However this was the first time I've had to explain my business model to someone who listens to crackpot ideas for a living. This is my baby - and it feels really personal.
Luckily, lets just say I impressed her with my spreadsheets!
It's a long time since I've operated in this world. None of my old work clothes seemed to fit any more - depressingly. And I've forgotten how to walk in heels!
However, dressed from head to foot in Marks & Spencers - how could anyone refuse me. It's not like I was asking for a loan or an over draft. I just wanted a business bank account.
|Which M&S skirt shall I choose - hmmm - the one that does up?|
|Which M&S shoes shall I wear - hmmm - the ones I can walk in!|
As I strode confidently up the road to the bank, I soon realised that I hadn't made such a clever choice when it came to my tights - as my gusset slowly sank towards my knees. Hoicking them back up again with your back to a Greek restaurant full of early bird diners isn't conducive to an appetising kebab.
Once inside, I tried to make polite conversation, commenting on the impressive poster on the wall which celebrated great footballing moments and Barclay's support of the Premier League.
Now bear in mind I'm in Manchester, and three stops away from Old Trafford. The poster was of Liverpool goal keeper Pepe Reiner celebrating with Ngog after a 2-0 victory over Manchester United!
|How to piss off at least 50% of your customer base! Photo Source thesun.co.uk|
As pictures go, it's a great picture. But clearly interior design was done by someone in Head Office - in London - with a sense of humour!
So I made it through my interview, after bonding with my Business Advisor over her static caravan in the small Spanish town of Benicarló - which as luck would have it, is where I was last week as part of my Barcelona jaunt. Now what are the chances of that? It must be a sign!
And I am now the proud owner of a Barclays Business Welcome Pack - with the promise of a debit card, cheque book and internet banking facilities.
|What a happy looking master baker.|
Right, that's another thing crossed off the list. On to the next.
Yikes this is starting to get a bit real.
Deep breath - you can do it.
And on we go!