A Quitter’s Decision

Multitasking is when you’re doing a bunch of stuff half-assed, when you could be doing one thing really well.~D. Sumling

At the beginning of 2017, I was a full partner in two unrelated corporations. One was a business services firm. You know taxes, bookkeeping, and payroll. The other offers office machine repair, like copiers, printers, and scanners. Now I’m not a partner in either.

I separated from the business service firm, because it just wasn’t meeting benchmarks. I had to make the decision based on tangible evidence and not emotion. It was hard and heartbreaking. Two of my cousins were my partners. Severing a business relationship with family is like walking barefoot over glass shards on top of hot stones.

I will preface it and say that they were wonderful partners. One actually ran the business as a sole proprietor for over 20 years before she was willing to take on partners. Partners brought capital, so the business could expand to how she had always envisioned it. I was extremely happy to bring my organizational skills to the table. The difference was that I joined the business because I saw a healthy business model. My efforts were focused on finessing our market and growing our margins. Hers were on catering to clients and fulfilling her vision (profits were important too, but not necessarily a deciding factor). Neither was wrong; just different evaluations of success. Based on my evaluation, I had invested in creating a job that I didn’t want to work forever.

Packing up my desk and shredding my bank cards really pushed me to back out of the operations of the other corporation too. Again, I was focused on increasing employees and obtaining a tech van fleet. My partner was focused on personal survival. He ran the business as a sole proprietorship prior to our formal partnership. I had to accept that for him this in many ways was still his job. I got tired of competing views.

I guess I’m a quitter 🤷🏽‍♀️. I see it more as a “cut your losses while you still can’er“. Business is tough. Business is rewarding. It is not always hard work that gets you results. But results are always a reflection of your decisions.

I learned some great things about myself and business this year. I learned that old habits die hard. Leaving the flexibility of sole proprietorship for corporate restrictions requires a mental transition. Discipline and accountability need to frame every decision you make. Most importantly, I learned that I will never partner again. I just don’t want my income tied to another person’s again. It was like juggling marriages. I can go on without that much connection. I will keep my self-employed patchwork income and schedule that only I understand. True to character, I am prepared to make more hard decisions about that in the future.

The end. (That doesn’t mean I’m quitting. I just decided that I’ve said all I could say about it.)