The Entrepreneur Forum | Startups | Entrepreneurship | Starting a Business | Motivation | Success

Need a 3rd view opinion on my partnership situation

Accelerate wealth. Build a business that pays freedom. Join more than 70,000 entrepreneurs and register for the Fastlane Entrepreneur forum. Remove ads? Join the INSIDERS.

krisn

New Contributor
Apr 9, 2021
4
1
11
Hey guys

Honestly just need to get this out of me already and i thought this forum would be perfect since i could get some feedback from other more experienced entrepreneurs. I really dont have anybody to talk to this about as i deleted my facebook/ig to focus on the grind and cut off basically all "old friends". Plus i only want an opinion of somebody that actually understands the situation and not just some random thoughts from somebody who hasn't run a business before...

Anyway basically last year i started my first e-commerce business with my business partner. We structured the entity 50/50, (i handle the operations and finance and he handles marketing so i handled incorporating entirely since he has 0 clue about that + i was paying for everything and he was paying me back with all the money he managed to save because he was broke af, we both were but he was next level broke) We both had full time jobs and grinded on the business on the side.

At first it was great we had no arguments because we were super focused on making business work. There was like synergy or something we were focused on getting out of rat race together and put all the differences aside. And that worked pretty well within a few months we managed to have 40k cash saved in the bank account. I was ready to put everything on this business and quit my old job already then. For months I was paying myself only 2k/m for working like 7 days a week, just enough to survive basically and focus full time on growing this thing. Meanwhile he kept his job and worked on this part time only and didnt take any money since he had income coming it from the other job. I told him several times to quit his job already and come work on this full time already but he kept his job and did part time work on the business. He was just playing it "safe and smart" i guess but eventually he quit his job and started working on this business full time as well when i basically told him to. Before he went full time as well he did bring it up to me at some point that i was paying myself too much out of business when i was working full time on this thing and he was working part time only and making full time income from his full time job. When i told him that he has a full time income and half of this company is his he literally told me that "that is his money" and this is "our money". We had an argument about this but managed to settle it eventually. We also had another argument in which I gave him some feedback about the work he did, it was harsh because the work was bad and he told me to "stick to my lane" and gets super defensive over literally me only trying to improve things with best intentions so they are as best as they can be. He later admitted that he shouldn't have said that and that he was an a**hole but you know you have so many of bullshit arguments like that and you dont feel the same about the things anymore... It drains your energy and instead of focusing on working together you are starting to see negatives only...

So its been just over a year now and in the first year we made $600k in revenue and about $200k in profit. This is the most money i ever made and it feels to me like a decent amount of money right now. I know if we are going to continue building this we are going to have multiple 7 digits of revenue coming in within a year or two here. But man we have these bs arguments like basically every other week. There are such a f*cking bs for the most part. There were literally so many of them i won't be trying to list out all of them in here but for instance when we went into business together i didnt figure out to ask him for his full credit score record and only asked him about it and he mentioned it wasnt the best and it turned out later on he has like a derailed credit score, collections, missed payments, etc. Far below average credit score. So when we were applying for some credit cards etc i totally not aware of how bad his credit score was and listening to him talk about points hacking (he must have watched some youtube videos about it) applied for some credit cards and got declined. When the banker told me that his credit score is too low and if it was just me id get it no problem i realized just then that i been applying for credit products, affecting my credit score and getting declined because he has a bad credit score. We managed to get some laughable 1k and another 2k secured credit cards after basically begging the bank for it. So my business partner can be oblivious like that. I am starting to see this clearly now he is like an adolescent immature kid. He does things without really thinking about the consequences then he says something like "i didnt know" "i wasn't aware" or "you just need to let me know what you want me to do" and i end up having to deal with consequences of his bs decisions.

