Warriors- This is my Hour of Need

by 61 comments

I am really at one of the lowest points I could be at and I need the opinions of anyone good enough to read this.

Quick background. I am finished my degree, I have a very good friend who I am in a band with who wants to start a business. He had an idea, a sketchy idea which over time has developed into something solid. He asked me when he had the idea to come on board. I told him I had nothing to invest but time, and he was fine with it.

He's got ideas, but he can't apply himself and lives a partying lifestyle, and his business acumen is not fantastic. We're old school friends and I was top of the year in business every year, and he knows that when I apply myself, I make things happen. We agreed we'd set up a limited company and that we'd both have 50/50 shares as we were looking to develop other businesses from this.

His Dad is a business man and has allowed us to use a lot of his contacts and he has given us a lot of time. But he is worried about his son who he knows parties too much and doesn't apply himself. His Dad had got John a contracted job for his university placement year by getting his friend to employ his son. He then had to convince this friend to let his son out of his contract early so he could work at this.

For the rest of this post, we'll call the son John and the Dad Tom. John has one more year at uni, and I am going to need to put in a lot of work whilst he completes his third year. This business involves selling to business owners, presentations etc, and we need to generate thousands of pounds a month, some times up to £20,000 a month (thats 40k in dollars). Its going to be a lot of work.

The company is being set up on Monday, and we have a meeting with our first potential clients on wednesday. After a meeting this week with a serial entrepreneur, who suggested a 50/50 share might be awkward, and it might be an idea to have a third party involved, or maybe set it up so one person has 51%. It also came to light during this meeting we'll need 10k in pounds for the start up costs. John's Dad is looking at raising some finance from his company to make this work.

John has got 3k to put in the pot with overdrafts included, but Tom wants to raise the 10k, so neither of us have to spend any money, and the idea is we lend it, and pay back when we can and start seeing income.

As you can imagine, time scales are tight, its getting close to the wire, and there is shit loads to do. What does John announce in a meeting between me, John and his Dad Tom? Him an his "playboy" crowd of friends are traveling half the length of the country to go on a camping weekend away. Tom was pretty dis-pleased to hear this, especially after he had to get his son out of employment so he could put "all of his time into the business" (John's words). He lacks the commitment, and his Dad has said as much. Tom is concerned and so am I.

Just before going camping, John tells me he wants 51% of the company to make the final decisions and to make the company look more attractive to investors. He also says its not financial, but it was his idea. He also brought up the fact further into the conversation that he had money to put in it but I didn't. I asked where this money was coming from, and he admitted he was lending it from his Dad, the same place where I'd be getting the money from.

I don't want to give him 51% of this company, I'll be doing the majority of the work, and he's admitted he can't do this without me. He also is irrational, petulant, and often child-like in his tantrums with his Dad (he is 21). Thats not the kind of guy who I want to have me over a barrel. I have said we need to get outside advice, but I'm not cool with it. He said okay, we left it amicable.

I have rang him this evening (he's camping) and he's not answering. He always answers, and constantly has his phone with him. I know he is ignoring me. I like him, but he is jerking me around and screwing me big time. I know his Dad is concerned about his attitude, and I know his Dad wouldn't think of investing this unless I was on board, he knows his son won't be able to run a new business in the final year of his university degree.

I have a number of options.

-Say 50/50 or I am out, and leave him with the details of the potential clients for wednesday's meeting.
- Tell him I'll take 49% if he does, and we get his Dad, or his accountant on board with a 2% share to allow a third party to intervene.
-Forget the whole thing.
-Call his Dad (since he won't speak to me) under the guise of getting his advice on the matter.

I don't know if I have expressed this clearly, my head is all over the place and I have no idea how to sort this out.

This is business, so I have to put the friendship to one side, he is jerking me around, and he knows it. His attitude to this business is shocking, but I know if I can get past this, I can make this business a killer off my own back, get a lot of contacts make some money, and in a few years I can cash out, with experience and contacts behind me.

Can any warriors help me with any words of advice or wisdom? I'd be amazed if anyone read to the bottom of this post, and if you have, I am grateful just for that.

