Warriors- This is my Hour of Need

by EndGame 61 replies
Warriors,

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.
#main internet marketing discussion forum #hour #warriors
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  • 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.
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    • 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.

      Frank
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      • Profile picture of the author Rob Canyon
        No offense.

        But it sounds like if this was a girl in the bar you'd have long since moved on to a better relationship... at least for business...

        Remember, just because you have a business meeting on wednesday it doesn't mean you have to commit to the corporate structure on monday.

        Partnerships have a lot of negatives attached. Why not determine first customer he gets the money, second you get.

        If you're sending people to a sales letter online to pay then this could be easily done with a RAP script.

        I seriously wouldn't even think about a partnership without a visit to a local small business attorney that could tell you about the pros and cons of whatever options you are considering.

        If you can't afford that then Caveat Emptor

        Hope that helps,

        Cheers,

        Rob
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        • Profile picture of the author EndGame
          Originally Posted by Rob Canyon View Post

          No offense.

          But it sounds like if this was a girl in the bar you'd have long since moved on to a better relationship... at least for business...

          Remember, just because you have a business meeting on wednesday it doesn't mean you have to commit to the corporate structure on monday.

          Partnerships have a lot of negatives attached. Why not determine first customer he gets the money, second you get.

          If you're sending people to a sales letter online to pay then this could be easily done with a RAP script.

          I seriously wouldn't even think about a partnership without a visit to a local small business attorney that could tell you about the pros and cons of whatever options you are considering.

          If you can't afford that then Caveat Emptor

          Hope that helps,

          Cheers,

          Rob
          Thanks very much for the input. Its not an online business though, and its got great potential if we put the work in. I appreciate the advice though.
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          • Profile picture of the author zlchamp
            Hey dude.

            Don't confuse walking away with giving up.

            This guy is a loser.

            You seem to have your act together. You can't afford to drag this guy along.

            Just go build the business you want to build and enjoy yourself doing.

            Money is everywhere. You don't need him or his daddy.

            I am interested in hearing more about your business idea.

            Steve
            ThePerfectBizFinder
            The Perfect Biz Finder Blog
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            • Profile picture of the author EndGame
              Hi Steve,

              I don't want to give too much away. Its an offline niche venture, but it is potentially worth millions, and its virtually recession proof as well, and a very experienced entrepreneur has told us he would watch our progress this year, as he'd be keen to invest and get on board. He has not seen what is going on behind the scenes however.
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    • 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.
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      • Profile picture of the author Mark Riddle
        Endgame,

        I've been in this position in the past and there are many things that come to mind, the first is.

        This isn't a match for you.

        It doesn't matter how much time and effort you put into this if there is always a feeling over burden, its time to take the next step and decide what is best for YOU.

        ONLY YOU!

        Not whats best long term, how can I make this work, what should I do.

        The current situation is not right for you.

        Just keep in mind that the "Dad" is willing to do a lot to cover for his kid, that will come against you in the future.

        The dad isn't wanting to be a part of the project, he is wanting to cover his risks. That is the major difference.

        Get by yourself, and create the plan as you would like it to be.

        until the situation generally matches what you are looking for, it is not a fit.

        Many breakthroughs are not a result of huge efforts, they are a result of understanding where you are headed VS where you intend to go.

        Mark
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    • 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!
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      • Profile picture of the author danno52000
        PJS makes a great point...the friendship...I neglected to mention that I was NOT great friends with my biz partner so there was nothing to lose in that respect...
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        • Profile picture of the author LB
          This guys sounds like a nightmare to work with now...and you haven't even got started.

          Why take it further?

          I have lots of friends I love to death...but I would NEVER consider going into business with them.
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          • Profile picture of the author gragster
            I would definetly pass on this. Especially if your going to do all the work, just build the business yourself. You wont regret it.
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            • Profile picture of the author jhongren
              Hi, I think this is a phase anyone will pass through and the phase will appear in different form.

              But the similar thing is we all have to learn to make our own choice and decision and I know it is not easy.

              Just remember that whatever decision you make, you know you are not going to regret 10 years down the road.

              Good luck!

              Cheers,
              John
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              • Profile picture of the author Rachel Rofe
                I'm telling you this because I think it applies to you BIGTIME:

                I was just talking to some people who basically promised me a multi-million dollar business very quickly.

