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WDYD when your partners a poop?

YvetteMarieYvetteMarie subscriber Posts: 8
edited January 2007 in Business Planning
Eeeks, I stepped in it now!  SUNner`s I need your opinions!
I was successfully building my business as a photographer, but had reached a limit to my growth due to time constraints of being a divorced mom of five kids.  Ive been friends with, lets call her, Jane, for about 11 years.  After 11 years, I felt I knew her well enough to invite her to join me in building my business as a partner.  Extenuiating circumstances are this: She recently filed for divorce, she has no children, she has shown a record in the past of being reliable and trustworthy, and always held down a job.  That being said, when I heard of her impending divorce, I extended an invitation to live with me and we could really get things going with my photography business which, altho small, has been a wonderful and stable source of income for me, allowing me to stay home with my kids, and make enough money to feed us all.. a true blessing!
I am now seeing sides to my new roommate (( we have known each other such a long time!)) and Im having second thoughts about her business and workl ethics!  (( ATTENTION... Whine coming up!)) She gets more money for alimony, than  I get for my kids, and I am paying all the bills for the household, which I dont mind.. as it has always been that way... but I THOUGHT she was going to CONTRIBUTE!  She had grand ideas when we spoke about it.. and seemed truly excited.  But when push has come to shove.. Im the one up till 2 am proofing and ordering pictures after the kids  go to bed.. Im the one delivering.. and Im the one researching the market and preparing for growth.  she does laundry, and will sometimes watch my children.  I know that coming out of a divorce is hard (( altho with kids, its different in that we dont have TIME to feel sorry for ourselves and mope about the house all day )) and Im trying to be patient.. but I really dont want to move forward on this, if shes not  with me on it, KWIM?  My personality is pretty non- assertive (( whats the word? oh yeah, Im a weenie. )) and Ive been proud of my ability to confront her, but.. all I get is.. "Its xmas, its going to be hard on me..." or "My anniversary is this month, Its going to be hard on me.. "  Im writing this now, as I research sample business plans and funding options, while she retired to bed (( its 11:30 am )) with a headache.  two days ago, it was her knee.  She was angry when she came out to find me reassembling my filing system to really try to get organized, before I drummed up more business.  In a moment of selfishness.. Im feeling.. its MY House.. and MY business.. and MY equipment, and I was willing to let her in with nothing... on the hopes she could add some enthusiasm and the opportunity to grow...  Ive set her down with projects, thinking she needed a gentle push...
Whining aside.  What to do now?  Would it be premature to say.. "Ya know.. uhh.. never mind.  You can get a job and pay me rent?"  Ive tried encouraging her, but to be truthful.. with a bunch of kids to feed, a mortgage to pay and a business to run.. Its low on my list of priorities.. I really was excited about this, but now, Im really rethinking the whole thing.
So...  if YOU were in MY mess.. what would you do?  Give her a chance? (( its been 3 months since her divorce )) be patient and wait? Or tell her to get packing?
Thanks for listening to my "shoulda been private" rant.  I need some guidance! 


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    stonesledgestonesledge subscriber Posts: 608 Silver Level Member
    yes, maria...that is right. Don`t wait to be out of more money and killing yourself to try to make the situation work. It doesn`t take me more than 1 day to figure out if an employee will work with me....it should never take 3 months, no matter what.
    Ask yourself..."do i deserve to be a success?" "is she helping me to get there?"" is she paying to raise my children and help save for there future?" "is she paying my bills?"
    I can guess your answer would be NO! So why do you feel like you owe her a failed business? This is where you have to learn a new skill as a business women. So pull yourself together, don`t think about it too long b/c you may try to talk yourself out of it and give her another chance, and another. Go to her tell her that the business will not be between you and her, just you and that she has 2 weeks to find a place or pay rent. Tell her that it would of been great if it would of worked out and you are disappointed that it will not. But lay it on the line Girl.
    YOU DESERVE TO BE SUCCESSFUL. You do not owe her your business. Get out while you still can!
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    keyconkeycon subscriber Posts: 34
    Based on what you posted, I vote to send her packing. It will be tough to do since you are long time "friends." But do it, you must. I don`t see any need to try with what you have told us. The longer you try to make it work, the harder for you to maintain your life and the harder it will be to break it off. Schedule time to talk to her - no kids, no business, no phone calls - just you and her - maybe, if you can get away for a short while - over lunch or dinner or something. She has to go, IMHO.
    It`s your life and it sounds to me like you have done a helluva job with your business and family - you don`t need this crap. Negativity is a downer - eliminate it everywhere in your life.
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    epetersepeters subscriber Posts: 1
    hmmm...I`m sure there`s a lot to this that we don`t even know. Yeah, divorce suck (I`ve had 2), but thats no excuse for being a lazy free loader. I`d tell her you`re sick of the free loading, and that if she`s not going to work for you in exchange for paying rent, then she needs to get a job, or use her alimony or whatever to pay the rent. Yeah, it`s nice of her to watch the kids sometimes, but I`m sure that it`s not enough to cover her half. She needs to stop being a lazy POS. Tell her she`s dragging you down, take some Aleve for her knee or head or whatever, pop some prozac for her deprssion, and quit acting like a spoiled 14 yr. old! It`s be funny if you showed all these posts to her! That`d probly give the message!
