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Resigning from a small business- exit strategy

UNC71-00

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I’m about to resign from a small business (5 FT employees, 4 PT, 10MM rev) because the owner is a terrible GM. As far as business goes, the guy makes me want to punch someone (him). The owner was also a friend of mine before I took the job and I still quite like him outside of work. I wish him all the success in the world, but I can’t do this shit anymore.

Do I tell him that he is the reason I am resigning or do I pull the ol’ “it’s not you it’s me” routine when giving my notice? I also like the other guys I work with, but the whole thing is a shitshow and there is no way to change this, so might as well move on.

What is the best way to go about this?
 

UNC71-00

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Path of least resistance. Get out with the least amount of stress to you. And to a lesser extent, your friendship. So lie.

that’s the trick, isn’t it?

there are going to be a lot of pissed off people. Not because it’s me- the reactions would roughly be the same if it were any of the 4 main employees resigning.
 

Nakluagator

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Just tell him you're tired of working with short people.

I’m about to resign from a small business (5 FT employees, 4 PT, 10MM rev) because the owner is a terrible GM. As far as business goes, the guy makes me want to punch someone (him). The owner was also a friend of mine before I took the job and I still quite like him outside of work. I wish him all the success in the world, but I can’t do this shit anymore.

Do I tell him that he is the reason I am resigning or do I pull the ol’ “it’s not you it’s me” routine when giving my notice? I also like the other guys I work with, but the whole thing is a shitshow and there is no way to change this, so might as well move on.

What is the best way to go about this?
 

Rebarcock.

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Ive had many people quit BC I m a demanding asshoe. Tell the truth he has heard it before. If you have a friendship then he should be able to handle your position. Knowing you arent some bullshitter may help him become a better boss. No need to be a Dick. He may offer you more cash and realize he can do a better job too
 

4n6tox

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You aren't going to change the world or this business by going Jerry McGuire on your way out. If you have a new opportunity save yourself and get out. Next stop make sure the person you are working with/for isn't a friend before hand.
 

UNC71-00

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Whats the business? And be a man and tell him the truth. Wish youd elaborate what the issues are

Construction

There are a couple of "truths". It has nothing to do with being a man and everything to do with not fucking over the other guys who will be left to pick up the pieces

1) I want to run my own deal again. I worked either in outside sales or owning a company for 23 years, then this for the last 4 years. I can say this and avoid the confrontation entirely.

or

2) The owner doesn't know what he is doing. He did get this thing off the ground and while it was small, his style worked for him. Now that it is 10 times the size, his style is counterproductive in all sorts of ways and it is costing me money.

The issues all come from his management:
1) He doesn't believe in using numbers to determine if a project was successful or not
2) He micromanages and he also doesn't hold anyone accountable
3) He's a passive aggressive bitch
4) He lies to us, usually about trivial things too, which is bizarre
5) He doesn't live up to his commitments
6) I think the business will go under in the not too distant future because of his lack of interest in using financial reports to determine performance
 

UNC71-00

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Whatever you tell him, be prepared for the hard sell to stay on.

My guess is he relies on key folks like yourself to hold the place together and get shit done.

You stepping away, for whatever reason, forces him to confront his shortcomings.

I know. That's why I am leaning towards "I want to work for myself again" and just leave it at that.
 

BurntJ

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I know. That's why I am leaning towards "I want to work for myself again" and just leave it at that.
This is there route to go...BUT you know that. Honestly, I feel you are here for the reassurance that it’s not your responsibility to warn your “friend” his business is going to go under because of him.

You’re good here. Doesn’t seem as though he is willing to listen or change.
 

ChicagoFats

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Construction

There are a couple of "truths". It has nothing to do with being a man and everything to do with not fucking over the other guys who will be left to pick up the pieces

1) I want to run my own deal again. I worked either in outside sales or owning a company for 23 years, then this for the last 4 years. I can say this and avoid the confrontation entirely.

or

2) The owner doesn't know what he is doing. He did get this thing off the ground and while it was small, his style worked for him. Now that it is 10 times the size, his style is counterproductive in all sorts of ways and it is costing me money.

The issues all come from his management:
1) He doesn't believe in using numbers to determine if a project was successful or not
2) He micromanages and he also doesn't hold anyone accountable
3) He's a passive aggressive bitch
4) He lies to us, usually about trivial things too, which is bizarre
5) He doesn't live up to his commitments
6) I think the business will go under in the not too distant future because of his lack of interest in using financial reports to determine performance


It really depends on what you want out of it. If there is any shred of a thought that you may cross paths with this person or any other person familiar with both of you in future business, I would suggest to take the highest road possible. Unless you are about to retire, do whats best for your wallet while keeping your integrity at the same time. There is way to provide constructive criticism if it is requested, but there is a time and place to give it.