                They had launched multi-million dollar companies before, and promised to get my weight loss website into infomercials, to help me create a plethora of products (from dishware to image consultations to franchises and everything in between), to help me write a best-selling book, to make me an icon, etc. etc.

                I can't tell you how much time I put into them. Tons of phone calls that were 3 hours+ long, countless emails, meetings in L.A. with lawyers, photo shoots because I was supposed to get an agent, etc.

                (I put in $2,500 too.)

                And the way they went about it was masterful psychology... I knew it at the time but chose to ignore it. They'd have me write down every possible idea I could ever want to do for my site, would always tell me how possible everything was... and since they'd done this before, I really believed them.

                Anyway... as time went on, they started getting more and more shady.

                First they were partners who were going to launch me... then they said that they were merely acting in a consultation capacity and wouldn't make the terms crystal clear. They also still required 10% REVENUE (revenue is different than profit share - revenue means if I make $1,000,000 in sales, they get $100,000 - even if my expenses were $500,000. Always go for profit share.), 10% income share (on a staggered basis), and $10,000 to get started. There were more clauses too, but that gives you a good idea.

                One of the ladies - the one who was writing the book for me, and had already gotten started - started getting very patronizing. She'd tell me I wasn't running my business ethically, try to position me like I didn't know what I was doing (I know, again, that this was a psychological tactic to make me look like I needed her), etc.

                Anyway - like you, I was really really excited about the prospects of not just the money - but more importantly, helping people and making a difference. I've released 105 pounds and I know how grueling it is to deal with excess weight. Nothing brings me more joy than to have people write to me and tell me they released weight. Seriously, I jump up and down when I hear it.

                So anyway - the point is - I REALLY, REALLY wanted to believe them. If I didn't have the incredible friends and colleagues that I do, I might have just went with it anyway. But eventually I decided that the relationship was toxic. I'd dread reading their emails, and I lost a lot of trust in them.

                It was hard for sure, I cried my eyes out when I made the decision... but then I decided that any time there's such negative energy associated with anything, the outcome's going to be bad. And really - to continue working with people I didn't feel good about put me in a scarcity mindset. It would mean that I thought I couldn't do it myself, get the right people elsewhere, etc.

                Trust me, I know it's hard. I'd actually walked away from another deal that I didn't feel good about once before (different product where I literally gave away probably about of $20K at the very last minute)... but this one... this one was WAY hard.

                I know it sucks - you have the allure of a lot of money, you've put in so much time, etc... but if you don't feel good about it NOW, and you're just getting started... it's only going to get worse.

                And there are so many million dollar ideas out there... seriously, I couldn't tell you how many niches I have, that if I just developed, could be million-dollar businesses. I think Rich Schefren once said that he doesn't listen to people's ideas anymore... he has enough of his own, or something like that.

                Anyway... sorry for such a long post, but hope it helps somewhat.
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                • Profile picture of the author Kay King
                  In friendships, opposites can get along quite well. Often doesn't work that way in business.

                  Your friend has a different attitude toward work. If you were in a business where there was a creative side and a business side that were equal, it's possible the partnership could work. Doesn't sound like the case here.

                  He's asking for 51% because he feels he has an edge - it was originally his idea and his Dad is the financial backer. His Father may not like the son's attitude - but I wouldn't count on him to turn on his son to take your side.

                  Even if you give the Dad 10% or 20%, you are still the outsider in a family venture.

                  The camping trip seems to be just for the weekend. Clearly your friend doesn't intend to work 7 days a week - and you are feeling pressured and see a 7 day week as necessary. No percentage is going to reconcile the two. To start a business with such resentment and dissatisfaction isn't wise.

                  I do not think it's a good idea to go to the Dad - I do think you need a meeting of the three of you ASAP. Be honest about your concerns. Then either decide the rewards will be worth the work - and accept that you will be doing a large part of the work - or walk away.

                  Good luck!

                  kay
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              • Profile picture of the author dburk
                Hi EndGame,

                Here's an idea. Since money was invented to represent labor, let's use that as an incentive.

                Issue 25% to each of you and hold 50% in trust controlled by Tom the father.

                Each of you log the hours worked and at the end of your first year, allocate the remaining 50% according to the time you have each logged.

                This will provide an incentive for both of you to work as many hours as possible and give the company it's best shot at success.