Another bullshit argument was about an accountant. Since i handle operations and finance i have this really great accountant that i introduced to him and shes like totally no bullshit person and a bit crazy and we invited her over and wanted to present to her some business plans and she said that shes an accountant and not a business coach. She will handle the numbers and tax filings, etc. I appreciate the honesty because i had heard some stories of accountants before that listen to your business plans and f*ck you over in the process anyway. My accountant may not be totally "normal" she has some strong views about energy and vibrations and stuff and she did show it when we 3 met together for the first time but she is actually the best accountant i know so i dont really care about how she is personally. Besides i actually vibe with her mindset of going against the wave. So my partner that used turbotax to file his personal taxes himself because his mom told him to do that (when we were already in business together and i emphasized how important it is to have a good accountant already several times) made a huge argument over my accountant not wanting to listen to some bullshit business plans we were to present to her... This accountant after a single meeting gave a solution to how to eliminate our biggest monthly expense at the time, which was just unbelievable at the time when that happened that was like giving ourselves a monthly 100% raise. It took my partner a while to realize how smart that is and what we actually did and he appreciated it in the end but we had bullshit argument over it because it just takes him a while to realize some things.

We also moved in together like 5 months back because we used to live in the same city but i moved down south and so now he moved down south as well so we could be co-located. I feel like moving in together added even more tensions between us. I am probably not the easiest person to live with, and living with roommates can be super bullshit as well. Now I start to see it though, I understand that everybody can have a bad day and shit sleep but this kid sometimes when he gets a bad sleep he is acting like a total little baby. He basically raged the other day over just having a conversation "You are a joke. You are a joke. You are so stupid" he was yelling literally almost trying to get physical with me over the smallest bullshit. I was actually controlling myself and calmed him down but I probably should have just beat him up at this point already because holding this anger in starts to make me feel really bad. I am actually on the merge of fighting this kid at this point to be honest.

I could list other bullshit arguments here but i think there is no point of doing that really. What i realized eventually is that he makes these huge promises about things and falls super short. Sets goals super high and fall super short. "We gonna rank #1 on google by the end of the year" "I am gonna set up these killers ads". Then nothing is done to build google seo positioning and the ad campaigns he spent several months working on we spend $5k and we had 1 sale from it. I am all about setting goals high but if you are doing that and results are not following you are just talking. I am not the kind of guy that will listen to you promise moon and when you deliver super short will be super stoked about it. Who would be?

We definitely made some mistakes, you know it being our 1st year in business and whatnot. He built a shopify store which I gave him full field of operating within & as much money as he needed. The thing turned out to be a $20k website that doesn't sell anything and I had to step in an intervene to get this thing moving in the right direction. To this day is still hasn't started creating positive cashflow...

I am not a perfect person, for sure. I made some mistakes as well, for sure. He does some things right, for sure. I actually let go of so many of these arguments and tried making peace with him so we can move on and work together but i am honestly tired of this bullshit. Things are good for a bit then we are back to bullshit arguments. I am also 3 years older than him and been helping him different stuff and teaching him things basically mentoring him and i feel like hes ungrateful and an immature adolescent kid. What sucks is that i spent last year working on this constantly, and he worked on it as well and from one side id rather have this work and make some serious money together and exit this properly in some time and probably never go into business with another partner again. From the other side i am seeing this is starting to be about getting back at him for all the bullshit he has caused. These arguments are starting to make me very angry, especially him trying to get physical with me when i can actually beat him up.

We make peace, things are good we are good we are friendly then shit happens and we go back to square 1. Honestly this is as emotionally exhausting as being in a relationship with some crazy chick. I've read what others say on this forum about partnerships. Some say if you can make it work its great and worth it. Others say no way and they would never do it. After what ive been through i dont think i ever want to go into a partnership again. Definitely not without properly verifying every aspect of how the other person really is.

What would you do if you were me? Any successful partnerships out there that had to go through nonsense like that and in the end it was worth it?

Sorry this is rather a long whining and ramming about the situation but i just need to get this out and hear some people tell me what they think

Thanks
 
Don't like ads? Remove them while supporting the forum: Subscribe to Fastlane Insiders.
Last edited:

Ronak

Gold Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Summit Attendee
Speedway Pass
Sep 13, 2013
552
1,740
496
Partnerships are difficult. When they work, they work phenomenally well, but that takes maturity, commitment, mutual respect, and open communication.

Sounds like you are quite fed up with the conflicts.

A few questions to ponder:

1) What did you contribute to the business' initial success? Where would the business be without that contribution? I'm not talking about hours put in, sacrifices, etc. Just the specific actions that actually produced tangible results.

2) Same question, but for your partner--what did he contribute?

