My mate Jacky is opening a business. It’s an online store that sells equipment for DJs. There are already stores like this out there, but he intends for his to be way bigger and more comprehensive than his competitors’ stores. In fact, he wants his business to be the foremost supplier of DJ gear in the world.
His biggest stumbling block seems to me to be his failure to access decent commercial law advice. In Melbourne, surely, there can be no shortage of people qualified to help in this area, but Jacky is being stingy and refusing to hire them. He keeps ringing me to talk about things like shareholder agreements, franchises and joint ventures. From what I can tell, he doesn’t have that much of a clue what he’s on about.
Nor do I, for that matter. I keep telling him to calm down and find a lawyer. He always replies that he’ll just ask his cousin, a property solicitor based in Melbourne but who mysteriously seems to spend most of his time in Ballarat. Apparently, Jacky sees being vaguely connected to someone in the field of law as being a substitute for hiring a lawyer.
The worst part is that he thinks he can do it all alone. As in, he wants to create a massive company – not just a business, but the whole thing- by himself. Meanwhile, I’m starting to wonder if he might be cracking up under the pressure of what he’s trying to achieve. I really think he needs to slow down and approach it in more manageable increments, rather than trying to build a huge corporation overnight.
I mean, at the end of the day, he’s a DJ who couldn’t find the right gear, not a high-level wheeler and dealer. Maybe, over time, he can become someone who’s both of those things. But for the time being, he’s just biting off more than he can chew. When he can tell me the difference between a distribution agreement and a share transfer, I’ll take his fast-paced aspirations a bit more seriously.