                If your partner isn't willing to go for an arrangement like this, then you've got no chance of making it work, just walk away.
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                • Profile picture of the author Richard Tunnah
                  Endgame,
                  I've worked in a few partnerships and 2 were great but 1 went badly wrong about 10 years ago. I teamed up with a local businessman I'd known for about 18 months. We both invested a little money and a lot of time. We sold websites that could be sold for big money at the time. Anyway we landed a national golf catalogue company. We spent 1 month doing a interactive online catalogue for them and made £50k ($100k) on the deal. We agreed to take our expenses out and a small dividend each. However after this I couldn't reach my partner. I went to his house which had been re-let. A which point I checked the bank and you guessed it - all money was gone as he had access to it! One very expensive lesson.
                  So if you go into partnership make sure you have full trust in each other and you both clearly know what each other will do and won't do. However it sounds really bad before you're started so for me the alarm bells would be ringing loudly!

                  Rich
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                • Profile picture of the author AndrewCavanagh
                  Let me get this straight:

                  You're putting in everything you have to go into business with a guy who...

                  # Drinks too much

                  # Has no real committment to doing the work required

                  # Is going to be studying or drinking and leaving you holding the bag running the business

                  # Wants complete control of the business at 51%

                  # Wants to put you in debt before you even get started

                  # Has a father who knows enough about legal contracts that he can sue you whether you succeed or fail.


                  I'm a nice guy but I'm pretty sure this is what Gary Halbert would say...

                  ABANDON THIS BULLSHIT SCHEME NOW!


                  The most important thing you ever do is choose your business partners.

                  I've seen many, many business partnerships and joint ventures and even those that look good to begin with often end up being a nightmare in the long run.

                  A very high percentage of business owners who are in partnerships will tell you if they did it again they would have gone out on their own and never entered into a partnership of any kind.

                  This one looks completely screwed up before you're even getting started.

                  Walk away, move on.

                  Do something that actually has a chance of working.

                  I don't know how I can put it any more clearly than that.

                  Kindest regards,
                  Andrew Cavanagh
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                • Profile picture of the author Popstar
                  Endgame,

                  With all due respect, this is really easy if you're being objective.

                  Don't walk; RUN away from this partnership.

                  In all honesty, would you even consider this if you had $10K and weren't looking to his father to get the money?

                  This isn't just going to be a problem between partners; this "friend" will likely tarnish your reputation with customers, too. Can you afford that?

                  Here are 3 things to remember:

                  1. Never do business with friends.

                  2. It's not the ideas, it's the execution.

                  3. If you can't get along with your business partners during the honeymoon period of your company, how do you think things will go when real problems arise (and they always do)?

                  Instead of trying to figure out how to make a losing partnership work, figure out how to raise the $10K (which isn't a lot of money to an investor). A lot of universities offer funds to their students to invest if you present a solid business plan, especially if you can show a commitment by customers. Or at the very least, approach the business school at your university (targeting the people who specialize in entrepreneurship) and ask for their advice on how to obtain funding. They may know angel investors who will fork over $10K. (Again, that may seem like a lot of money to you, but not to someone who's established. But you've got to show profit projections with best, worst, and most likely case scenarios. Also, make sure you're capitalized sufficiently. The #1 reason new businesses fail is undercapitalization.)

                  Your university may also be able to give you advice on how best to negotiate the deal.

                  Slow down and think about how to fund this. If you can stomach the risk, the best way is with a loan that you pay back with interest so you can continue to own your company. But you can also give away a small equity stake. For $10K, you don't give 49-51% of a company away. That's INSANE.

                  One thing you never want to do is negotiate a 50-50 deal. If you do that, no one has clear control and you can get locked into endless battles. Someone has to have the deciding vote and you don't want that to be a party boy.

                  Step back, clear your head, and quit wasting your time on a losing proposition.

                  You might even be able to approach your customers for funding if it's something that they need to have developed and could save them a lot of money. That's assuming that your idea is something they can't easily develop and implement themselves.

                  You need to change your focus.

                  Ditch the loser, find the funding, and grow the business yourself.

                  Good luck,
                  Debbie
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                  • Profile picture of the author EndGame
                    I went to bed and came back here to see a lot more replies, and I am exceptionally grateful, I don't really know how to express my gratitude.

                    Some people have asked about this guy's strengths.

                    -The idea is good.
                    -There are some creative aspects of this venture, which he would be good at it if he could work to a deadline.
                    -His Dad (thats the biggest one, his advice and connections).

