Saturday, November 30, 2013

Working With Friends Pt 2

Negotiation is too strong a word.  All I wanted was some facts from R -- Timing, schedule, costs, procedures -- Really, what "is".  Nothing earth shattering.  Stuff that a business owner ought to know off the top of their heads.  A starting point.

When the straightforward answers didn't arrive as expected, it caused some confusion on my end.  At first I thought maybe there was some stuff going on at home with his wife's health.  And indeed there was, so I waited as obviously what we were talking about wasn't important compared to that.

So when the answers still didn't come, I began to be suspicious.  Maybe our easy communication wasn't going to apply to this topic?  I consider myself a fairly clear communicator.  And when you are dealing with schedules, rent and utilities, how far can you go off track?

The experience was like pulling teeth and I began to lose patience. 

In order for me to adequately assess my interest in a option, I need to know what the facts are.  Then I can compare it to the other options on the table and get a gut feel.  Pretty basic stuff.  I could ring off my monthly expenses for the office without much hesitation.  And if the offer was a 50:50 split, then I need to know what 100% is.  Simple, right?

Turns out R has issues with talking money and business with me.  He was really nervous.  It was like I was speaking to a totally different person!  And he came across "wishy washy" with respect to time slots that were really available.  If I don't know what is open, how can I decide if they will work for me?

However, he was confident that we would be able to work it out...

What??! As much as I like R, that doesn't fly with me.  I can't blindly jump into something with just his confidence that "it will work out".  Aren't we a ways too old for that???  He's a few years older than me and I thought he was a control freak too so to me, that meant easy to get details from, so why the about face? 

I don't really know.  All I know is that it is difficult for some people to talk about money.  I'm so used to it at home, on this blog, it feels natural.  He really surprised me by not being comfortable.  And how could he expect I could go for that?  This is the kind of thing that will wreck friendships. 

So that is why it would not have worked out.  We never got to first base in our "discussions".  There wasn't enough for me to even say a maybe to, much less a resounding yes.  It needs to be resounding yes if I am going to pick up and move across country. 

And I got tired trying to squeeze answers out of him.  I am not able to commit to him as a person and count on everything sorting itself out later.  Too pragmatic for that and I feel, disrespectful to our history.  We are not compatible in business handling.  He is way better off keeping his office solo. 

Being the "helpful" person I am, I did leave him with some advice (fairly long bullet list of points) should he ever decide to try again with someone else.  He took it well but still came across slightly confused why I was moving on.  I chose not to bite.  Best to stay with what we know works -- Just friends.


  1. If you two couldn't communicate in this area you are right not to make the move. This is an area where communications can only be non negotiable.

    1. I totally agree. It was a no go zone for me. Still find it incredible that the gap between our regular communication and business one can be so great.