My Inactive Business Partner Helped Me Re-Learn a Valuable Lesson

We almost always don’t seek help where we should.

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When I started Ting Tong Marketing, I started it with the intention of teaming up my events business Pegasus Events, with an added consulting service.

It started as a partnership with an ex-colleague of mine that had to leave for personal reasons.

The way partnership businesses work, is that in case one of the partners decides to leave, you have to replace them with another partner.

I was stuck, and I figured, might as well keep it within the family, and I offered a 20% partnership to my Mom.

I had offered this hoping she would actually get involved and take charge of invoicing, however, that is a story for another day.

About my business partner:

After a few years spent working at the Airports Authority of India, she retired owing to the birth of her son, me, and has pretty much been a homemaker since then. Shuffling between staying with her kids. (My sister in Bangalore and myself in Mumbai)

Anyway, getting back to what happened.

I recently closed a client from Hong Kong, for an event to take place on the 10th of June 2022.

All set, invoice approved, time to receive payment. The client tells me,” Adnan I need to send you the payment urgently, and I can do so only using a payment link and an AMEX credit card. Go figure”

The way it works here is we send the invoice and a bank transfer is used through which clients transfer me the funds.

After requesting again, the client insisted that the fastest way to get the funds is that itself.

I had never done this and the tightly regulated payment providers here take ages to complete KYC and relevant steps, the settlement cycle followed is usually T+10. With an event on 10th June, it seemed highly implausible.

I reach out to a partner agency,” Adnan we have a payment system in place but haven’t activated AMEX payments”. — Out

I reach out to my CA,” Adnan, this request is coming to me for the first time, I need to research how to swing this”. — Out

I reach out to my Bank Manager,” Sir I can’t understand what you are asking of us” and then sends me a bunch of faqs. — Out

I reach out to a friend,” I will give you my payment link…”

I thought phew, finally, get the payment link and send it to the client. The client tries to swipe but declined.

Client,” Adnan may I please ask you to check if there is a transaction limit?”

I start calling my friend, no response. I call again, no response. I WhatsApp him, seen but not responded.

Finally, he responds at the end of the day, when my client has gone home and is sleeping,” Tell the client to make two transactions”. I say ok cool.

The first thing the next morning, the client,” Adnan, may I please ask you to recheck if AMEX is accepted”

I reach out to my friend again,” The platform is having an issue with international payments, I have already raised a request, ask the client to wait. “ — OK.FINE.

The next day, the client emails asking, and I say wait.

Try reaching my friend, he's traveling and on the flight all day. I think fuck.

Being the hypertensive person I am, I love certainty. Vendors start following up for payments and as of right now, my little shared payment link is not working.

I start losing sleep, it's a big amount and it needs to come and 3 days including a weekend have passed.

No Sleep = Irritability, yelling, ranting, and an overall unpleasant Adnan.

My business partner notices this and walks up to me one day.

Irritably, I say,” It’s a long story, don't ask”

She says,” Try me” and I explain everything to her.

She walks into her room and comes back with a small Bohri book. I say Bohri book because it has an embroidered cover on it. (A trait Dawoodi Bohra women have as far as personal effects are concerned)

She opens a page and asks me,” Have you tried something called PayPal? In 2020 you received a USD payment from a client in the US.”

I keep looking at her with a dumb look on my face, thinking, FUCK.

I deleted PayPal after that payment.

I reinstall it immediately, but can't remember my username and password.

She has it jotted down in her small Bohri Book from 2020.

I sign in and go to messaging. Explain the case and ask if I can receive payments via AMEX from a client based abroad.

10 minutes later, I get a response from Customer Service — Ms.Bhagyashree.

“Hi Adnan, as I see it your KYC is complete and you can receive payments from abroad and your client can use AMEX. Your account is not under any limit. And you can generate your invoice and send it through PayPal itself.”

After reading that, I email my client asking if that works, and the client responds, “ We are also on PayPal, please send me your link”

I send off the invoices and I am sitting there in awe of my business partner.

I go,” Wow, I have been struggling for days” and she responds by saying,” checkout Dhoni’s(Indian Team Cricketer) dog”, oblivious to the fact that she has just helped me solve a problem.

I look at it and smile,” Yeah it’s amazing, thank you so much for showing it to me. Then I tell her how she helped and she says,” ok great, and goes and puts her Bohri book away.”

Here is what I learned from this:

With the rush involved in life, we tend to forget important things that can help us at a later stage. In my case, I had completely forgotten I was registered with PayPal.

Getting worked up and anxious never works, because it stops you from actually thinking about how you can work around it.

A solution can come from somewhere you least expect it.

An immaculate record of things can pull you out of a tricky situation. Always maintain one.

Retaining relevant information instead of stuffing your head with everything possible can many times be the cause of pandemonium.

Most days, the only conversation I have with my business partner is about what we’ll get for lunch and her time is better spent on Instagram checking out the different accounts she follows and video calling her younger brother(who lives 5 buildings away btw), but, when it matters, well that you can gauge from what I have mentioned above.

I am grateful for how the universe works and I am grateful I have such a smart person with me in Business. When it matters, instead of being helpless, she came to me with an impactful and practical solution.

Have you ever experienced something like this? Would love to know.

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