                    I live out in the sticks (rural countryside) and so far this opportunity has been useful for me to make some contacts and seeing how things work etc. Thats what I was hoping for out of this, making the company a success, selling most of, or all of my share to investors and making some killer contacts for future personal ventures, that was one reason why I was so motivated to do this despite my partner's apathy.

                    I got a text message late this morning from him claiming he had no signal and couldn't hear my voicemail, and asked whats up. I text him back asking him to ring when he had signal, but he hasn't. I get the impression I am being fobbed off.

                    Thank you again to everyone who has taken the time to write such large and thorough responses. Each one has been very helpful.
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                    • Profile picture of the author pearsonbrown
                      I broadly agree with most of what's been written. Partnerships tend to start off well and then go downhill from there. Your partnership is not starting off well.

                      However, I think your partner is right to go away on the camping trip - and I think you are wrong not to have gone. One of the major mistakes I have made during my entrepreneurial career is not to take enough time off. By clearing your mind for a couple of days, you come back to your problems in a much better state of mind. One of my best friends in Internet Marketing just took a two week cruise with no Internet connection and has come back very refreshed and eager to work. I still find that hard to do and get 'twitchy' if I'm away from my computer for a day. It's one of my weaknesses. I hope it's not one of yours too.

                      Pearson
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                • Profile picture of the author sparrow
                  As you may of already heard the same

                  Get out these types of situations never work out, I went through many of them and can tell you from my personal experience.


                  Don't just get out run from it and be your own man, he contributes nothing.

                  Ed
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            • Profile picture of the author Leigh Burke
              Hi EndGame,

              You are in a very tough spot, and it is hard to see things objectively because you are so close to all involved, and have invested so much time and passion into the situation.

              Have you ever read "Losing my virginity" by Richard Branson? Obviously he is British like you, and there are some very good lessons to be learnt in that book.

              When starting out, Richard had a best friend Nick. They were business partners in their earliest business venture Student Magazine, and then Virgin Mail Order and their first store I think. The upshot of the story is that Nick tried to get all the staff to overthrow Richard as the owner of the business. Richard found out about this, and fired Nick. Even though they had been best friends since childhood, he got rid of him. Nich was not only undermining him, but was trying to steal all of Richard's hard work - and believe me, it was Richard who made Student Magazine and Virgin Records a seuccess.

              You are still strating out. You have a number of factors in play here.

              1 The idea
              2 The Funding
              3 The contacts
              4 The hard work

              Lets break it down.

              When you launch this business, chances are there is nothing stopping anybody copying you. So essentially Number 1 is worthless, unless you get a patent for a specific process and preotect it that way.

              2 - the funding. This could come from anywhere. Especially in th UK. The UK is one of the easiest places to do business. As I understand it you need 10K to start out? But you may be making 20K per month? In this scenario, 10K seems like a drop in the water for any investor that may be seeing fast returns.

              3 - I wasn't clear if these came mainly from you, your partner or his dad. If they are coming from his dad, it seems that your friend is trying to use this against you because it is HIS dad. Because this is business, the fact that the 3rd party supplying potential funding and contacts is his dad shouldn't give him any greater claim over this resource.

              4 - I think it is obvious that it is YOU that is doing all the hard work. And as most have pointed out without number 4 (the hard work), number 1, 2, and 3 are just a bunch of words and numbers on paper.

              Go with your gut. Take the idea, and your hard work, find an investor that may be willing to invest 10K for as little as a 20% stake, and go for it yourself.
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              • Profile picture of the author Alex Hunter
                If you're taking this new business seriously, and really think it will make thousands a month (And not just a good time with a mate, see if it'll work).

                ... Then sod £10k, that's nothing.

                And sod giving away 50%+ to some, "playboy"... when the business is worth millions you'll be so pissed you gave away 50% for a tiny amount of seed money.
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        • Profile picture of the author Kat Bartone
          Endgame, I hope that you can find the strength to walk away from this.

          If it's this messy now, imagine what it will continue to be like over time. It won't get any easier with "John".

          Do you see all the red flags that are waving before you? Read through your post once more and see them all.

          If this falls through, don't despair - rather, rejoice that you had the wisdom to see it for what it is, in time to extricate yourself. In that respect, you're lucky - you've got the time now to get out.

