“Johnny” founded an LLC. The LLC was to be an a.m. radio show that covered topics of music, nightlife, and the social scene in New York City. He was also planning an informational website in conjunction with the show with an e-commerce function that would sell promotional merchandise such as t-shirts, hats, key chains and other memorabilia. He was enthusiastic as he described it, and we had a good conversation about his plans and I recommended some bank solutions. He agreed with them. However, the state of New York had not yet approved his LLC.
It took the state seven weeks to approve it. When I found out it had been approved, I contacted him to let him know that his LLC was now legal for business operations and that he could open his account at this time. However, his level of enthusiasm was not the same as before. I told him what documents were required, and generated and sent him a bank resolution (legal document generated by the bank stating that certain officers of a company are authorized to conduct banking business) for his signature. Furthermore, he stated that he had a partner in Italy who was financing him, and he wanted the partner to sign the bank resolution. However, it would be some time before the partner would arrive in the U.S., and he wanted to wait.
I told him that it was not necessary to wait on the partner to sign the resolution. Since Johnny was a member of the LLC, as reflected in his state filing, then his signature on the bank resolution was sufficient. He balked. I told him that if he felt it was imperative, we could e-mail or fax the resolution to the partner in Italy. He still balked. I probed more, asking if there was some other issue. Did his competition pose a tough challenge? Was he lacking funds to start? Was he considering another bank? Was the partner holding him back for some reason? Was there any reason that the business plans were on the back burner? The answers were, “no” to all. He just said he felt “comfortable” waiting for the partner to come before making any moves at all.
We were talking about the relatively simple act of opening a business checking account, not much more. I checked with him from time to time. He was polite, but still no action.
Moral of the story: Nobody ever dithered their way to success.
The delay by the state of New York seemed to have killed his momentum, but he did not regain any enthusiasm or initiative. Bureaucratic delays are always painful, but he could have responded with an aggressive, “squeaky wheel” approach to them. Clearly, he did not possess an aggressive temperament. The state held up his business, but he provided no energy to keep it going after that. It is possible that he was not being honest with me about his reasons for waiting. But if he was, and it was a matter of waiting on his partner before doing anything, then his reluctance to act without someone else’s permission, even on minor decisions was his undoing. He simply lacked the strength, force, and initiative to follow through on what was a good plan.
**NOTE: All “Bankable Stories” were written by One Click Advisor founder James Chittenden and are true stories of clients that he assisted as a business banker. Names have been changed to protect client confidentiality.