“What’s the worst that could happen?”
Ahh, yes — the famous last words usually followed by the worst thing that could possibly happen. Maybe not right after, but at some point, it usually comes back to bite you in the ass.
For me, this foolish question came right after I agreed to start a company with two other freelancers.
After all, we had (what I thought were) complementary skills, a collective goal to take on bigger projects, and the same fire under all of our asses.
Now, before I go any further, there is one little detail I should mention:
My other two partners were friends and had a history of working together.
Little did I know this would eventually cause our three-way partnership to crash and burn in spectacular fashion.
It started small — tiny arguments here and there, the occasional lashing out after a team meeting, and a day or two of radio silence.
You know, the usual.¹
After a few client projects, my co-founders started butting heads on almost everything — the type of projects we took on, how we wanted to grow, even our individual roles.
These disagreements turned into shouting matches which would usually devolve into threats of quitting.
Eventually, that’s exactly what happened.
Our first partner decided he was finished and after a little back-and-forth, we bought him out of the company.
And then there were two.
Things were fine until my other partner decided to make a pretty big life decision:
He wanted to become a digital nomad and travel the world.²
After a few short conversations, and me trying to talk him out of it, he packed his bag and took off.
Thanks to the Internet, you would think this wouldn’t be that big of a deal. After all, there are now plenty of remote teams out there that make it work.
As an eternal optimist, I decided we would do whatever we had to in order to keep things going.
That is, until I saw a big fat zero in our checking account.³