          Take a deep breath, trust your gut feeling, and do what you need to do.

          You're young. There will be many more business opportunities for you that make a whole lot more sense than this one does.

          Hope this helps,

          Kat Bartone
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    • Profile picture of the author andrew_writes
      Originally Posted by EndGame View Post

      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.
      I am a business graduate so I feel a little qualified to give some small advice.

      1. If the business opp is sound, lucrative and do-able, do not, DO NOT! Pass it up.

      2. Do not burn bridges, do not loose your friend over this, even if you have to violate the advice above. If he is a true friend, it won't be worth it and will set a bad tone for you life to come.

      3. If you will be the major player and this venture can not take off without you, get controlling interest in the company, no third parties.

      4. If your friend is the idea man, let him stay the idea man and you apply those great ideas that you probably could not come up with your self. If sounds like a balance of talents, you just seem shy in doing your part. You will have to be the do guy business wise but you partner will be idea wise and all that comes with that. (he can run the house while you do the errands.)

      5. Make up your own mind, no amount of advice can decide for you, do it today! Go with the gut. I know this sounds un-business like but think about it like this...If you were getting married but you kept getting cold feet and thought it might be a bad idea, should you still get married? The answer is no, at least not right away. Don't commit to a situation that you are not completely sure of. You and all involved will regret it if it turns sour.

      I hope this has helped a little.
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  • 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?
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    • 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.
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      • Profile picture of the author EndGame
        Thanks everyone for the responses.

        Steven, it is your opinion, and I respect everyone's opinions here, but no one will make the decision for me. Thank you.
        The problem is, the only person advising me is my Dad who has not been in business before, but is very good with reading people and dealing with them. I wanted another perspective, particularly from business owners such as yourselves.

        I didn't expect so many people to suggest walking away, I assumed there would be more calls to get me to play hard ball a bit.

        I have never been a doormat before, but this situation has got me caught, and whilst he is partying, I am sitting here stressing out, and wondering if I am the one being a jerk trying to get 50% of his idea.
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        • Profile picture of the author Sean Woodruff
          Originally Posted by EndGame View Post

          I didn't expect so many people to suggest walking away, I assumed there would be more calls to get me to play hard ball a bit.
          I think you are seeing here that life is just too short, and the opportunities too great, to mess around getting tangled up in this sort of problem.


          Originally Posted by EndGame View Post

          I have never been a doormat before, but this situation has got me caught, and whilst he is partying, I am sitting here stressing out, and wondering if I am the one being a jerk trying to get 50% of his idea.
          Once he shares his idea with you it is your idea too. He doesn't have the monopoly on ideas and if he can't implement his idea it doesn't have ANY value.

          YOU do it. Let him party.
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          • Profile picture of the author EndGame
            Originally Posted by Sean Woodruff View Post

            I think you are seeing here that life is just too short, and the opportunities too great, to mess around getting tangled up in this sort of problem.




            Once he shares his idea with you it is your idea too. He doesn't have the monopoly on ideas and if he can't implement his idea it doesn't have ANY value.

            YOU do it. Let him party.
            Interesting angle. I never thought of that. Thank you very much.
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        • Profile picture of the author Andyhenry
          You're overthinking it.

          I know you've said you've invested a lot of yourself in this and I don't want to belittle that.

          But you're young and you can do anything you like.

          This is not your only opportunity to be successful, and in fact if you're going to have to be in business with someone who you know is going to make things difficult you're asking for trouble.

          The last company I set up only has 3 partners - Me, my brother and my best mate (who is in my band). I trust them both 100% and that was the main criteria for starting our business. If we ever got to the stage where any one of us felt the way you do already - we'd close the company and do other things so that we could stay friends.

          It's your life and you get to decide how you approach things and how you respond to them.

          Right now you have all the control you need in order to change things.

          You just need to decide what you want.

          I know some people will say "business is business" but I believe you can go through both your business and personal journey congruently. You don't have to lose friends in order to do business, and you don't have to create situations where your friendship is jeapordised.

          Just decide - tell your mate that things need to change if you're all to move forward with the business, or decide what you'd rather be doing than stressing about it all and do that.

          Andy
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        • Profile picture of the author TheMagicShow
          Avoid doing business with this person, you are going to have lots of problems, having an irrational partner is one of the biggest mistakes you can make, it seems that he is not mature enough to understand what a business is really all about, walk away and save yourself.
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          • Profile picture of the author clawson44
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            • Profile picture of the author DaniMc
              And let me quickly add one more thing here:

              This person is NOT your friend.

