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Learn From My Mistakes

nevar go into business with this woman:

As it turns out, possessing the business acumen of an Underpants Gnome is not all that funny when it's paired with snakes coming OUT of the head.

I’m not going to go into a lot of detail at this point because I am tired, so tired – but…imagine learning that you are financially tied to someone who is seriously delusional and seriously meets the clinical criteria for being a narcissistic sociopath.

Fortunately, total disaster was staved off; this has resulted in some unpleasantness involving attorneys but nothing that will put me under.  One way or another, the whole thing will be over within three weeks (or less); if she insists on dragging it out for the entire three weeks, she’ll walk away with nothing and my position will be pretty much status quo.  The business will re-start under a new name at the first of the year, and finally have a chance of turning a profit, once no one is sponging off it by drawing full-time salary for quarter-to-half-time work, and most of that done half-assed, to boot.

Having this business partner has been a costly mistake, but it’s not a fatal one.  Thankfully I have a couple of really great employees who are hanging in there and helping me get all the work done as this gets settled. 
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  1. B^4
    November 20, 2010 at 6:44 pm

    Hopefully, this will be nothing more than a “speed bump” in the long run. It’s pretty goddamn terrible that you will now have to change the name and re-establish your reputation. You’ve got the brains, the heart, and the guts, though- you’ll kick ass.

    • jennofark
      November 20, 2010 at 8:07 pm

      Actually, it’s not that bad. I never liked the name of the business much anyway – that was one of those things where I thought, oh well, let her have her way. As it happens, I’ve come up with a kick-ass new name and will be able to use it on the same logo, so between that and the company’s unique concept, it shouldn’t make any difference. I think I might lose one customer for the next semester or year over the way I shut her out of the business – these things are typically swift and brutal – but a year from now it will be forgotten even by them. I’ve spoken with all our vendors, explained that there is a separation of business interests going on, that I will be continuing in the business either under the current name or a new one, but if under a new one, the new business would take on the obligations of the former one, and that I’d like to continue working with them – they’re all on board. Mostly the biggest pain in the ass has been having to deal with an attorney who was told by his delusional client that there’s all this money that she’s being cheated out of. That noise got really quiet the last half of the week, after said attorney was given a copy of the entire general ledger. Anyone who can do math can see that at the end of the year, there’s no profit, because there’s a business loan outstanding – made by me to the business. Since I have creditor status and she does not, anything that’s left over after paying vendors, rent, wages, taxes, etc goes to me.

      This will all pass, and as I said, going forward this business will do well. Had she been doing anything other than sitting on her ass at home or pissing away money by not fully investigating things she committed the business to pay for, we would have ended the year with enough to pay the loan off in full. We only needed another 4 – 8 contracts to do that, and we lost out on that many this fall thanks to her sitting around doing nothing – while at the same time demanding salary advances, etc. Really, you just can’t be in a business with someone whose understanding is so simplistic that they believe that at any given moment, half of the funds in the checking account are THEIRS. Vendors, landlords, the IRS – they can all go pound sand if princess decides she needs more money to go shopping.

      So yes, it’s a speed bump – one that may take a few weeks to get over. Fortunately, I’ll be so busy that I won’t have time to worry too much about it.

  2. November 21, 2010 at 6:44 pm

    Good luck, Jenn.

    Real life is such a … pain.

  3. November 22, 2010 at 3:56 pm

    Wow best of luck Jenn. That’s some tough stuff.

  4. November 23, 2010 at 4:36 pm

    I sympathize.

    Been there, kind of: three architects, one firm. Didn’t work out well for two of us.

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