What an exciting day I had last Tuesday. Paul Andrews invited me to be one of the two guest speakers on The Business Bunker Show, which is a weekly event on Tuesdays from 1 – 2.30pm. Oh, and it would be live!
I took the scenic route from Tunbridge Wells, and as the sun came out I bravely put the top down on my Mini. Maybe summer had really begun. It was the first time I’d ever been to the Marshes (the studio is in Burmarsh, near New Romney), and as I got within ten miles of my destination it struck me as a different world – flat areas of countryside as far as you could see on both sides of the small road I was driving along, and infinitely more peaceful than the mayhem on the roads in and around Tunbridge Wells.
Paul and his vivacious and rather beautiful co-producer, Jules Serkin, immediately welcomed me. Paul explained that it would be as though we were having a friendly chat rather than a formal interview with thousands of listeners.
‘How long will I be speaking?’ I asked him, thinking I’d be lucky to get much more than five minutes.
‘About twenty minutes,’ was his answer.
That’s a long time on radio. I only hoped I wouldn’t let him down.
The other guest was a very nice man, Martin Feaver. He was a consultant coach, mainly for people who owned businesses but somehow had let things get on top of them. He was introduced first, and spoke fluently and confidently. I found it so interesting I quite forgot to be nervous that I’d be next!
‘And now for our second guest, Denise Barnes – businesswoman, entrepreneur and author!’
Martin swung the microphone over to me. I leaned forward, trying to remember to lower my voice a couple of octaves and not gabble. ‘So, Denise, tell us about yourself, your business and your book.’
This was obviously where my twenty minutes came in. I started by giving some background about how I got into estate agency, then opened up my own company, and finally put it on the open market to find a buyer. And that when the business agent introduced two gentlemen who eventually bought my company, I found to my utter dismay they were not at all what they had seemed. And so after three years of misery trying to extract the money they owed me, and seeing the business go downhill, I knew it was only a matter of time before they went bust. As a kind of cathartic exercise, and at the insistence of my sister that I should write about my experience so as to warn others thinking of selling their business, Seller Beware: How Not To Sell Your Business, published by Biteback Publishing, hit the shelves in April this year.’
Even though I was wearing headphones I often forgot I was live on radio, and made a few jokey remarks at which Paul laughed heartily and came back with a few himself. When I told him I used to work in Atlanta, he shot out: ‘Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.’ By now, I was really enjoying myself and was sorry when it came to an end. Paul gave me some extravagant praise about being a fun guest and said he will definitely be having me back in a few weeks. He said this when the red light was still on, so I shall hold him to it!
If you fancy listening to the recording which they always make for people who don’t get a chance to listen live, then go to their website and you’ll find the ‘Listen Again’ button.
You’ll hear some music, some banter between Paul and Jules, then Martin, and finally you’ll hear my dulcet tones (much lower than usual, but just as rapid). Happy listening!