              He knows how much effort you have put in this.

              He knows you have passed up jobs for this.

              And he wants to tell you he wants 51% while he goes camping and leaves you with the bag?

              If he were your friend, he would not be camping right now. If he were your friend, you two would be camping together. If he were your friend, he would not leave you hanging like this.

              This is no friend. This is a leech. Feel sorry for his dad that he can't cut ties with him. You are under no such obligation.

              Daniel
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              • Profile picture of the author EndGame
                Originally Posted by Daniel McCoy View Post

                And let me quickly add one more thing here:

                This person is NOT your friend.

                He knows how much effort you have put in this.

                He knows you have passed up jobs for this.

                And he wants to tell you he wants 51% while he goes camping and leaves you with the bag?

                If he were your friend, he would not be camping right now. If he were your friend, you two would be camping together. If he were your friend, he would not leave you hanging like this.

                This is no friend. This is a leech. Feel sorry for his dad that he can't cut ties with him. You are under no such obligation.

                Daniel

                Hi Daniel,

                He invited me camping, and I told him I was staying home this weekend to work on some stuff for the presentation and the business.

                I guess that says it all really.
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            • Profile picture of the author Frank Donovan
              I think you're getting the general picture from these responses.

              I'd just add that walking away may actually also help your friendship.

              You can have lasting friendships with business partners, but if you are friends first and then become business partners, chances are that the friendship won't last.

              Don't worry too much about losing an opportunity. They'll come along thick and fast. But unless you've got 100% conviction, you'll never make the best of them.

              Frank
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              • Profile picture of the author EndGame
                Hi Frank,

                I am very grateful for all the input here and I am getting where this is going. This weekend will be a big decider and I may make one or two final updates at the back of this weekend about what has happened.

                I am hugely grateful for all this advice, this is why the warrior forum is such an amazing place in my opinion.
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              • Profile picture of the author Kim Standerline
                What I suggest you do, is try and read your first post as objectively as you can. (pretend you're one of us reading it) and think about the advice you'd give the person who posted.

                I think you know what you need to do. It's hard though isn't it when you are both friends. I bet you like his dad a lot as well and don't want to disappoint him.

                It's always difficult to walk away from something when you've put so much time and effort into it, but it will be even harder years down the line when you hate him passionately because he's reaping the rewards from your hard work.

                Walk away, find someone else whom you can actually trust to pull their weight to partner up with. (serves him right). He doesn't have the monopoly on ideas so blow him.

                Anyway why he would want to go camping in all this rain is beyond me

                Kim
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                • Profile picture of the author zerofill
                  Actually let me explain what we did with the 48/48/4 I was referring too...
                  We each gave up 2% for the person who had more business sense than either of us...and he was the consultant. We tossed the ideas and what have you infront of him. We made our decisions based on that. IF we were deadlocked it was a dead deal. Which many times we were deadlocked. But the consultant factor made the decision making much easier. Many times one of us were swayed by that factor.
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                • Profile picture of the author Nspire
                  Endgame,

                  I have had the opportunity to enter a business deal with a friend. I can tell you, The business deal was not worth our friendship. I wasted 2 years trying to make a business deal work and in the end i lost my friend.
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                  • Profile picture of the author Chuck Evans
                    "Ideas" are copied every day. Fast food, publishing, music, computers are just a few that have a lot of "players" in it.

                    I would tell your "friend" that if he wants to party and not work on the business then he should be getting 40% or less! He doesn't appear to be an active participant, just the idea man. The person doing the work SHOULD make a larger percentage of the company.

                    If you could raise money, say $6,000.00 - 60% of 10K, would you still want him as a partner?

                    See if YOU can raise the money to start a "similar" company and then either go into competition with him or he may just fold his tent and go home since he doesn't seem to want to build the business.

                    Ideas are a dime a dozen and MOST of them never go from the "Hey listen to this great idea" to actual implementation.

                    Some people are exceptional at creating ideas but absolutely terrible at bringing them to market!

                    Ask yourself this question.

                    IF you HAD the money for this project would you bring in your friend knowing how he works?