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    epetersepeters subscriber Posts: 1
    I think Engraver has a good idea. But I`m not sure about all the legal-eagle stuff about paying someone under the table. I think if she ever did take you to court for whatver reason, it could be a problem.  Sounds like she`s a piece of work, so I`d cover my butt legaly.
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    kgkg subscriber Posts: 3
    Well, let me process the situation you are in.  As a person who wants to help another person, you must have offered something of value to her and she has only responded to the living arrangements.  You believed in her after 11 years of friendship and now this friendship is falling apart due to roles and responsibilities not being met but you still think it is worth something or you would have told her to leave.
    Now, what are her strengths and what are yours?  You are duty driven to take take of your children, their needs, and be successful in friendship and business. She must be business driven and you saw that in her.  You both have neglected to see your fine talents shine through and you only are seeing the messy side of living together.  I suggest you sit down together and design a plan that takes care of household management, children`s needs, thoeri roles and responsibilities, discipline and consequences for the children so she can help you, business hours, schedules, duty to perform.  Divide this, assign, task, and set action plans, review progress and be accountable to each other.  You have partnered with this person and you have invested your time.  Also, I suggest that both of you figure out why you are divorced and if your mutual personalities are pushing the other`s buttons. 
    Women can be increasible enterpreneurs together so don`t give up, start with a fresh plan.
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    YvetteMarieYvetteMarie subscriber Posts: 8
    thank you all for your advice!  I am fortunate in that there were no legalities as of yet... fortunately that was one of the areas she was dragging her feet in.. arranging for an appt with a lawyer, helping me redesig my business plan, advertising to increase business etc.  Im still basically where I was when she moved here, which suffices me just fine.  As for our living together, that has worked out well, she contributes around the house etc.  The business thing was just too much. 
    In my usual diplomatic fashion, I approached her with concern, and told her that I was really feeling badly about her level of stress and difficulty coping with everything, and that I felt that it would be in her best interest to relax some and not jump in with both feet.  I told her that I had it handled (( and I do just fine at the level Im at now, all by myself)) and that the business could grow later, if she felt she could contribute more. I could almost see her sigh with relief, and I am breathing a huge sigh of relief, as well. 
    If she comes out of her funk, we can try again, if not.. Ill make alternate arrangements... or maybe even settle  with my business as it is.  I loved forming my own business, and found excitement in the process, and now that my photography business runs so smoothly, I could even venture out on a few ideas I`ve had for some online stuff.
    This situation has brought about some self reflection tho, on my personality traits as it pertains to the possibilities of partnership.. Im beginning to think that although Im a great friend, understanding and patient to no end.. I would expect a LOT out of a partner, and Im not so sure on my abilities to compromise!
    Thank you all for your time and attention to my post.. I feel so much better now.
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    kgkg subscriber Posts: 3
    I am wondering: Why are you are photographer? What made you go after this as a business from home?  Did you want to be a photographer before your divorced?  If this is your passion, you must have had some reason for wanting your friend involved. 
    Apparently I am motivated by others needs and this invokes a strong need inside me to relate and connect.  I have another strong need, I love learning anything regardless of skill, intellect, or physical requirements because of the way it makes me feel. I collect information, process it, analyze it, let it sit on my soul a while, then find spiritual depth and value in it.  It can be a medical manual, educational manual, or tennis manual.  I will still find the same joy in absorbing the information then sharing it with others, especially if I can motivate them.  I find purpose and meaning in everything I do.  My need for connection brings me into relationship with others naturally.  That is where I do my best.
    When are you at your best?  Is it when you see the elements of a perfect picture, expression on a child`s face or landscape?  Are you passionate about the the development of the picture, the changes in light, or combining multiple images in a collage overlay.  Do you enjoy the business and financial aspect, setting mothly goals, sticking to tasks, filling in progress charts, marking project timelines?  Do you just like making money and recieving a check for your services? Does it make you feel you are getting paid well for your time and effort? Whatever lights you up must be why you keep on doing it.
    Now, you must ask yourself why you are friends with this woman.  Did this person motivate you, inspire you, support you, advise you?  Why did you offer her a partnership in your business?  What is her business?  Is she a talented photographer, manager, facilitator, idea person, initiator, organizer?  Was your offer just a need to help her because you have strong empathy?
    I have learned over the years that I see the glass full and overflowing, I recognize a person`s faults intuitively but I ignore them because I want to see the goodness in the person shine through. My strength comes from faith and hope is my lifeline.  So, I paint a beautiful picture even when it isn`t so beautiful and I see goodness when I am surrounded by evil.  This optimism can overcome impossible odds and give me the strength of a thousand men but I am vulnerable to someone elses pain.  I am the one who will stop the race to carry a fallen runner.  I don`t want to win.  I want everyone else to. 
    However, I know that some people don`t like my confidence and try to break it.  Some even find it challenging. So, again, I am vulnerable. This makes partnering with the right person more selective and working with a team of individuals difficult if any are highly competitive.  I believe we should all work as a team, collectively.  That isn`t always the main agenda of others.
    I suggest you get rid of the anger, frustration, especially dissappointment and need to help others.  Consider the direction you are taking in your life, with your family, your career, your friendships, your partnership in business and decide exactly what you want.  Take a look at your strengths and where you are most vulnerable. If you can picture your future in your mind, you can make it happen.
    I know you will be able to work through this and everyone will be happier with the outcome.
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