Rave safe everyone.
#internet marketing #hour #warriors
  • Profile picture of the author EndGame
    I would also like to add that I have given up on job offers for this, and have stopped looking for more jobs. All my money and time is going into this, I haven't been oujt enjoying myself since the start of summer, and have temporarily given up on my hobbies, I am also sacrificing the chance to go on to do a postgraduate course at university. This is such a mess.
    • Profile picture of the author Frank Donovan
      This sounds like a nightmare! Please do yourself a favour and walk away now.

      If you've such serious reservations about your potential business partners, don't commit any more time or energy to this.

    • Profile picture of the author Steven Wagenheim
      If I have learned one thing in my 50 years on this planet is that people
      respect strength. I used to back down to everybody growing up as a kid. I
      was everybody's doormat. Today, I back down to nobody.

      If I were you, I'd read this person the riot act. I'd say this is the way we're
      going to do it and that's all there is to it. You can accept my offer or you
      can get somebody else.

      I know there will be some who will disagree with me, but you asked for
      opinions and that's mine.

      Ultimately, this is YOUR decision to make. None of us here can make it for you.
    • Profile picture of the author pjs
      I know I'm not the first person to suggest this, but take option #3 (forget the whole thing).. Partnerships are tough and doing business with friends, especially "old school friends" is near impossible.

      Me and a very good friend of mine are now on pretty rocky terms because of a failed business venture. Similar to this, he wasn't pulling his weight and we just cut him out completely. I was supposed to be his best man at his wedding, not any more.

      Business between friends is usually very hard. My advice is start your own company and run it yourself. Sounds like you have a solid base (his father) for advice, whether you and John partner up or not. Money may be a problem but believe me, you can make it happen when push comes to shove!
  • Profile picture of the author Sean Woodruff
    I think you should listen to your feelings about this.

    In my experience, 49% of a company is no better that 4.9%.

    If you are going to do the work, raise the money and do it for yourself. You may lose a "friend" but who needs a "friend" who just wants to sit on the sideline and collects 51% of the value?
    • Profile picture of the author Chris Lockwood
      This is a great example of the problems with partnerships. It's why many of us would rather own the business, then just pay commissions or a share of profits or a fixed fee for a service, etc.
    • Profile picture of the author Dennis Wagoner
      Hi EndGame,

      Man I feel for you, I really do.

      In this situation, I believe you need to apply a little CYOA.

      Make that a bunch!

      There's no way that I personally would be tied into business
      with someone who acts this way. It would seem to me it is
      something you're going to have to carry on your own shoulders
      while he sits back and reaps the profits of your blood and sweat.

      I understand you're worried for your friendship, but if he acts this
      way toward you now, if you stay in business and give him
      controlling interest, you're gonna lose your friendship anyway.

      I see no way this will work out, and I'm a mega positive attitude
      type fella.

      You already sound overworked and under appreciated, do you really
      think it will get any better? At best you may just be the fall guy for
      when and if things were to tank.

      Go with your gut on this one, sprinkled with a little self preservation.

      The best to you,
  • Profile picture of the author Andyhenry

    Sorry to hear your predicament.

    To be honest, I think it probably seems more complicated than you could make it.

    Look at it like this:

    If the business really makes sense and you're going to do all the work - if you put together a decent business plan, a bank would lend you the money to do it yourself.

    If you're already feeling bad about the way things are going and you know the other guy is not going to pull his weight - Get out now and don't create the bad situation you know will come.

    Business doesn't have to be hard. If it's not an easy decision to say yes to - it's not the right decision.

    I'm all for getting out of your comfort zone, but I think you've confused opportunity with bunch of trouble.

    I've been in several bands and when we used to have problems with egos and people not wanting to be at certain gigs, everyone would say "well, that's what happens in bands" - that's BS!
    I started my own band and said we weren't having anyone who had an ego and that we would only ever play stuff that all members liked and do gigs only if all members wanted to. If one person wasn't happy to do something -we didn't do it.

    The result - the best band ever. Every gig was brilliant and we never had an arguement.

    The moral - you can decide how things get created.

    If you're not feeling good about going into business with someone - DON'T DO IT.

    You may be putting too much emphasis on the opportunity and thinking that it may be the only chance you get - that's not true. You make your opportunities and if you drop this, something else even better will come along.

  • Profile picture of the author Greg124
    I would advise that no way should you agree to give him the 51%. Although, I think you know this already. Although John is a friend of yours, you cannot allow the friendship and the business relation ship to become one and the same. He simply does not seem to have anything like your commitment to the project. I think that he, should you work together will be more like a mill-stone attached to you, rather than someone who will be of the considerable help to you that you need and deserve from a business partner.