Basically, just be a man about it. Tell them you are quitting and if they ask why have an answer that will allow you to take the high road while also being honest about why you are leaving. Those two things should not be mutually exclusive and how you handle the situation may be reflected in future business opportunities.
 

Renegadenole

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It really depends on what you want out of it. If there is any shred of a thought that you may cross paths with this person or any other person familiar with both of you in future business, I would suggest to take the highest road possible. Unless you are about to retire, do whats best for your wallet while keeping your integrity at the same time. There is way to provide constructive criticism if it is requested, but there is a time and place to give it.

Basically, just be a man about it. Tell them you are quitting and if they ask why have an answer that will allow you to take the high road while also being honest about why you are leaving. Those two things should not be mutually exclusive and how you handle the situation may be reflected in future business opportunities.
This. Except not so over the top on the “truth”. Your truth, his truth, it can be a sliding scale and messy. Just protect yourself by taking the high road a definitely do not burn any bridges. Then go get after it in your next venture without any baggage. And who knows, the current boss may get it together and come back to offer you a great opportunity at some point.
 

Rebarcock.

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Construction

There are a couple of "truths". It has nothing to do with being a man and everything to do with not fucking over the other guys who will be left to pick up the pieces

1) I want to run my own deal again. I worked either in outside sales or owning a company for 23 years, then this for the last 4 years. I can say this and avoid the confrontation entirely.

or

2) The owner doesn't know what he is doing. He did get this thing off the ground and while it was small, his style worked for him. Now that it is 10 times the size, his style is counterproductive in all sorts of ways and it is costing me money.

The issues all come from his management:
1) He doesn't believe in using numbers to determine if a project was successful or not
2) He micromanages and he also doesn't hold anyone accountable
3) He's a passive aggressive bitch
4) He lies to us, usually about trivial things too, which is bizarre
5) He doesn't live up to his commitments
6) I think the business will go under in the not too distant future because of his lack of interest in using financial reports to determine performance
Gtfo now. If he doesnt look at the numbers he is doomed to failure. Cant go to a bank w a feeling. I would give notice and hit the bricks. If i can do a million dollar house and make 20% but another guy does a million dollar house and makes 10%.......well you get what im saying. Rip the band aid
 

UNC71-00

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Gtfo now. If he doesnt look at the numbers he is doomed to failure. Cant go to a bank w a feeling. I would give notice and hit the bricks. If i can do a million dollar house and make 20% but another guy does a million dollar house and makes 10%.......well you get what im saying. Rip the band aid

I know, I know. The wrinkle in this is that he can cash flow everything now off of his real estate holdings, but at some point he is going to have to wonder why he is doing this.
 

Jtrain80

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I know, I know. The wrinkle in this is that he can cash flow everything now off of his real estate holdings, but at some point he is going to have to wonder why he is doing this.

I had a very similar experience. Guy had a general contractor firm and a HVAC company, just to keep up with his commercial real estate holdings.

Problem was he sucked at construction, failed inspections constantly, couldn't manage his cell phone battery and had alzheimer's creeping in.
 

RaleighTiger

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that’s the trick, isn’t it?

there are going to be a lot of pissed off people. Not because it’s me- the reactions would roughly be the same if it were any of the 4 main employees resigning.
Sounds like you are more worried about the other people than yourself. I get it, but think about which approach is going to make you the most satisfied. For me, it would be to go out gracefully and let them worry about righting the ship on their own. That is why I recommended it, but everyone has a different path. Good luck with whatever you decide.
 

UNC71-00

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I had a very similar experience. Guy had a general contractor firm and a HVAC company, just to keep up with his commercial real estate holdings.

Problem was he sucked at construction, failed inspections constantly, couldn't manage his cell phone battery and had alzheimer's creeping in

I believe it- my dude is also showing signs of dementia- his mom passed away from Alzheimer's too, so you know it's in the family. We are good at the construction part of it, just terrible at profitablity, mainly because he just chases revenue (big jobs) and we end up getting fucked on margin. But he thinks its a success because we billed 7 figures.
 

UNC71-00

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Sounds like you are more worried about the other people than yourself. I get it, but think about which approach is going to make you the most satisfied. For me, it would be to go out gracefully and let them worry about righting the ship on their own. That is why I recommended it, but everyone has a different path. Good luck with whatever you decide.

No, your advice was dead on. It's just going to be messy, regardless. I need to make sure I stay above the fray.
 

Cat_Incognito

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It's already personal, because you have a friendship with this person. Because of that, I would get out with mentioning anything about their leadership style. Blame it on you, family needs, midlife crisis, or whatever.


