Training for the Nays and the Naysayers

Weekly updates of my journey as a French Tech entrepreneur starting up in France.

The journey so far

Week 3 — Friday, April 2 2021, 1900 Hours

Here, become who you are

I know this is a strange title for a post, but when I sit back to analyse the week that went by, that is the only thought that comes to mind — that entrepreneurs must train themselves for a lot of No’s and failures.

Entrepreneurs are always in launch mode. We are always doing something new, shipping a product, experimenting with an idea or trying to get something done. The scales vary — it could be a small product feature, a new company setup or a new business partnership. Its something new thats gotta be ticked off the long list, each day.

As a consequence, you get to hear a lot of “No’s”, a lot of resistance, and a lot of people who will begin with mistrust and “I don't think you guys can do it” attitude.

People react this way to entrepreneurs, because by definition we are doing things that move the status quo. We are challenging the existing status of things and that sort of stuff makes most people very uncomfortable.

This week had a lot of To Dos on our list. Most of it time critical and interlinked.

Monday

👉 set up bank account for the company
👉 get the incorporation going
👉 meet some folks to get new partnership discussions going
👉 follow up on our carte de Sejour
👉 find a house if we have to stay longer
👉 get our financial and business plan approved

Pretty simple list — one would think. But as the week rolled by and emails / phone calls kept turning up with “sorry cant help you” or “try again in 3 weeks” or worse still, complete silence — things began to look grim.

Wednesday

👎 Two banks had turned us down because we were new in France — even though we wanted to just put in money, not take money from them!
☝Without the bank, our lawyer couldnt move forward with company setup.🤷 Covid19 caused more people to refuse meetings — even zoom calls or simply not respond.

Thursday

The icing on the cake was when someone tried to scam us into paying them a 1000 € and trying to show us a house that didnt exist. 🙅‍♂️

Clearly, one of the sites that we’d been using for house research is likely to have sold our data to hackers / scamsters otherwise there was no way this might have happened. Thankfully our extra vigilance and suspicion about anything that appears too good to be true, saved us at the last moment.

By Thursday afternoon, I had come to the conclusion that this week was a washout and nothing was likely to move forward. We’d made a decision about a deadline by which if things didnt move forward, we’d have to activate plan Bs and Plan Cs.

Thursday — second half

A few gentle and “not so gentle” reminder emails later, responses started trickling in over email.

👋 people from the bank replied and said they are keen to meet on Friday
🤙 our lawyer called and informed us that incorporation process had started 🤝 had a meeting setup for Friday at our incubator for identifying partners
🙌 our mentor advised us that the business plan looks set to be approved

Fridyaay!

Innovallee, Tarmac — The incubator where Adaptiv SAS is domiciled in France

We had a series of meetings and discussions at our new Tarmac incubator offices — each one ticking off the action items we so desperately needed closed.

Things have started moving in the right direction after a long wait.

Sure the future remains uncertain and many things still need to be done, but what looked like a week gone down the drain suddenly turned around to be a milestone week for our startup journey.

As I close this week, I tell myself to get some rest and enjoy this moment of small achievements. Because next week will again be a battle against the Nays and Naysayers of the world.

Technologist. Story-teller. Husband. Dad.

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