To make any significant change to the course of my life I would have to wind the clock back to 1998 rather than the ten years suggested. This is because in August ’98 I bought a copy of The Sunday Times newspaper as I always did and saw an advertisement for franchisee dealerships with Bang & Olufsen. This was a new departure for the company and appeared to offer a great opportunity to be my own boss. Had I not bought the newspaper I would have remained blissfully unaware of the adventure that lay ahead.
If I could go back I don’t know whether I would do anything different. The franchise didn’t prove to be the great financial success I was promised but that wasn’t entirely why I went into it. I responded to the advertisement because I wanted something different, I was treading water making TV commercials and I needed a new challenge. Had I realised the cost implications not just the obvious financial ones but the chaos it would cause within my private life I might have ignored the lure of the shiny Danish products. I know I would certainly urge myself to have more caution and to do a great deal more probing into the exact benefits and costs involved in setting up such a venture. I remember that when the envelope arrived it sat on my desk for nearly three weeks before I opened it, you see I knew that therein lay a genie that once released would be very difficult to put back. I would definitely tell myself to find a partner someone who could put in the majority of the money, not to be rushed. I was undoubtedly naive and with that wonderful gift of hindsight I was certainly badly advised.
I don’t think it’s wise to dwell on the what might have beens or maybes. We all make choices based on the available information at the time, what you have to hope is that people with more experience or knowledge will assist you in the process and that you are sensible enough to listen.