I come back from my trip and now I am all gung-ho to move forward. Not so fast, Maggie. They still want financials from me. That freaked me the fuck out on Friday. I understand why. They are thinking about offering me an equity position, so they need to be sure that I can produce enough $$ to be worthy of such largess.
I punted the question with Queen Bee and tried to sidestep it by saying that was a dated mode of inquiry, but she was not be deterred. I got off the phone quickly because I wanted to think more about this. I called my BFF to debrief. Part of me actually entertained the idea of providing puffed up numbers. She talked me off that cliff.
Here’s the thing. They have not specified what they want in terms of financials. Do they want tax returns? Horrors! I hope not! Do they want Profit/Loss statements? Do they just want some general numbers about activity level and gross value of that activity? I fretted all night Friday.
I woke up on Saturday rebellious and full of piss & vinegar. Fuck them, I’ll give them nothing. That was my waking thought. Then I calmed down and was shooting for a full day of fretting on Saturday, but I was blessed by the Hunter’s intervention.
He was headed out the door to go do some Hunter-esque activity at Bass Pro. I had no interest in that. I was curled up on the daybed trying to research some answers for my situation. The work forums and google searches were yielding no help or insight into my particular situation. Ugh, this is when my niche business really becomes obscure. There is little written about our compensation and how we go about figuring it out. One day I will fix that, by golly. When I get closer to retirement, I plan on spilling my guts on these topics to help the younger generation, but I digress.
The Hunter looked at me frantically tapping away on my iPad and said, “I bet you don’t even get up from the couch”. I raised my head and said, “I’m going to a Farmers Market”. He replied with a challenging grin, “Nope, I doubt it.” Dammit, game on. I will prove him wrong and go. So I did and he ended up joining me because he was nearby. It was fun to be outside and have him with me. We had also taken a long walk in the morning. Between both activities, we got in more than 10K steps. All of this took my mind off of things.
Yesterday I continued with a jaunt to an art festival with some friends. I was outside, looking at art and chatting with my GF who is an HR guru about the situation. By this time I had chewed on it and re-framed it all. I realized that I was fortune-telling. What?!
I was already predicting that OppA was going to be disappointed with my numbers. I was already predicting that they would reject me based on my numbers. Why do I think that? I don’t know that this will dissuade them from hiring me. It might only affect my title and slow my equity partnership path, but I won’t know until I give them the numbers.
We might have to have more discussions, but I have a lot to offer them. I’m willing to go into a deeper niche of my niche profession. This means I give up a potential income stream — one that has been a mainstay throughout my career plus several other potential income streams (which I occasionally made $$ from). I am doing this with eyes wide open. There aren’t many of my fellow sharks who agree to such a handicap. The team at OppA know that too. It makes recruiting tough for them.
One reason I am freaking out is due to a story I heard about a colleague. I’ve known this guy for years. He had never worked for a big company, but one came courting him. They thought they were getting a badass and courted him furiously, flew him to a couple of places to meet others, even introduced him to a client, I think. Anyway, they asked for his financials also. He explained that the Recession had crushed him, but here you go and provided them. They never spoke to him again — completely ghosted him. That’s my crazy fear in the back of my head — this shit does happen. I would be heartbroken and embarrassed if this happened to me. Now, the folks he was dealing with are pond scum. I know because I worked for them. The folks at OppA aren’t so cruel, or at least I hope not.
Perhaps I need to re-frame this as a test for them. How will they react will tell me a lot about them as well. I have a call into my OppA advocate. I’m not sure what I want to say and perhaps I should say nothing. I have thought about explaining or providing context to my numbers, but that’s giving excuses when none have been asked for. Do I explain that in the past five years I have experienced the loss of job, death of a parent, divorce, kids leaving for college & beyond and more? That is definitely TMI. Nobody wants to hire someone with drama. I think less is more in this situation. Just keep my mouth shut, treat it like a deposition — only answer what has been asked and volunteer no information.
They are poised to give me my Offer Letter. Everything is teed up. I need to step carefully and I need to take action. It’s a gamble for everyone, but isn’t every hire a gamble? I think this will be a gamble that will pay off big for everyone. Let’s roll the dice. Now, let me figure out a simple Excel spreadsheet that tells the story I want to tell about my numbers. Lovely, it’s Monday and I have a spreadsheet to create…..
Photo by Wyron A on Unsplash