Ending My Business Partnership

Mar 2/20

Today, I have decided, conclusively, I will end all working relationship with my business partner. We aren’t going to wait ’til June.

It all started this morning, on a very important day. We are expecting a couple of our largest one-time contracts to date. And everyone’s emails came in first thing. I had also just spent the weekend writing a third proposal to be submitted today.

He didn’t show up until 11:48am, on our most crucial day of the week. I have work to do, so I can’t just sit there waiting to make up the time. He came in with popcorn and lotion.

“Why?” I ask.

“Because I want to have popcorn if my date ends up at my place,” he says (paraphrased). Yes, the first thing he does while he’s late for work is think about after work. (Talk about living for the … weekday~)

“well why don’t you kick back and smoke a joint, and relax for it,” I suggested. I had just passed a blazing at work requirement, to hopefully help him ease into work. Because he tends to save all his energy and excitement for after work, and showing up the next day bare minimum, and it caused me to tense up. Yes, this is 100% my bad… only reading it out loud do I realize I sound like I’m mocking him…

“Can’t,” he says.

“That just proves my point.”

“Well I smoked couple big ones last night,” he clueless-ly replied.

“That just proves my point even more,” I said, while I looked at the clock.

He probably could sense the tension as I buried my self in my headphones and got back to work. And what he does next shook me to my core.

“Hey, can I get your attention for a moment? …I have a small show and tell,” he tentatively says. We use to have a small ritual about sharing something from the outside world that inspires us or is related to work. He takes his phone and shows me a snapshot of a magazine.

“They have magazines dedicated fully to cannabis,” he exclaimed (paraphrase). We have interest working in that industry.

“I sent you photos months ago of a magazine rack full of them, and a few times since,” I replied, uninterested. I don’t want to go any further. Yet, he figured he would double down.

“Yeah, but they have magazines dedicated to women too… this must be a big thing.”

The “deja-vu” of me holding that exact pink magazine to his face last week sent shivers down my spine. I had to leave the office.

As soon as I got home, I messaged him, “btw, did you book a meet after work?”

“Oh my god! I’ll cancel with him.” Disappointing.

It seems when the lights turn off in the office, they turn off in his head. He will be non-existent by skate season. Nothing is going to change that.

Bottom line: I’ve put my reputation on the line. However, I no longer trust he will deliver the professionalism and effort to get up to speed. It’s harming my ability to earn.

Tomorrow, after his date, I will tell him that I no longer wish to work with him anymore, effective immediately. All project proposals are null in my eyes.

Sometimes you meet people and they have a good head on their shoulders. But understand that may change over time. Do not to be blinded by what a great person that person use to be. Move on.

The clues of a person’s progression can usually be rooted in his personal life. Our passions drive our learning. And we are the average of the 5 people we hang out the most. I am doing him a favour. If he wants to keep up with his 9-5 and jobless friends, he needs to get a 9-5 (or be jobless). But I’ll write about that some other time.


  • Natawon :

    I have a few questions:

    1) Did your business partner have a “good head on [his] shoulders” to become your business partner, to begin with?

    2) How long have you guys known each other?

    3) When did you start noticing that things were going wrong? When did the communication stop between you two?

    4) After looking back, was he a person you should have gone into business with in the first place?


    I am guilty of always assuming that the new person I meet has a “good head on their shoulders”. After meeting someone for the first time and hearing their stories of successes, I tend to go blind.

    Quick story, I had a mentor, whom I have known for over 6 years, from one of the previous companies that I had started. I looked up to him for many years and I wanted to work with him. Yet, after looking back now I was blind by his successes and achievements.

    Last year, I had an opportunity to work with him and his team. We made a deal to try a few projects together. And through those experiences, I am thankful we ended up not working together.

    I’ve noticed I do this a lot with people.

    Before you say it again, yes I am guilty of overcompensation and I prop these people up as if they were a god or goddess.

    I accept that I am like this. I have been working more on improving my self-awareness of how I am with new people I meet. Especially if I am considering doing business with them.

  • Derek :

    1) Did your business partner have a “good head on [his] shoulders” to become your business partner, to begin with?
    I believe so. In the beginning he would escape from the ER to prepare and attend a client presentation. He was brimming with potential— open-minded and eager to learn (and pretty quick at it)— adaptive.

    2) How long have you guys known each other?
    Prior to working together, we have never met before. We planned for 3 months before deciding to jumping into it.

    3) 3) When did you start noticing that things were going wrong? When did the communication stop between you two?
    Communication hasn’t ever stopped between us. We are still friends, and will end on speaking terms. But I believe the avalanche first started moving when he broke up with his girlfriend, of many years. Although it was his choice, he was on a mission to find himself. And he rekindled his love for skateboarding, and found a group of friends to support it. However, I later discovered they aren’t the brightest, most ambitious bunch (unemployable, crack, heroin, booze )

    I started noticing things were wrong, when he stopped learning or even taking photos for personal passion. He would show up late (or not at all), and leave early to skate or meet his friends at the bar… Even when he showed up to work, he (his focus) wasn’t entirely there. I noticed when he stopped bringing home any bacon for months, and I realized I didn’t know what he did with his hours.

    When we couldn’t get our office lease renewed, and we moved to a beautiful retail office on Commercial Drive, minutes walk from his home. It was all he ever wanted since he was younger… However, the avalanche of absenteeism picked up full momentum, and we went down faster and faster. Soon he got in later, and left earlier. And then the lame excuses started rolling in.

    Without a proper supporting cast, to tether him to reality, he became a concrete “surf bum.”

    4) After looking back, was he a person you should have gone into business with in the first place?
    Looking back, I don’t think I would have done anything different. He was creative, diligent, open-minded and emotionally intelligent. Overall, he was a great person to ‘stick it out’ with in the beginning years. However, people change. I did too. If I was to do anything different, it would be to put my feelings aside and prepare for the unthinkable. Because life happens.

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