As a freelance deal sourcer, I’ve encountered many species. In some of the boutique investment banks to which I take my researched ideas, I often get a lukewarm, if not a cold response. On occasions I get facetime with the primary owner / investor, I get a more productive response that is often followed by instructions to the owner’s associates to probe it further and see if the deal is do-able.
The associates clearly don’t like it. I call these guys “stuffed shirts”. They want the client to pin point an acquisition target, bring along a funding idea or even the choice of instrument so that these shirts can just fill in the template and engage a lawyer for due diligence and documentation. Anything that calls for a little bit of proprietary research upfront – that gives a client an opportunity or even a dream that he has never had himself – is out of bounds for them. Did you say customer delight? You must be mad. Why would they? They get paid by the end of the month anyway.
That’s clearly not my style. I left the job scene purely because of my zero tolerance to this habit of many a colleague. When I tried to right a few wrongs, they scorned me for being pushy and ambitious. Ambitious I am and always will be. I was born with it. Where it comes to exercising my choice between stuffed shirtism and street smartness, I cling to the latter. I know it’s all about making early calls, doing thankless un-sponsored research, bare knuckles, debates and if you luck out, negotiations for the deals to get done.
Life’s of course tough and revenue streams have significantly dried up compared to my day job life earlier. But this is what I enjoy doing, my state of bliss. Period….!