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home : columns : dear harriette November 29, 2020

10/6/2020 7:57:00 AM
Business owner wants to buy out partner

DEAR HARRIETTE: I have a business partner whom I want to buy out of our business. We integrated our two businesses because they went together hand in hand, and we were both able to offer the other a benefit. My business has been thriving since the partnership, but her business and programs have been plummeting. Enrollment is down, and I believe her increase in prices could be the cause of this. We have had meetings to plan ways to fix the drop in business, but she shoots down all of our ideas and suggestions.

This partnership isn't working anymore. There is a lot of potential, but she is driving it into the ground. I know that the programs can improve, but my partner is the biggest obstacle. She is behind on rent, and money isn't coming in. I am in a position where I can take on full ownership and buy her shares from her. She built the company 20 years ago, and I don't want to hurt her feelings when I tell her this is her best and only option. How do I dump my partner? -- Reviving the Business

DEAR REVIVING THE BUSINESS: This is delicate territory. Do handle it with care. Sit down with your partner. Show her your books and point out the financial realities you're facing. Thank her for the time you have been partners and point out that the time has come for the relationship to change. Offer to buy her shares in a plan to liquidate the company. Give her space to think about it, express her emotions, etc. Ultimately, come up with a deadline to sever ties. Hire a lawyer to provide legal assistance.

DEAR HARRIETTE: My girlfriend and I got into a huge fight. I made mistakes and came clean, but now she has left me. She's been staying with her best friend, who happens to be the sister of my good friend at work. So now my girlfriend is under the same roof as my male co-worker.

Over the past few weeks, she has come to our workplace to drop off lunch for him. Seeing her with him gets me upset. He's been bragging about how much she does for him and his sister and how happy he is to have her staying there. I'm sure they are both doing it to make me jealous, and I can't take it anymore. At this point, I feel he is disrespecting me on purpose, but I don't want to have a bad reaction at work. How do I tell my co-worker to knock it off with the comments and jokes about my girlfriend staying with him and his sister? -- Jealous Boyfriend

DEAR JEALOUS BOYFRIEND: The best way to handle this is to ignore this guy. If he sees that he is getting under your skin, he will likely continue and may even ramp up his shenanigans.

If you cannot keep your emotions in check, pull him aside. Remind him that he has been your good friend for a long time and that the way he is acting right now is not helpful as you are dealing with the end of a close relationship with your girlfriend. Ask him to keep his comments to himself.

Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.

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