    I think you really know that there will be problems ahead for you if you rely on this individual, based on what you write in your post.

    The very last thing you should do under any circumstances should do is to give him the 51%.

    Whatever you decide, I hope you are successful in your project - just please take care - you need to be the one in control, whether it's with John, with someone else or perhaps the best solution if you go it alone.

    Regards Greg
  • Profile picture of the author devan
    go with your gut...
    to be honest time is more important that money....ish ive create strong streams of income with as little as £30 to invest (im only 17) and using my time to grow that business.

    if you take the 49% make sure you take the option to by part of the company back.
  • Profile picture of the author Kyle Tully
    My opinion:

    Don't get into business with him AT ALL.

    Friendship + money is rarely a good mix.

    Add one person with minimal skills and lots of "ideas" and one person fresh out of college and you're more than likely looking at disaster.

    If you're the business guy then here's a hot tip: You don't need an ideas guy. Ideas are everywhere... all you've got to do is find an idea that's not being executed as well as it should... or not being expanded to markets where it could... and make it your own.

    Every man and his dog has a business idea, some are great and some are horrible, but only a business guy who actually does the work will ever do anything with them.
    • Profile picture of the author lakshaybehl

      I have not read trough all the replies, but I always read Steven's... he's the person who I respect a lot... And that's what I did today!

      Anyways... here's my opinion (implant... he he he going Kern' ish)

      Give him the last chance...

      He has two options...

      1. Work with you at least for some fixed no. of hours every week, and give you a 50% stake. And I said "AND" not "or"!

      2. Find someone else!

      Seriously Dood... I;d want 51% in a company where I was to do most of the work. Sure there's the money, but you can get it from anywhere! (Even WF.... , no offense please)

      And then this is what I think:

      There are differences between the Monday... so you can not obviously manage to deal with that person. Chances are that he is not going to learn and grow from his party-goer's playboy lifestyle until life takes its toll on him. So why be with him... who is basically a friend that is not even willing to give you 50%.

  • Profile picture of the author olbiz4cash
    No one can ever be successful unless he first takes a chance. Nobody likes to hear about Bill Gates, but he had a rough start in the beginning. Many didn't think he would make it, but look at him now.


    Welcome to OnlineBiz4Cash
    OnlineBiz4Cash Blogger
    • Profile picture of the author DennisM

      Your friend is immature and quite frankly is a complete wingnut to even suggest you become minority owner. He's got someone talking into his ear that he should be in control. It might even be his Father. You never know.

      I own a software training company here in Chicago with 34 employees. Myself and one business partner are the founders. We've been in business for 9 years. It's been extremely rough, stressful, meeting payroll, etc. This is how real businesses usually work. Sure, you may hit a home run and make lots of money but basically running a business is like an owner/operator. You live and breath it.

      A business relationship is like any relationship. Things happen over time. You break up or "divorce" from each other. Ask yourself this, could you "marry" this guy and be in a business relationship? Be honest with yourself. That will be your final answer.

      I'll tell you, DO NOT put all this sweat equity in for 49% ownership. You will have no rights to make any real business decisions. If you decide to go with this plan YOU have some liability exposure and again, NO CONTROL to fix anything.

      As mentioned, this is a recipe for disaster. Your so called "friend" has an idea and that's it. His idea is not trademarked. Find someone else to partner with or go it alone.

      And no, I don't own 49% of my company. I made sure of that 9 years ago.

      Best of luck,
  • Profile picture of the author Gail Sober
    I've heard I lot about your partners negative traits, what positive traits does he have?

    It's always important to have people on board that are strong where you are weak and visa versa, maybe if you think hard about where he would fit in and be useful in the business, you might find an approach that you can lay out to him showing how each of you will benefit the company equally, thereby giving a valid argument for an equal split.

    Failing that, if you were wanting to play hard ball a bit, you could start out with something like.. "I'm fully committed to making this idea work, with or without you and would prefer it to be with you because "insert positive points here" but it has to be on equal terms".

    Then again 49% of a couple million isn't bad either if you can't raise the capital to get it off the ground yourself. I think Bill Gates partner made out alright.

    Good luck!

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