Dear Aunty B,
A long time ago, when I was young and desperate, I borrowed money from my uncle to start my business.
He’s actually not that bad an investor. He’s been quite supportive over the years and as an entrepreneur himself he has a good sense of when to offer advice and when to leave well enough alone.
He’s retired now and he took my aunty to the beach to do the whole seachange thing, so I hear from him very irregularly.
But every Christmas when the family gets together you can be guaranteed that I will be forced to spend hours explaining my business to my uncle. It’s sort of like an interrogation. Why did I do this? What was my thinking there? When am I planning to sell?
I can’t stand it. It’s Christmas Day! I want to unwind, relax and forget about my business.
Aunty, how do I put him off?
A few hours of business talk on Christmas Day? That’s nothing compared to some of the stuff my investors have put me through over the years.
There are two ways to approach this in my mind.
The first is to take the opportunity to get some practical help on something. Your uncle sounds like an experienced entrepreneur, so you could head off the usual interrogation by asking him for help with a specific problem you’ve got.
He gets to feel involved; you get some free business advice. Not the worst trade-off.
The other way to do it is to call him before Christmas and tell him that you’d just love to give him a tour of your workplace while he’s in town.
You won’t escape the interrogation, but you will put it off until after Christmas.
Your Aunty B
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