A milestone of sorts was reached today. I don’t think that’s too strong a word for it. I turned down an incredibly generous partnership offer. One that I would have killed for just a few months ago.
What made this decision particularly tough was the fact that the offer was extended by two of my best friends. The three of us have worked together in a client/vendor relationship for nearly 20 years, and I can’t think of anyone I’d rather partner with. If I weren’t leaving.
I gave them my answer over drinks on the patio of a neighborhood bar. The sun was out and the mood was light. They had been politely waiting for my answer for two weeks, so I knew I had bring it up. I set down my whiskey glass and told them that not only can’t I accept a one-third ownership position in their successful and growing company, but I am moving to Latin America by the end of summer.
They responded with the appropriate mix of disappointment and curiosity. I explained that now was our time to do something like this; that waiting a year would most likely mean forfeiting the opportunity altogether. They couldn’t disagree. After all, the partnership itself would have been enough to close the window for at least a decade.
I’m confident that if they thought I was making a wholly stupid decision, these guys would have been compelled to tell me. Instead they congratulated me and said they were excited for us. Although they are both around my age, leaving the states is not an option for them. They still have young children, a business to run and–let’s face it–common sense.