Tuesday, March 28, 2006

T.I.T.S.© Inc.

Do you ever have the urge to adopt the whole Jim-Carrey-Liar-Liar approach and just tell people how it is directly to their faces?

“Hey, nice tits”
“Shit haircut”
“Ugly baby”
“Fishy breath”
“YES, I’ve noticed your iPod”
“Selfish, stupid, disgusting, arrogant, stigmatised, anti-social smoker who has to stand out in the rain because of Scotland’s smoking ban. Na, na, na-na, na.”

No, me neither... just thought I’d ask. And now for something completely different…

I’ve always admired people who give up secure jobs to follow their dreams and start their own businesses. The drive and hunger to be the next Alan Sugar or Richard Branson gives them a frenetic demeanour not unlike that found on the face of someone about to attempt their first bungee jump. If the analogy is accurate, I can promise you they’re also experiencing some activity of the frenetic kind in their underpants.

Last December, my pal Bruce took just such a leap to start his own training consultancy business. At the time, I shook his hand and wished him well and underlined the fact that if he ever needed financial support of any kind, well that’s what banks are for. Since then, he’s been assembling his plans and last week he got it in touch to tell me about the New Start Scotland exhibition in Glasgow, designed specifically for people like him. (Entrepreneurs that is, not ageing, baldy bampots.)

“You should come with me on Saturday,” he chirped excitedly. “It’ll be fun and it might help launch that freelance writing career you’re always taking about.”

“Fun? Really?” I replied with a groan. “I’ve actually got some fairly firm plans in place to watch paint dry this Saturday so, another time perhaps?”

“Pick you up at 9.00,” he declared, hanging up the phone.

Sure enough, he and his wife Linda turned up at my door early on Saturday and as we headed to the SECC, I dozed in the back of the car listening to them discuss potential business names for his new consultancy.

“How about ‘Top International Training Solutions’?” I offered at one point with a snigger. “Think of all the fun you’d have handing out your business cards.” Linda’s steely glare rendered me silent for the rest of the journey.

The SECC was buzzing with people when we arrived and most appeared to be heading for a Spring Fair exhibition where, judging by the glorious cooking aromas wafting through from the hall, free food sampling was on offer. Just as I was about to slip away and stuff my face, I discovered that the strength of Linda’s grip easily matched that of her stare and I was dragged back to the serious matters at hand.

Upon entering our exhibition, I was handed a plastic bag full of brochures and invited to enter all manner of free draws for iPods, champagne, massages, accountancy services and yet more iPods.

“Oh and here’s a free pen sir with our compliments.”

Two hours later, I had more shopping bags than Carrie Bradshaw in the January sales and enough free pens to start my own stationery business.

As I trawled the stands for information to assist Bruce, the majority of exhibitors were polite and enquiring and eager to help. However, one in particular had clearly watched too many episodes of The Apprentice and began his pitch with, “Good morning sir. Here today to unleash your potential?”

“Nope,” I sighed with a resigned shrug. “I tried unleashing it a few years ago but it just ran away and never came back. It’s still out there somewhere roaming the streets with its hoodie-wearing buddies, swigging Buckie and picking on weaker potential at every opportunity. What a waste.”

Mr. Apprentice threw me a bemused look and obviously decided I didn’t have what he was looking for. “Nice talking to you anyway sir. Here’s a free pen.”

All in all, the exhibition was interesting and informative and the range of help and support for new businesses in Scotland is certainly impressive. Bruce managed to do his fair share of networking and I’m now poised to launch that freelance writing career I’m always talking about. If only I had something to write with.

More newspaper stuff here.

5 Comments:

At 28/3/06 9:27 am, Blogger Stuart Sutherland said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 28/3/06 9:28 am, Blogger Stuart Sutherland said...

So .... does Bruce have a name for the company yet? And do they need some web design, web strategy advice or consultancy on how to conduct training online? Yours, always available for this type of work (but certainly not desperate).

Stuart

 
At 29/3/06 5:04 pm, Anonymous Bruce said...

Names........ Hmmmmmmmm......Was considering either Bruces Innovation Group or West Edinburgh Executive to be added to Top International Training Solutions. Either that or just call myself "Bruce Melvin Learning & Development". As for Web design & advice that would be useful at that very special Team Edge price!

 
At 31/3/06 12:23 am, Anonymous wendi said...

i was really more or a flaming hot pink crimson hue...i guess..

 
At 3/4/06 1:14 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your writing is more fluid than ever. I will return to read properly later now that i am back in the land of the living and have internet. God, that sounds so pitiful. Anyway, now you can come and visit me cos i moved house and have space.
x Saidhbhin

 

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