What to do about co-founders?

I have two senior managers in my company. (Hesitant to say co-founders as I started the business and have since brought them onboard).

One who is a great project manager (our business) but turns out isn’t right for a strategic role in the buiness (being a partner, strategy, overall mgmt etc). We initially agreed on an equity stake, salary and a high-up mgmt title.

The other co-founder is someone I would dearly love to have join immediately as they’d make a great strategic/organisational fit but we don’t have the cash flow and her life is already full. Likewise, equity stake, salary and title.

Any thoughts on what I should do about equity, salary and just general management of this situation.

I’ve tossed around in my head different equity splits, new titles, bringing more people on, letting these people go – just after some outside perspective as at the moment – It’s driving my nuts and I feel like I’m building this business by myself.

  • I would be honest with them, and present the facts.

    Honesty should be the base for your management, if your right and left arms are not on the same page as you, then your company will suffer.

    If you identified the project manager to be amazing for business then tell him that you want him to solely focus on business and leave the part of strategy for the 2nd co founder.

    If you need cashflow for the second person and you don’t have it, maybe you need to make a cut in both your and the 1st cofounder cash to bring in the 2nd person.

    At the end of the day seems both of them are important and if they are in the same page as you both of them will understand your choices or maybe suggest even a new approach you have not thought about.

    Option B would be you ponder which of these 2 people would have a bigger impact on the company success and you take the role of the one you would need to let go. But personally I think letting go someone would be harder than trying to discuss a share of pain for future success. Specially if both of them are important for the success.

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