                    One of my favorite lines is "Why don't you go not work somewhere else?"

                    chuck
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          • Profile picture of the author Judith Tramayne
            OK, let's talk strengths here.

            Do each of your strengths complement the other? Meaning -- do you do the back end work and he does the up front work?

            If so, then it could work out great.

            If it's all on you, then I advise you to run, not walk the other way.

            You have loads of creative ideas available to you. Just let your mind go into the alpha state (between waking and sleeping) and let them come forth.

            Since you're willing to do all the work, start your own business and reap all the rewards.

            You definitely have the entreprenuerial spirit so let it out.

            Judith
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            • Profile picture of the author EndGame
              I hope newcomers to the forum read this, there is a wealth of experience and knowledge being shared here, and I can't tell you how grateful I am. This is an amazing community.

              Kim hit the nail on the head at one point. I do like the Dad as well, he's a top bloke, we get on and I would much rather go into business with him (much more realistic).

              At first I was concerned, because I had no money (or next to no money to spend) I felt like I didn't deserve any share in the company. My thoughts at this point having spoken to you warriors is that, given his attitude and my work ethic I probably do deserve the 50% share.

              One of his arguments was that on paper, if an investor saw we were in it 50/50 they would see this as a weakness and a flaw, and that would make us uninvestable. I think thats absolute rubbish, I am sure there are many 50/50 businesses out there, some being invested in!

              He has successfully ignored me tonight, if he continues tomorrow, then I may have to call Tom and play a bit of hardball with his son. I need to look after my own interests, and I have given up too much already.

              Kim, thanks for the tip on reading my post back. And thanks to everyone for the comments so far. Its made interesting reading getting your feedback, and I'll certainly be keeping you all updated.
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        • Do you really need advice? Maybe you just need some perspective:

          "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'll be doing the majority of the work"

          "He lacks the commitment"

          "he is jerking me around"

          "His attitude to this business is shocking"


          As someone in business for over 25 years, a "serial entrepreneur" who has been in every kind of partnership, I can tell you unambiguously - this is a recipe for disaster.

          Mark
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          • Profile picture of the author Tsnyder
            As others have said... I'd walk away from the partner in an instant.
            He's far too immature to be relied upon in a serious business venture.

            The alternative is I'd call up "Tom" and tell him my concerns. I'd tell
            him that I love the business idea and would like to do everything to
            implement it and make it a success... but... I can't envision that
            future success as things now stand.

            If I'm going to be doing all the work... and be the one responsible for
            day to day operations... I wouldn't consider 50%. I'd want more than
            that as well as contractual provisions giving me control and authority.

            If I couldn't get that I'd be gone like a cool breeze. Good business ideas
            are, literally, a dime a dozen. Implementation is where the profit comes from.

            Tsnyder
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            • Profile picture of the author EndGame
              Originally Posted by Tsnyder View Post

              As others have said... I'd walk away from the partner in an instant.
              He's far too immature to be relied upon in a serious business venture.

              The alternative is I'd call up "Tom" and tell him my concerns. I'd tell
              him that I love the business idea and would like to do everything to
              implement it and make it a success... but... I can't envision that
              future success as things now stand.

              If I'm going to be doing all the work... and be the one responsible for
              day to day operations... I wouldn't consider 50%. I'd want more than
              that as well as contractual provisions giving me control and authority.

              If I couldn't get that I'd be gone like a cool breeze. Good business ideas
              are, literally, a dime a dozen. Implementation is where the profit comes from.

              Tsnyder

              Thats a new angle I hadn't thought of. Well I had, but tom's his Dad, so that makes me a little uncertain about taking that approach. Still, I see what you're saying here and I think its pretty much the same as everyone else.
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            • Profile picture of the author zerofill
              I have went through business partnerships like this before...
              I have actually turned down the ones that wanted that controlling final decision advantage. They had the money I had the brains...
              As far as I am concerned my brains were worth every cent of their money. So if they didn't want to be equal partners I let them go on their merry way.

              Money ain't shit....knowledge is more valuable than money any day in a business joint venture in my book. If my idea is good enough I will find the money and the person to back it or a bank to back it.

              You are talking about a friend that with his lifestyle makes it not even logical for him to be the final decision maker. That is crazy...

