So...splitting with my business partner of 17 years

Thought I’d share since I’m guessing most members of this community have experienced big career changes.

Like most long relationships that go south, this has been building for awhile…but wow, 17 years is a long time.

In the end, we just have different visions of what the work is and what it can be. I love what I do and still feel passionate about pushing myself, learning new things, always trying to be a little better…but when you’re the only one that feels that way, well it starts to get pretty frustrating.

At this point, I’m mostly mad at myself for going along with certain philosophies/attitudes that I knew weren’t in the right interest of the company.

Sorry if some of this is kind of cryptic, but I’m trying to avoid unloading 17 years of baggage (tempting as it may be)…what’s the point, onward and upward.

Been doing a lot of soul-searching on how to proceed and nurture the type of work I WANT to do…as my wife always says, “water the flowers not the weeds.”

Currently feeling a healthy amount of trepidation…but also a lot of relief and excitement about the possibilities. Hey, two out of three ain’t bad!


Sorry to hear :hugs: I guess just like with any relationship, sometimes certain things dont work out and it can also be good to think about the things that did work out! Try to keep the positive mindset moving forward and good things will come to you! And also to wish the other person a well and happy life cause thats what moving on is all about. Keep watering those flowers! :sunflower:


I have been there too. After five years in a prosperous partnership, I wanted to follow my star (back then, that was becoming a proper DOP). Still, my business partner was more on earning money interested by facilitating ENG teams for TV stations. I’m grateful because that way, I found out that I’m not an entrepreneur and not a news person either. I’ve jumped ship a few more times (the last major jump was one year ago) but always kept my friendships.

I’m sure you’ll be doing fine because reading your subtext tells me you know what you want and what you don’t want. The angst after a breakup is normal. After all, security is a major reason we team up with others. And when that’s gone, loneliness is the result. I really hope you’ll be finding a new band soon!!


My business partner left our company after about 16 years. It was completely amicable and it was still tough. The end of the day to day relationship was the hardest part. Sounds like you’ve got a really healthy outlook on your next steps, best of luck to you!


Thanks to everyone for sharing your experiences, I appreciate the support! It’ll be tough for awhile, but I’m feeling more excited by the day.

I’m confident we’ll remain friends and hopefully work together in the future.

Ha @hansvons, adding eng crew hires (and similar broadcast/studio work) is where my partner wants to expand and I just have no interest. Sure there’s $$$ in it, but no thanks…not where I want to put my efforts (nor dilute company resources). I worked in the news world about three years right out of college and that was enough for me :slight_smile:

Hi Jason,

i split with a business partner and closed my company in 2017 after 14yrs. It was a terrifying decision at the time but pretty soon after it was a big relief. There are many reasons it came to an end, some of it was based on disagreement over the direction the company was headed but other things were completely out of our control as well. (industry trends; consolidation of work; evaporating budgets) but i guess at the end of the day i had really got far away from the whole reason i got into this industry: making awesome stuff on computers with other wildly creative people. I was doing more managing and sales and although we prob could have kept it going i just wasn’t into it anymore. People also change over time, partnerships are not etched in stone. Many of the greatest partnerships in history come to an end at some point. Its good to know when it’s run it’s course and have an amicable parting instead of digging in and fighting to the bitter end. Unless your partner did something completely bonkers and had to leave the country suddenly :slight_smile: its likely you both pushed each other and learned from one another. Try to keep that in mind altho it can be very hard when you no longer agree on the way forward.

17 years in this industry is an amazing run. Many many many companies in this space don’t last half as long. A lot of the companies i worked at are long gone so you should be proud of what you accomplished. I had a few interesting offers after closing the shop but i decided to go freelance instead. I worked at a lot of companies and met a lot of new artists which was exhilarating and also really challenging. i loved it. Im back at a staff gig again after staying focused on those things i know work for me: working with other awesome artists and making cool stuff, being challenged and learning new things. Like Albert Einstein said: “Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you have to always move forward.”

good luck to you Jason and FLAME ON!!!


13 posts were split to a new topic: Albert Einstein

Topic split to keep the spotlight on the original poster after I derailed us ‘just a bit.’