The 5D CFO

4 Tips on Avoiding Painful Mistakes when Starting a Business with your Significant Other

March 21, 2023 Angela Marie Christian Season 1 Episode 59
The 5D CFO
4 Tips on Avoiding Painful Mistakes when Starting a Business with your Significant Other
Show Notes Transcript

In this episode, I share my personal experience and learnings after going into business with an ex-partner.  Going into business with a partner can be absolutely beautiful and rewarding.  By taking certain preventive measures, you can feel more at ease and/or experience less pain if things were to dissolve. 

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Speaker 1:

Hello and welcome to the5G C F O podcast.I'm Angela Marie Christian,your host,and this week I,I want to talk about how to work successfully with a significant other and what not to do,<laugh>,because I have been there,and this is something that I can speak to on both sides because I've done it both successfully and unsuccessfully.Um,and recently the partnership that I had that was unsuccessful came back to bite me.Um,so I just really wanted to share this because I feel like any,any time I go through something that I feel could help others,I feel like it's my duty to share that so that,you know,other people don't have to experience that pain,um,as well.So the first tip I have for you is to really make sure that your ethics are aligned.So before you even consider going into business with your partner,make sure that you were aligned in not just work ethics,but just like ethics in general.I say this because with my ex,there were really big red flags before going into business with him that I should not have ignored.But sometimes,you know,you're in that honeymoon phase,or for us it was the pandemic and he was having trouble getting a job.So it made sense to start a business.But if someone's general ethics aren't aligned with yours,for example,if they tend to lie and steal,it sounds like common sense that I wouldn't advise going into business with them.But sometimes if you are a people pleaser like I used to be,um,and I avoided conflict and I still deal with avoiding conflict,I'm definitely getting better at it.But these are all pieces that I have actually healed in our rt,which I've talked about so much.And I'm actually having Dr.John Connolly come on the podcast soon.So stay tuned for that.But to get back on track here,I definitely would evaluate their ethics and your ethics and see if they're aligned and do they have a good work ethic.You know,like my ex didn't have the best work ethic,and I do,I'm a really hard worker and I always want to do,uh,right by everybody,and I would never want to do anything that isn't following the rules or morally questionable.So that's the first thing.Just look at your ethics both in business and in life and see if they match up.Number two,I would definitely have something in writing.Uh,whether you want to an advise an attorney or not is up to you.I'm not an attorney,so I can't give you legal advice,but I'm just telling you from my experience,I wish we would've had something in writing stating very clearly that if the business were to dissolve,it doesn't even have to say like,like in case you guys break up or,or divorce,whatever it might be.It can just say,if the business dissolves,here's what happens.You know,in my case,I fronted all of the funds I paid for his training.I paid for all of the tools,all of the software,all of the logos,the advertising I put in all the time to create our website,to build up our social media,follow to,to write articles.So I put in so much of my time and money and it made it very easy for him to just kind of show up with the client and do his thing where I was doing literally everything in the background.I wish I had written all of this up and perhaps made it a little bit more fair in that,you know,I wasn't juggling75%,he was doing25%,right?Um,I just made it so freaky and easy for him at one point,you know,even though I was in control of the money,he was in control of the front faced client interactions,and he started doing things that I didn't agree with.And when I decided to leave him,the business was in a place that I just wasn't proud of.So I ended up just walking away from the business,but I also just lost all of that money,all of that time.Whereas if I had had it written out,maybe I could have had grounds to,you know,at least have him buy me out or somehow just make it fair,right?But literally,he just got to keep the business and I had to eat all of those costs.So again,I'm not an attorney.I can't give you advice on what to do,but I wish that I had had like a written agreement or some kind of legally binding contract to state exactly what would happen if the business dissolved or if we split up.The third tip I have for you is make sure that you're both aware of the technical systems of the business that you both have access and that you both kind of cross train.Now,there's some things that one person might,you know,like for me example,I have been in the finance accounting space for over a decade,like15years.So I'm obviously not gonna sit there and train him how to do the money piece,right?And he's not gonna train me on how to do the physical piece that he was doing.But for everything else,there should just be some crush training.Like here's,uh,like create a document.Here's how you get into everything.Here's,you know,what social media accounts we have,here's the login.Just all of those things,because this right here is actually what inspired