All right, I admit it. This has the makings of a rant, but I really and truly want input, so I will try to keep it cool.
The scene: I have been seeing this guy for a few months now. Not long, but long enough that I know I want to know him better. We see each other about once a week or so, sometimes more, sometimes less. He has a lot of qualities which I truly admire, including the ability to make things happen. I have learned that if he says he’s going to do something, it’s very nearly a fait d’accompli before you ever hear of it.
So, he takes me out for dinner one evening in late August, and tells me, oh so casually, that he’s thinking about opening an automotive shop. He’s got the capital, the connections, the expertise, and most importantly, that je ne sais quois which makes a person a successful entrepreneur. I thought he was just playing with the idea, so I started asking the tougher questions about where he would set up, what kind of a clientele did he already have, what kind of partnerships and backing was he going to get from his family, etc.
“Well,” he said, “Dad and I are signing the lease tomorrow, I have a contact who is selling me some equipment at starter prices as a favour, the following companies have agreed in principle to service contracts for their fleets, and a lot of friends will be showing up with their cars. Oh, and the doors open in early September.”
Like I said, by the time he tells you he’s going to do something, it’s practically a done deal.
So, it has just turned October, and the shop is open. And busier than any opening business expects to be. He is working some brutal, brutal days, and carrying a tremendous amount of stress. I know that this is part and parcel of the opening round, but I am having a wee bitty of a problem here. There is precious little I can do to contribute to the shop itself, and so he and I agreed that my “job” is to provide some R&R on occasion. I think that apart from a couple of drop-in visits to the shop, I have seen him maybe twice since he opened. Mama’s gettin’ frustrated.
So, I am looking for advice. How to balance a new relationship with some decent potential against the real and critical demands of a new business? How long is it likely to be before he finds a rhythm he can maintain successfully, and still have a life? What other “new-business” challenges exist that I should anticipate?