6 Ways to Handle a Difficult Cofounder

Co-founding a business is like starting a marriage.  You need to agree on certain values, but that doesn't mean everything will be rosy from the beginning. If one of the founders starts to get jealous, resentful, or angry, it can ruin the relationship and even the entire venture. So, what do you do if this happens?

White Scribbled Underline

The first step is to take the time to understand their needs, thoughts, and feelings. You need to be empathetic, not dismissive.  

Understand Their Feelings

It's important to tell your co-founder that you want to talk about a problem or concern that you've noticed. Don't wait for them to bring it up first!  

Be Upfront

Write down how you feel about the issue and why. Then, discuss the issue with your partner in an objective manner.  

Discuss the Issue Calmly

If it's related to a business decision, department, or work project, agree to set some boundaries relating to decisions you make or actions you take.  

Set Boundaries

Discuss Long Term Implications

If you notice that your partner is being dishonest or not open with you, it's important to talk about the long term implications of their behaviour.

Get Outside Help

If the issues aren't resolved, consider getting outside help. Talk to your family, friends, mentors, counsellor, or lawyer if you need to.  

Always Have SHA In Place

A Shareholders' Agreement  will set out the rules for your business, and your co-founders must sign off on it before you start.