3) What's holding you back from parting ways and doing things on your own?

Also keep in mind that it is useful to separate the personal from the business side of things when making this assessment.

He may be a douche, but at the same time, a genius at what he does. Those two are not mutually exclusive. Honestly recognize the positive with the negative, and you will have more clarity on what needs to be done.
 

krisn

New Contributor
Apr 9, 2021
4
1
11
Partnerships are difficult. When they work, they work phenomenally well, but that takes maturity, commitment, mutual respect, and open communication.

Sounds like you are quite fed up with the conflicts.

A few questions to ponder:

1) What did you contribute to the business' initial success? Where would the business be without that contribution? I'm not talking about hours put in, sacrifices, etc. Just the specific actions that actually produced tangible results.

2) Same question, but for your partner--what did he contribute?

3) What's holding you back from parting ways and doing things on your own?

Also keep in mind that it is useful to separate the personal from the business side of things when making this assessment.

He may be a douche, but at the same time, a genius at what he does. Those two are not mutually exclusive. Honestly recognize the positive with the negative, and you will have more clarity on what needs to be done.
Partnerships are difficult indeed. Running a business can be stressful itself and having additional emotional stress when you can't get along with your partner just adds up gas to the fire...

1 & 2 - I wrote down an analysis of our major business executions and ideas and to be fair in terms of that we both had our fair share of both. They are about the same give it or take. Being totally fair about all of that I think either of us would get to where we currently are if we went into business alone. We wouldn't be able to execute on this business model alone considering where we were 1 year ago when we started and bring it to its current state in just 1 year. (That's just being totally honest its just what I think)

3 - What's stopping me from parting away right now is that its too early to exit this (I think? I never properly exit a business before) and I spent last year of my life working on this business constantly, which is the biggest commitment I ever made personally. If I leave this business right now I get nothing out of it other than cash I made so far and some experience. (I suppose 1 year is not really that much considering some people build their businesses their entire lives and go bankrupt several times and comeback from it stronger than ever before, but still it sucks) We made some major mistakes along the way and this business hasn't even reached its full potential, not even close. The opportunity to make the biggest money in my life yet is literally right in front of me right now.
 

Itizn

Bronze Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane!
Speedway Pass
Sep 25, 2019
334
499
224
Colombia
Halfway through reading that it felt like a divorce origin story.

Too late at this point, but in the future don't start businesses with friends.

"Keep your friends for friendships, but work with the skilled and competent"

- Robert Greene
 

Ronak

Gold Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Summit Attendee
Speedway Pass
Sep 13, 2013
552
1,740
496
I wrote down an analysis of our major business executions and ideas and to be fair in terms of that we both had our fair share of both

OK-- can you be more specific?
What's stopping me from parting away right now is that its too early to exit this
What you mean by an exit? What are your other options besides an "exit"?


The opportunity to make the biggest money in my life yet is literally right in front of me right now.

Is it?

I probably should have just beat him up

emotionally exhausting

This suggests otherwise...
 

krisn

New Contributor
Apr 9, 2021
4
1
11
OK-- can you be more specific?

What you mean by an exit? What are your other options besides an "exit"?




Is it?





This suggests otherwise...
Hey

Sorry I had to take some time to think about this entire situation. I ended up fighting him after all. I've had enough of it. We are both moving out of this place now. So in a way things "solved themselves". We are going to have to split the business somehow or 1 person buys the other person out maybe. Will need to figure that out. Anyway it's probably a good thing it happened now before really big money comes.

In terms of what he has done and what I have done for the business:

Him:

Major Ideas:

- He suggested we go into drop shipping together
- He suggested we start selling on Etsy (After we started with shopify and realized our site was trash)
- He found the initial product we got started selling with (These 3 initial ideas got us started in the right direction)
- He suggested I get in touch with our supplier (I found them but didn't reach out to them at first as they don't really offer an easy entry level solution but he said I should reach out to them and I did)

Execution:

- He did a lot of labor work when we were first getting started (fulfilling orders & customer service. That was when we both had full time jobs so it wouldn't be very easy for me to do that by my own, but with my experience now I see that I should have just hired somebody to do this in a first place anyway)
- He posted listings (this is his biggest contribution to the business)
- He managed marketplace ads
- He managed customer service team
- He built a shopify store for the product that we sell very successfully on a marketplace (fail)

