Some quick background... we've been in business for 4 years, live for 3. Growth has been slow. Haven't had a cofounder since early 2018. I'm willing to keep going solo but would love to have the right person as a partner. Started convo with a guy who had been a sales contact for me in the past. Talked about him coming on as a late co-founder to lead BD. He has a non-compete so we have been working in stealth and working around it.
Anyway... after a few conversations and meetings, it's obvious to me that we can't be partners. We think differently and he started managing me on day 1. I'm a grown woman who's been a CEO for over 20 years. I can always learn and take feedback but don't need someone stepping in to be my boss.
So I've decided to tell him we can't be partners. BUT he has a couple irons in the fire that could be great for the company -- and I want him to continue to pursue them, and to compensate him fairly. (That could include equity since one of these deals could change our trajectory.)
We can't pay him a salary right now so the original deal was sweat equity until a raise or $X in revenuve, where he could earn up to 20% equity. That number is no longer realistic since I want him to work on a handful of deals and leave the company.
Would love advice on what to propose as a model for working together, any tips for the "not moving forward as partners" conversation, and suggestions for compensation.
LMK if you need more info.