18 June 2006


I am having problems with my business partner. They've been festering for about 8 months now. She's a typical Type-A personality and I'm so not. She's also a pretty aggressive person who doesn't always listen which is actually ironic because I can tell that it is important to her that she if heard and fully understand, but she doesn't really tolerate the same. Anyway, she's been going through some things in her personal life that are incredibly stressful and a lot of that stress and frustration has been misdirected toward me.

Don't get me wrong, starting and running your own business is no walk in the park, it is a lot of work for everyone involved. Since we're in the technology field and I'm head of technology, a lot of the work and responsibility falls on me which I don't mind. I've worked in startups for all my adult career so it's not anything new to me. Lately she's taken to taking out all her frustrations on me and basically blaming me for her health problems. WTF? I'll be the first to admit that no, I'm not perfect and yes I get overwhelmed, but I know I am doing the best I can and I and my team are getting a lot accomplished. Sometimes I let little things slip when I think time could be better spent on more important things, but ultimately things get done and we are making great progress. She doesn't really see it that way. She feels it's okay to have these emotional episodes where she makes me feel guilty and useless and then really thinks nothing of it. I get upset about it, try to work harder and end up just wanting to drop kick her. I called her on it a couple of weeks ago and things have really cooled between us which is good and bad. I like that I don't have to deal with that BS, but our friendship suffers greatly and I feel like I can't even have a normal human relationship with her without getting my head bitten off.

At one point she said that we have three hats, CEO/employee hats, business partner hats and friendship hats. I made a decision a few weeks ago to put my friendship hat in storage. I don't think I can do "friends" with her while we are working together. I don't know how to make it work with her and I'd rather just get the work done. We have a long list of projects, IT projects, that need to get done this summer and it's my ultimate responsibility to get it done and the last thing I need is to feel demoralized by her whenever the whim hits so I decided that our friendship, specifically in regard to me coming to her about anything is on hold til all the projects are done. It sucks because when we first started this company we were really two peas in pod, we worked long and hard hours and although it was exhausting I did get some satisfaction out of it that we were building something together and that we were becoming good friends. Now, all that is mostly gone, especially in the last couple of months. I've helped her out with her personal stuff during this time when she has needed, but have felt she wasn't really interested in whatever I had going on, unless of course if it was about how fast I was going to have my surgery, a subject that now when she asks about it, I say "I don't want to talk about it."

As I write this, much of it seems very "junior high school" but it is important to me and has caused a lot of grief in the past several weeks. I've been working hard every single day, including weekends for 10-16 hours a day. I don't do anything beside work and it's a very lonely and soul-crunching kind of thing, especially when I feel like I have to go at it alone and my "partner" doesn't give a poo that I do. She has given me hints and practically told me as much that she would rather have me work than anything else.

Starting this business meant I had to make a lot of sacrifices, but I counted on the fact that I could at least have my business partner and other employees as a social circle and system of support, but now I am even more isolated because I can't even reach out to those people. To my business partner, nothing else matters but getting the work done and so that's what I have decided to do. As far as she is concerned, that's all she's getting out of me. My plan now is that I am going to do whatever I need to do to get these projects done by the end of August which is like 11 weeks away. Once all that is done, I can step away clean, take September off and have my surgery. I certainly will have earned the time off.


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