Me:

Major Ideas:

- I suggested we open multiple Etsy stores instead of having 1 store (this allowed us to scale our volume 5x)
- I suggested a lot of different ideas to improve listings and get them selling consistently at large volume (the way listings were structured, the photos we used, etc. (Without this these listings were not selling much consistently. That's how we figured out how to build listings that sell a lot. With any product. Before that we had 1-2 sales a day)
- I suggested we add more line items (this has 10x our sales, we scaled because of this. He wanted to sell only 1 product)

Execution:

- I handled incorporating the company
- I provided initial funds to start the business (he paid me half of it back as soon as he was able to)
- We used my credit card initially to generate initial capital then used my access to credit to get business credit cards
- I created basically all of our additional line items, he created the 1st one
- I managed the design team
- I got us connected and set up with a supplier for an entry level solution then got us connected to printing api (scaling)
- I got us connected with a SaaS and set up a custom backend solution for our shopify store that would allow us to do what we do on shopify at scale with ease (we never got to that point though everything has been set up and just needed volume flowing through)
- I handled payroll
- I handled taxes - setting up PST & GST, remittance, returns and set up having our ledger sync with shopping carts properly
- I built an automation system for our Etsy backend (fail)

I wrote this analysis down when you first suggested I do and it did really help me clarify on things. Looking at the post again now there was so much nonsense going on. Why waste time on things like that when I can actually focus on things that matter? It felt like I wouldn't be able to do it by myself but thinking about it now I think I really would and more than that I should. Why split 50% of my profit with somebody, especially when we can't get along even over the smallest things? I'd rather hire & train employees and remain the person in charge instead of this partnership thing.

I think long-term starting it over again by myself is going to be much better actually. I won't need to get anybody on the same page anymore. No more bullshit. I really tried to make this work but it just didn't work no matter what. I think we weren't a good fit for busines partners in a first place since we had so much nonsense going on. I will start it over again and its going to be much better this time. I've learned a lot in a year of running a business, especially what not to do.

Thanks for your input @Ronak
 

Roli

Platinum Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane!
Read Unscripted!
Speedway Pass
Jun 3, 2015
1,606
2,618
680
Hey guys

Honestly just need to get this out of me already and i thought this forum would be perfect since i could get some feedback from other more experienced entrepreneurs. I really dont have anybody to talk to this about as i deleted my facebook/ig to focus on the grind and cut off basically all "old friends". Plus i only want an opinion of somebody that actually understands the situation and not just some random thoughts from somebody who hasn't run a business before...

Anyway basically last year i started my first e-commerce business with my business partner. We structured the entity 50/50, (i handle the operations and finance and he handles marketing so i handled incorporating entirely since he has 0 clue about that + i was paying for everything and he was paying me back with all the money he managed to save because he was broke af, we both were but he was next level broke) We both had full time jobs and grinded on the business on the side.

At first it was great we had no arguments because we were super focused on making business work. There was like synergy or something we were focused on getting out of rat race together and put all the differences aside. And that worked pretty well within a few months we managed to have 40k cash saved in the bank account. I was ready to put everything on this business and quit my old job already then. For months I was paying myself only 2k/m for working like 7 days a week, just enough to survive basically and focus full time on growing this thing. Meanwhile he kept his job and worked on this part time only and didnt take any money since he had income coming it from the other job. I told him several times to quit his job already and come work on this full time already but he kept his job and did part time work on the business. He was just playing it "safe and smart" i guess but eventually he quit his job and started working on this business full time as well when i basically told him to. Before he went full time as well he did bring it up to me at some point that i was paying myself too much out of business when i was working full time on this thing and he was working part time only and making full time income from his full time job. When i told him that he has a full time income and half of this company is his he literally told me that "that is his money" and this is "our money". We had an argument about this but managed to settle it eventually. We also had another argument in which I gave him some feedback about the work he did, it was harsh because the work was bad and he told me to "stick to my lane" and gets super defensive over literally me only trying to improve things with best intentions so they are as best as they can be. He later admitted that he shouldn't have said that and that he was an a**hole but you know you have so many of bullshit arguments like that and you dont feel the same about the things anymore... It drains your energy and instead of focusing on working together you are starting to see negatives only...

