I don't want to do business with you
October 15, 2007 6:16 PM   Subscribe

How to graciously end a soon to be partnership.

I ran into a friend about 2 weeks ago and he had an idea for an online business. He told me about it and wanted some advice. I went through some basics with him, and he asked if I would be able to work on it, I told him that I would but it would definitely cost him. I really wasn't too interested at this point, so I told him I would get back to him with some more info and I changed the topic of discussion.

Fast forward a few days later, I sent him an email with some in depth information (as a favor) and I subsequently met up with him later and he was like, "how about we work as a team. 50/50 down the line" I did something stupid and told him it sounded like a good idea...I definitely should have told him that I would get back to him.

Here's the problem, I don't particularly want to work with him. The idea isn't bad but something in my gut says, STOP! DON'T DO IT. Some of the reasons why I don't want to work with him:

1) I will be doing most of the work. We've played it off and thought happy thoughts about sharing the workload evenly but I KNOW that I will be doing most of it.

2) A lot of it is in my hands. The execution, the implementation, the experience. And I semi-feel that he wants me to be his partner to mooch this stuff out of me.

3) We're friends and have been for years. We're not really close.

4) He kind of annoys me now. Like always. I don't know how to explain it.

ANYWAY, please help me graciously get out of this arrangement. Nothing legally has been done and so far it has stayed verbal.
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (6 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
"Hey, Todd, it's Jason. Listen, I've thought it over some more, and I'm going to be just too swamped with work in the next six months to give this project the attention it deserves, so I'm going to have to bow out. I wanted to let you know as soon as possible. Give me a call when you get a chance! We should grab some lunch or something."
posted by thehmsbeagle at 6:26 PM on October 15, 2007 [1 favorite]

I did something stupid and told him it sounded like a good idea...I definitely should have told him that I would get back to him.

Here's the problem, I don't particularly want to work with him.

Well, that's it, then. You've given more thought to it, and you have changed your mind. That's all you owe him; a casual business partnership can be canceled just as casually. So exactly what thehmsbeagle said, yes.
posted by davejay at 6:38 PM on October 15, 2007

Have him convince you it isn't a good idea. Start by asking him a whole bunch of questions about the workload. Then go over your schedule with him, making the case without saying it that you won't have time. Make it sound terrible. By the end he will say that he doesn't think things will work out. Insist that it can, then cave in to him.
posted by Ironmouth at 8:56 PM on October 15, 2007

You shouldn't offer "won't have time" as a reason if you really want to get out of this, because you run the risk of him coming back with "well that's okay, we can just put this off until 6/12/18 months down the line/whenever you can reasonably be expected to be able to clear some time in your schedule."
posted by juv3nal at 11:35 PM on October 15, 2007

As someone who has been looking for help on a project, please let him know as soon as possible so he can begin looking into other avenues. It sounds like he's really excited about the idea so you should let him get on with it while it's still fresh.

You don't have to be specific with the reasoning because that might give him avenues to sway you (and you've already been swayed once). A simple "I won't be able to work on this project." should be fine. If pressed, "It won't be possible."

Be prompt, be courteous, be firm.
posted by ODiV at 12:55 AM on October 16, 2007

Don't do it! Follow your gut instinct on this. Believe me, I got into a business with a brother in law and now I am stuck in a business that is one-side! I do all the work and he wants half. I wished I had listened to that voice in the back of my head saying "don't do it!" Just tell him you changed your mind!
posted by murphy at 12:26 PM on October 27, 2007

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