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Women in Business


This is not in any way to brag or get on a soapbox. Another post
mentioned the difficulties women sometimes come across in business

Two or three years ago, I was a partner in a local bead store. There
were 4 of us. From the start, it was very stressful. I had a
two-year-old and a three-year-old and not a lot of time on my hands.
I wasn’t a very good partner and I knew that, but I tried my best. My
responsibilities were all the “money” duties. The accounting, the
returns, the payroll, the cash register etc.

One partner confided in me one day that there was “something fishy"
going on about “inventory location”. (it was one partner in
particular who had responsibility for buying all of the semi-precious
stones). I thought there was something funny going on too, but (we
were all girlfriends and I desperately wanted to be part of a
"group”) I looked the other way. I quietly asked to leave the group
as I wanted to pursue other things and I didn’t speak up. I thought I
was doing the right thing…don’t make waves, you’ll keep more
friends that way. When I had 1 1/2 feet out the door, the
semi-precious stone buyer said to the other two “now that Kim is
gone, I get to do what I really want”…meaning she was planning to
railroad the other two. That was it, I called my lawyer.

It is a long story of a poorly-written (on their part) buyout
contract and my ability to see that they had inadvertently agreed to
pay me much more than they had planned.

As I sat in Small Claims Court with my lawyer and they banged their
fists on the table and shouted, I had no saliva and my whole body
shook. I couldn’t sleep. I thought I lost all my friends. No one
would talk to me after that. They said, “I don’t know how anyone
could be so cruel as to take their friends to court”. You see,
though, that I had no friends anyway right? I won in court, but this
whole thing messed me up for some time. I believed them. I thought by
asking them to pay what was promised in the buyout contract, I was
being “mean” or, like they said, “malicious”. There is no honor or
peace, however, in being a doormat. It took a long time to figure
everything out.

I learned a lot from this. Maybe there is someone on the list who is
going through a difficult time. Maybe someone can’t speak up about a
situation because she/he doesn’t want to be “mean”. Looking back, I
definitely made the right choice and I know that I didn’t really
lose any “friends”. It is in a woman’s nature to nurture, to try to
protect relationships (even if it is mis-guided), to feel bad when
things go sour. It’s nothing to be ashamed of and I’m not ashamed one
bit that the whole mess made me somewhat of an emotional mess. I like
having emotions.

So, anyway, back to work.
Kim Starbard

Wow, Kim what a story. Thanks for sharing that.

I’ve heard the saying, “Never go into business with friends unless
you’re willing to lose the business or lose the friends.” Your case
certainly proved that.

Hard to Find Tools for Metal Clay

In one of his biographies, John D. Rockefeller was quoted as saying:

“It is always better to have a friendship based on business, rather
than a business based on friendship.”

Smart guy.

Wayne Emery