So its been just over a year now and in the first year we made $600k in revenue and about $200k in profit. This is the most money i ever made and it feels to me like a decent amount of money right now. I know if we are going to continue building this we are going to have multiple 7 digits of revenue coming in within a year or two here. But man we have these bs arguments like basically every other week. There are such a f*cking bs for the most part. There were literally so many of them i won't be trying to list out all of them in here but for instance when we went into business together i didnt figure out to ask him for his full credit score record and only asked him about it and he mentioned it wasnt the best and it turned out later on he has like a derailed credit score, collections, missed payments, etc. Far below average credit score. So when we were applying for some credit cards etc i totally not aware of how bad his credit score was and listening to him talk about points hacking (he must have watched some youtube videos about it) applied for some credit cards and got declined. When the banker told me that his credit score is too low and if it was just me id get it no problem i realized just then that i been applying for credit products, affecting my credit score and getting declined because he has a bad credit score. We managed to get some laughable 1k and another 2k secured credit cards after basically begging the bank for it. So my business partner can be oblivious like that. I am starting to see this clearly now he is like an adolescent immature kid. He does things without really thinking about the consequences then he says something like "i didnt know" "i wasn't aware" or "you just need to let me know what you want me to do" and i end up having to deal with consequences of his bs decisions.

Another bullshit argument was about an accountant. Since i handle operations and finance i have this really great accountant that i introduced to him and shes like totally no bullshit person and a bit crazy and we invited her over and wanted to present to her some business plans and she said that shes an accountant and not a business coach. She will handle the numbers and tax filings, etc. I appreciate the honesty because i had heard some stories of accountants before that listen to your business plans and f*ck you over in the process anyway. My accountant may not be totally "normal" she has some strong views about energy and vibrations and stuff and she did show it when we 3 met together for the first time but she is actually the best accountant i know so i dont really care about how she is personally. Besides i actually vibe with her mindset of going against the wave. So my partner that used turbotax to file his personal taxes himself because his mom told him to do that (when we were already in business together and i emphasized how important it is to have a good accountant already several times) made a huge argument over my accountant not wanting to listen to some bullshit business plans we were to present to her... This accountant after a single meeting gave a solution to how to eliminate our biggest monthly expense at the time, which was just unbelievable at the time when that happened that was like giving ourselves a monthly 100% raise. It took my partner a while to realize how smart that is and what we actually did and he appreciated it in the end but we had bullshit argument over it because it just takes him a while to realize some things.

We also moved in together like 5 months back because we used to live in the same city but i moved down south and so now he moved down south as well so we could be co-located. I feel like moving in together added even more tensions between us. I am probably not the easiest person to live with, and living with roommates can be super bullshit as well. Now I start to see it though, I understand that everybody can have a bad day and shit sleep but this kid sometimes when he gets a bad sleep he is acting like a total little baby. He basically raged the other day over just having a conversation "You are a joke. You are a joke. You are so stupid" he was yelling literally almost trying to get physical with me over the smallest bullshit. I was actually controlling myself and calmed him down but I probably should have just beat him up at this point already because holding this anger in starts to make me feel really bad. I am actually on the merge of fighting this kid at this point to be honest.

I could list other bullshit arguments here but i think there is no point of doing that really. What i realized eventually is that he makes these huge promises about things and falls super short. Sets goals super high and fall super short. "We gonna rank #1 on google by the end of the year" "I am gonna set up these killers ads". Then nothing is done to build google seo positioning and the ad campaigns he spent several months working on we spend $5k and we had 1 sale from it. I am all about setting goals high but if you are doing that and results are not following you are just talking. I am not the kind of guy that will listen to you promise moon and when you deliver super short will be super stoked about it. Who would be?

We definitely made some mistakes, you know it being our 1st year in business and whatnot. He built a shopify store which I gave him full field of operating within & as much money as he needed. The thing turned out to be a $20k website that doesn't sell anything and I had to step in an intervene to get this thing moving in the right direction. To this day is still hasn't started creating positive cashflow...