              If you trust his dad then do a 48/48/4 I did that once and it worked well.
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              • Profile picture of the author Steve Taylor
                Originally Posted by zerofill View Post

                As far as I am concerned my brains were worth every cent of their money.
                Wow...great line and attitude

                -Steve
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            • Profile picture of the author Keith Boisvert
              Interesting scenario. I actually have a business offline with a partner. We have about a grand total of $5k invested and managed to procure about 20k worth of stock when a local company closed down.

              Now at first I kinda new my partner was lazy, but she had some connections, and we are freinds. So we formed an LLC and went in 50/50.

              As time went on, I realized that I was doing all of the work (the product was being sold online), while all she had to do was box up and ship out product. Well she messed that all up to the point where I was doing everything.

              Needless to say, I stopped doing the work. We now have about 12k worth of inventory sitting in a warehouse collecting dust. 50% of nothing is nothing...for both of us.

              We technically are still business partners, but really don't speak, and have decided to just call it quits. She won't buy me out, and I won't buy her out.

              My point here is this...I should have gone with my gut. I wanted initially to have a controlling share in the company, but because we were friends, I said 50/50 was fine.

              I can't tell you what to do, but I can tell you this...The next time this happens to me(if ever), regardless of how good it sounds, I am going with my gut!

              Keith
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              • Profile picture of the author Karen Keyes
                Endgame is this merely a business decision for you, or are you mixing in any personal feelings? If you feel that he is the friend you claim him to be, does that mean you're concerned about damaging that friendship by stirring up the pot?

                I agree w/ what others have said: If he was really your friend, he'd be pulling his weight and supporting your efforts.

                I think it is possible to do business with family and friends, but you need to be able to put one hat on for 'socializing', and another on for 'business'. I can't speak from a lot of experience, but I've been pretty observant over the years. For every decision you face, you have to ask yourself, "Am I mixing in personal feelings or making what I feel is the best decision for the business and my future success?".

                From what I've read, I don't think it's advisable to enter any business arrangements with somebody who can't take the business seriously - let alone give them 51% control. To what end will this result in? Look forward a number of months or years. Can't you derive what other types of problems will come up, if you enter such an agreement? Are those situations acceptable to you?

                If not, then don't make this a complicated decision. Back out, and either move on to something else or pursue this project on your own.
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      • Profile picture of the author DaniMc
        Don't merely walk away....RUN!

        Mistake #1) You've known this guy for years...you knew the kind of person he was. You should have never gone into business with him in the first place.

        It's OK, we all make mistakes and this is one you wont likely make again.

        If you have done all the work and you have not formed the company yet and have no contract together, it is time for you to cut him out completely.

        Go form the company yourself. Walk into a bank with all of your info, tell them what you need.

        You might have to visit a few banks to get this going, but you will eventually find funding if your plans are tight and you have things lined up.

        You came here and made this post....and you ALREADY know the answer...you just need to hear from someone else.

        Do what you know you should do. Don't go into business with a schmuck like this. He may be your friend...but he is still a schmuck.

        Daniel
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    • 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,
      Dennis
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  • Profile picture of the author Andyhenry
    Hi,

    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.

    Andy
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    nothing to see here.

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  • 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
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  • 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.
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  • 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.
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    • Profile picture of the author lakshaybehl
      Hi

      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%.

      -Lakshay
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      • Profile picture of the author danno52000
        I've been in a similar situation...at 28 I've already had some spectacular business successes AND failures.

        I agree with some of the other members...49% of something is better than 100% of nothing. you'll have to put up with carrying some "dead weight" but go into this KNOWING THAT. Tell yourself that you'll be working harder than your friend but it will be worth it for one simple reason...you'll gain contacts and impress his investors.

        I went into a business venture with similar terms. My friends and family thought I was crazy but I wasn't thinking 1 move ahead...i was thinking 20 moves ahead. The venture ended up being successful (see my site for more) but more importantly I impressed the investors that I was introduced to through this venture. I ended up suing my partner but maintained lines with his investors....long story short I just finished rehabbing a condo in Brooklyn using their money (I'll pull out almost 200k for putting about 11k in)....because I gave them a reasonable rate of return years ago.

        Think about the connections this venture could bring...don't be focused too narrowly on the short-term goal...

        Either way good fortune...
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  • 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.

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    • Profile picture of the author DennisM
      Hello,

      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,
      Dennis
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  • 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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    • Profile picture of the author solderite
      Very Old Saying in Business that I have found TRUE "how it starts is how it goes"
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      Ken

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