I would approach this from a standpoint of assuming your next gig may go south. It may turn out to a nightmare, and you might need something to fall back on. Don't burn any bridges, even if you didn't mean to.
 

Cat_Incognito

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On a side note, I was in a similar predicament (recently). My buddy was my boss. He was in my wedding. The guy honestly sucks as a boss, but has all the tangibles to be a good boss. I know that sounds weird, but it's true. I think his give a damn is broken.

Anyway, our company solicits feedback on an annual basis. Employees evaluate their leadership and vice versa. This is all meant to help each person grow. The guy takes it so personal every time. Even holds meetings to go over the comments that were made. I ended up taking another opportunity. When asked why I was leaving, I told him it was strictly due to stress and it was also a slight salary increase. My new opportunity turned into dogshit very quickly and I ended up right back in my old position, but with 13% more money on top of what I initially left for. lol

Never would have happened if I had been transparent with him.
 

ETNVol

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I’m about to resign from a small business (5 FT employees, 4 PT, 10MM rev) because the owner is a terrible GM. As far as business goes, the guy makes me want to punch someone (him). The owner was also a friend of mine before I took the job and I still quite like him outside of work. I wish him all the success in the world, but I can’t do this shit anymore.

Do I tell him that he is the reason I am resigning or do I pull the ol’ “it’s not you it’s me” routine when giving my notice? I also like the other guys I work with, but the whole thing is a shitshow and there is no way to change this, so might as well move on.

What is the best way to go about this?
Tell him the truth. If you don't, it'll eat away at you that you lied about something important to a friend, and something that might've smacked him in the face and woke him up concerning his business.
 

Nayat

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Keep it simple, put your two weeks notice in with a short letter stating your position with the company, last date of work, and a thank you for the opportunity.

If he asks questions, let him know you value his friendship outside of work, and you are looking to make a change for yourself. If your co-workers ask, and you trust them, let hem know you see the writing on the wall. IMHO
 

UNC71-00

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Tell him the truth. If you don't, it'll eat away at you that you lied about something important to a friend, and something that might've smacked him in the face and woke him up concerning his business.

The issue is that I have been telling him for a while that we have issues and he only wants to cope by focusing on fixed expenses, most of them insignificant.

He needs to be doing the job I am doing so he can keep his eyes on the books all the time. Two problems- one, he doesn't really quite understand them and two, he hates numbers and details.
 

spf84

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The issue is that I have been telling him for a while that we have issues and he only wants to cope by focusing on fixed expenses, most of them insignificant.

He needs to be doing the job I am doing so he can keep his eyes on the books all the time. Two problems- one, he doesn't really quite understand them and two, he hates numbers and details.
Tell him that the issues you addressed have not been taken care of and you need to do what’s best for you.
 

AgEngDawg

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I’m about to resign from a small business (5 FT employees, 4 PT, 10MM rev) because the owner is a terrible GM. As far as business goes, the guy makes me want to punch someone (him). The owner was also a friend of mine before I took the job and I still quite like him outside of work. I wish him all the success in the world, but I can’t do this shit anymore.

Do I tell him that he is the reason I am resigning or do I pull the ol’ “it’s not you it’s me” routine when giving my notice? I also like the other guys I work with, but the whole thing is a shitshow and there is no way to change this, so might as well move on.

What is the best way to go about this?

OP, I am in the same boat.

Have you ever wondered why his firm has not grown beyond a small few?
 

AgEngDawg

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OP, I am in the same boat.

Have you ever wondered why his firm has not grown beyond a small few?

By the way, I left the small firm that I am at in 2011 and then came back in 2018 after I forgot what it was like working there and only remembered the good times.

However, you should never burn a bridge. There is just no reason to.
 
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Dealing with a terrible GM can be a real pain in the you-know-what. When it comes to resigning, it's a tough call whether, to be honest about the real reason or go with the "it's not you, it's me" routine. Personally, I think it's worth having an open conversation with your friend-turned-boss, explaining how his management style is affecting your decision. Who knows, it might help him reflect and improve in the future.By the way, I recently stumbled upon some helpful info about succession planning for businesses at https://www.successionresource.com/succession-planning. It could be useful for both you and your friend as he moves forward.
 

TheNJNole

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I’m about to resign from a small business (5 FT employees, 4 PT, 10MM rev) because the owner is a terrible GM. As far as business goes, the guy makes me want to punch someone (him). The owner was also a friend of mine before I took the job and I still quite like him outside of work. I wish him all the success in the world, but I can’t do this shit anymore.

Do I tell him that he is the reason I am resigning or do I pull the ol’ “it’s not you it’s me” routine when giving my notice? I also like the other guys I work with, but the whole thing is a shitshow and there is no way to change this, so might as well move on.

What is the best way to go about this?
Carl, is that you?

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