I am not a perfect person, for sure. I made some mistakes as well, for sure. He does some things right, for sure. I actually let go of so many of these arguments and tried making peace with him so we can move on and work together but i am honestly tired of this bullshit. Things are good for a bit then we are back to bullshit arguments. I am also 3 years older than him and been helping him different stuff and teaching him things basically mentoring him and i feel like hes ungrateful and an immature adolescent kid. What sucks is that i spent last year working on this constantly, and he worked on it as well and from one side id rather have this work and make some serious money together and exit this properly in some time and probably never go into business with another partner again. From the other side i am seeing this is starting to be about getting back at him for all the bullshit he has caused. These arguments are starting to make me very angry, especially him trying to get physical with me when i can actually beat him up.

We make peace, things are good we are good we are friendly then shit happens and we go back to square 1. Honestly this is as emotionally exhausting as being in a relationship with some crazy chick. I've read what others say on this forum about partnerships. Some say if you can make it work its great and worth it. Others say no way and they would never do it. After what ive been through i dont think i ever want to go into a partnership again. Definitely not without properly verifying every aspect of how the other person really is.

What would you do if you were me? Any successful partnerships out there that had to go through nonsense like that and in the end it was worth it?

Sorry this is rather a long whining and ramming about the situation but i just need to get this out and hear some people tell me what they think

Thanks
I think you've already done the most important thing, which is move out. Why oh why would you move in with someone you dislike and/or argue with? Especially as you had built up cash and the business was moving along nicely at that point.

It does sound like you need to split and go off your separate ways, but before you do, ask yourself if you can carry it on without talking to each other. Perhaps the business is such whereby you only need a monthly/quarterly meeting with each other.
 

Johnny boy

Legendary Contributor
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
Speedway Pass
May 9, 2017
1,425
6,771
1,477
25
Washington State
When you deal with other people you either have to be great at communicating or pay the price.

You should sit down with whoever you are dealing with and talk about expectations constantly. If I am doing business with a partner I am writing down everything with dates, asking their opinion and getting into agreement on basically everything. You need to be extremely creative in seeing where things can go wrong and preparing for that.

The reason is because if someone is going to f*ck you over it's because they change. They work less and expect more. Some bullshit problem that they created will come up and they will ask for the rules to be changed. So by asking them and confirming things with them beforehand and recording it, you are creating indisputable evidence in case they try to f*ck you over later.

I'm all for taking action and the 'ready, fire, aim' approach to business. That's how I operate a business, but that's not how I navigate when dealing with human beings. How you deal with human beings is the same way you would keep a bull in a pen, with clear defined, strong and unwavering barriers that have no holes in them.
 

Lyinx

Silver Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Rat-Race Escape!
Read Millionaire Fastlane!
Read Unscripted!
Speedway Pass
Oct 28, 2019
528
631
274
Lancaster County, PA
what I've learned from this exchange: ALWAYS put down your expectations for each other down on paper (roles/leadership/etc) including exit strategy (how to value the business) and how to pay each person (hourly/based on profits/etc..)
 

Sponsored Offers

  • Sticky
MARKETPLACE  Freelance University: Solve Every Freelance Problem (Especially on Upwork)
FU. 4 DAYS. 50% OFF BLACK FRIDAY SALE! If you're an Upwork freelancer, you'd be a fool not to...
  • Sticky
MARKETPLACE  You Are One Call Away From Living Your Dream Life - LightHouse’s Accountability Program ⚡
One year ago, I was just your average software developer who always consumed content about...
  • Sticky
MARKETPLACE  For Sale: Food Brand with 4 Years of Happy Customers in a Fast-Growing Niche
So to get certified, it cost a fortune? How much exactly? That sucks that these "health...
MARKETPLACE  Fox Web School "Legend" Group Coaching Program 2021
Fox's Web School helps you learn a specialized skill which you can use to get to Fastlane. It's...
MARKETPLACE  Not sure how to start? This free book will teach you how to build a successful web design business
Hi Fox. Starting the book and got through the introduction. Had a conversation with Andy Black...


Don't like ads? Remove them while supporting the forum. Subscribe.

Fastlane Insiders

View the forum AD FREE.
Private, unindexed content
Detailed process/execution threads
Ideas needing execution, more!

Join Fastlane Insiders.

Top Bottom