me to create this episode.My ex was very tech challenged.Like he didn't even know how to reply all to people in an email.He would just hit reply,right?So,and some people just are tech challenged or they don't care and they don't wanna learn.So I took it upon myself.Again,you can see the people pleasing pattern that I used to just be so guilty of,uh,I don't even like to use the word guilty,but I was definitely a people pleaser,and I'm also very motivated,so I just get things done.So I took it upon myself to set up all of our social,social media sites,the website,the email,the PayPal,the Venmo,the bank account.We had to go in and do ourselves.Um,and this just made sense to me at the time because it was like,okay,let's just get this going and in order so that we can start making money,right?But this is where this came back to bite me in the,okay?I got an email from him.Well,let me back up a second.So the social media accounts were tied to my account,my,uh,personal accounts because I was a,um,I created them and then at one point I added him as like a,I don't know what you call it,in Facebook and Instagram collaborator or something.Um,but then when we split up,I blocked him.Um,so he was no longer a contributor,but I think somehow he still had access.I don't know,I just kind of left them alone.I didn't really care.I didn't go into them.I just assumed like he was taking care of them or,or whatever.I didn't know if he would create his own.That's one piece of it.Another piece of it was the Venmo account,um,was a business account attached to the business bank account.So it was not attached to my personal bank account.If someone would Venmo money to us,I would then Venmo it either to myself or to him.And then during the last,you know,over the last year,I haven't been involved with a company,but if I see a notification that a client has paid with that Venmo account,I automatically just would send it to him.Even though he owes me,you know,thousands of dollars,I would just send it to him.I didn't wanna deal with the headache,and it's not my money,right?Like,I'm not the one out there doing this.So I just felt like that was the right thing to do.Would he have done that for me?Probably not.<laugh>also,probably two years ago or something,maybe longer,a client wanted to pay with PayPal.And so I set up our PayPal account,I connected it to our business Gmail account,which,which was actually connected to his personal email.The PayPal bank account was our business bank account,okay?So I did not connect any of these to my personal account that was set up so long ago.I don't even remember if a client used it or not,but I got an email last week from my ex claiming that I had set up a PayPal account recently,which is not true.Like,I could care,I could not care less about the business anymore.Like,I don't even think about it.It's like not on my radar.I'm not sitting here like plotting how to<laugh>take money from him or bring his company down.So he claimed that I set up an unauthorized PayPal account and that I was holding onto his money and demanded that I give it back to him.This was one of my biggest issues with him,was communication.And I actually just realized I deal with this kind of a lot,and I don't know if it's maybe because something like karmically I am needing to resolve in this lifetime,or if it's because I attract these kinds of people into my life.But like,how hard is it to just think if you want something from someone to write an email,like,Hey,do you know anything about this PayPal account?Is this connected to your bank account?Could you look into this for me?If he had approached me in that way,I would absolutely have just,you know,helped him and just like looked into it and told him what I knew.It really me off the way that he wrote that to me.Uh,so accusatory after I literally created this company,uh,for him.So I wrote back and I just said,first of all,we created that PayPal account years ago together.Sorry,you don't remember that,but I do not have any of your money.I've al always sent you any Venmo accounts or any,any Venmo deposits that I've received,right?If you wanna try again and apologize for being so offensive and accusatory and asked me nicely to look into this for you,I will.He basically wrote back and said,F you,and said a bunch of other really rude things,still claiming that I'm hanging onto his money,and then told me specifically,we should not have any Venmo accounts,PayPal accounts,social media accounts,blah,blah,blah.Made it very clear that I should delete any of those accounts.So I went and I deleted the Instagram and the Facebook account that I still had connected to my account.I did end up,even though he didn't apologize,I did just go look into it for him.I went and looked at PayPal,I tried to log in,it's connected to the business email account,which is connected to his personal account.So I told him that.I said,here's what is happening.I cannot get into PayPal.You're going to have to figure it out.The next morning.I wake up and I see that someone had sent me a screenshot of a post he wrote on Facebook,claiming falsely that I was holding onto his money,that I logged into Venmo and PayPal locked him out.I don't know,it didn't even make any sense,and it was not true.Claimed that I like maliciously went and deleted his social media accounts,okay,this is how manipulative this person is.You know,that was so hurtful,first of all,to see that it was embarrassing because,um,we have mutual friends and like,even though I know anyone that knows us,anyone