No, it’s not a joke, I went and did it. At the moment that the price of the pound sterling plummeted, I scribbled my signature on a ten euro note. It wasn’t a 500€ bill in my hand, but for the moment I’ll have to be satisfied with this one.
Authors sign books, actors pen their posters and musicians dedicate their albums. But what about the others? Do they not need recognition? Of course they do. To prove to themselves that they are someone they invest time in socio-cultural projects and get involved in charities and foundations. They nurture good relationships with their family and their neighbours. They help do the cooking and bring a dessert to the party, or a bottle of wine. They have friends as well, who they thank for having been there when times were tough. People like me create a business (myself on several frontiers, just like the rest of the world.)
In general that’s what signing your autograph is all about. It’s like somebody narcissistically looking at himself in the mirror, winking and telling himself “You sir, are damn good.” He strikes an improbably pose (like that of a 1980s big-haired, white-toothed, moustachioed TV hero) and as he high-fives himself he creates a new dance; that of the monkey who takes himself for a star.
More seriously and to get back to the case in hand, I did it when I had my eureka moment. I had come to an agreement with my neighbour who, for a small sum, wanted access to my wireless internet network. I only began to test my commercial capabilities at the start of the week, but so far so good. I’m taking my first step, if you will.
To make a business work requires a continual personal investment and seeing this note pinned to my wall, nagging at me every morning plays a big role in allowing us to continue this adventure together.
This daily exercise in personal motivation is really pretty simple to do. You simply need the balls to do it. Take your wallet, get out a note(nota bene. this is unlikely to work with small change), write your name and sign. There you go. Job done. Now put it in a place that you pass all the time; pin it to the wall, stick it to your fridge or tape it to your bathroom mirror. This note will become one of your most faithful life partners.
Of course, you are then going to take a photo of it, put it up on the net (on imageshack.us for example) and send it to me, so I can make a little gallery… or not, as you wish.
In my boardroom I’ll frame it on the wall to demonstrate that money is not the aim, but rather a means to get to the goals that we set for ourselves, as proof that a bank note is only a piece of paper. Nothing more, nothing less. And if the worst comes to the worst, it will always be a bit of cash if ever you fall on hard times.
Translated by David Hewes.