I Fired a Good Person Yesterday

Yesterday wasn’t easy. I fired a key employee, who was a good person.

He yelled at me. He threw his credit card on the table. He threatened to come back later. He called me a coward.

He had put another team members safety in jeopardy. We learned that he was using company money for personal purchases. He was irritating to a lot of the people around him, including our customers.

And yet, it was hard to fire him.

Along the list of bad things he had done was a long list of great things he had done, days he was indispensable and things we wouldn’t have if it weren’t for him.

From the outside looking in, the choice to let him go was easy, but inside the business, actually doing it is another story.

If you are an entrepreneur, or want to be one, understand that you live in a grey area. Your choices are rarely cut and dry. They are nuanced. They have magnitude and direction and multiple outcomes and effects. The choices aren’t “Should I pay taxes.” They are more like, “How much should I pay in taxes?”

Entrepreneurship brings freedom. The freedom to work how you want, the freedom to build what you want. But it also brings struggle. The struggle to support many families, the struggle to build the right culture and the struggle to fire good people, even when they deserve it.