that knows him,knows his background,knows he does not follow the law,that he lies,that he does all of these horrible things.Anyone that knows me knows I'm very ethical and I follow the rules.So I just told myself,you know,anyone that knows him and me knows the truth.I felt like it was below me to like try to address this publicly on Facebook,especially because we just have a handful of mutual friends.And you know,it was a good learning lesson for me because this could have all been avoided,right?It could have been avoided.One with just honest,respectful communication.But two,if from the beginning,because this is just what I do sometimes,like if something goes wrong,I like to think back,like,how could this have been avoided?How could I have improved this going forward?There really should have been written up documentation,especially when I gave him the company.I guess I just felt kind of bitter because here,I,I funded this company.I'm walking away,I didn't even get a scent.I was in the red.So the last thing I wanted to do was sit there and write up documents for him to continue on with the business,right?Um,I just kind of wanted to wash my hands of it and not think about it.But if we had done this from the beginning where we clearly documented all of the procedures,all of the processes of the company,all of the tech,then when we dissolved the business,I would've also been able to say,here's what I've contributed.Please buy me out.And it could have just been handled in a better way,right?So this was a really painful experience for me,and I really would love to help anybody who's considering going into business with your partner.Um,one final thing that I would say is if you do go into business with your partner,um,or you're in business with your partner,make sure that you check in with each other regularly.Because with my business that I've been talking about with my ex,it definitely felt like I was doing way more than he was.In fact,I was like working around the clock because I also had a nine to five job.I also had my own business,and I had this business and not to mention kids,right?Um,so it's really important to have open communication about this and to like even come up with ideas about how one person might need to learn some new skills,like if it's easy to learn,like social media or whatever,um,to ensure that it feels like equal and beneficial for both people.And in contrast to this,like going into business with someone who has the same morals and the same ethics as you can be so great for your relationship because then you get the opportunity to actually work together,especially if,if it's a business that you both feel called to do and knowing that,okay,if this business ends,one of you isn't gonna just,you know,um,or the,or the partnership ends,one of you isn't going to screw the other person over,right?I should have known better that my ex would absolutely screw me over if he got the chance to,because that's just what he does to everybody.But yeah,this was just a really big learning lesson for me.And if you have,have any tips of your own after being in business with a,uh,romantic partner or significant other,of course I would love to hear,um,your tips as well.So I hope this was helpful,and this was just kind of therapeutic for me as well to kind of get this out.This was a big growth moment for me because part of me so badly,and I actually kept starting to copy his post and share it and like respond to it.I wanted to so badly because I wanted to like call out what a liar he is and manipulative.But you know what?I ended up feeling better about the situation and about the way I handled it with silence,because silence sometimes is way more powerful than anything that you can say.And just knowing,you know,the people that know me know I wouldn't do something like that really gave me peace.But it also,this whole situation just really made me think,gosh,how many other people have gone through this?How many people are considering,you know,especially right now after the pandemic where there's more entrepreneurs now than ever starting up businesses left and right.And of course,it's easy to just kind of start it up with your partner.I mean,you live with them or you possibly live with them,and it just makes sense.But I would just really take the precautions that I provided to you,and it's not too late.Even if you are in a business relationship,you can definitely still get it,something documented.You can assess,you know,the duties.Are they split equally?Do you have a list,uh,like a Google doc of procedures?Do you have all the logins where both of you can see them?Just like all of those things would really help.If anything were to happen and the business dissolved,then it would make it a lot easier on everybody because it's bad enough going through a relationship or divorce,but adding,you know,breaking up a business on top of that,it's pretty hellish.So,um,sending you all so much love.And thank you for tuning in.Thank you so much for listening to the5K C F O podcast.I hope you enjoyed this episode.If you did,please share and tag me on social media.You can find me on Instagram at Angela Marie Christian and at the5k cfo.You can also find me on Facebook and TikTok at Angela Marie Christian,if you haven't had a chance to purchase my new book,manifestation Mastery,which is a number one bestseller on Amazon.It's still only99cents for the Kendall version.You can either check a link for in the show notes,or you can head over to my website to purchase.Thank you.