OMG, help! Friend wants partnership in business...
I have this friend that has always been incredibly needy. Used to live across the street from me, moved a few years ago, and I purposely distanced myself just to maintain my sanity but stayed friends. She's very nice and has a big heart, but one of those friends that calls you 5x a day. The kind that stresses about everything.
So anyway, she just went through a divorce. She's now a single mom and is living 100% on alimony that will last for 4 years (gotta love CA divorce laws). She sold her big huge house and bought a nice townhome here in town. Told me a few weeks ago that she didn't want to go out and get a job, she wanted to be an entrepreneur (she used to own a successful housecleaning business pre-marriage). Never worked after she got married (aside from being a mom.) I mentioned that I was wanting to get out there and do something too (as you all know), didn't know what, we joked we should do something together. I didn't take it seriously, apparently she did.
So, shortly after that I started getting this pet sitting thing together. Mind you, I haven't yet gone on a single sit, but I have put in a bunch of money for purchasing contracts, supplies, business cards, insurance, association memberships, and so far, two ads - yellowpages.com and a local newspaper both of which will start running next month. And I've created a website and set policies and prices and started getting my client folders together and all that. It's been a lot of work and a significant amount of money and I haven't even started earning money yet.
So, this morning she calls me at 6:45 am (!!!!!!!) to ask if I wanted to buy her baby grand piano since she's moving to a smaller place. Figured I'd be up (I wasn't). Then calls again at 7:30 am to ask if I wanted the dining room table. Then again at 9 am to ask if I wanted the freestanding patio cover. This is all very nice of her but no, no, and politely no. Then, just now she calls and flat out asks if I wanted a partner in the pet sitting business. I say "but I thought you were allergic to cats?" (She is, severely) Her answer was "well, I can take the pink stuff (don't know what that is) and it's not like I'd be living there." So much for giving a kitty individual attention - I doubt she'd touch it.
As crazy as it sounds though, her son is in school from 9-5 and she'd be able to take the sits I couldn't. She's also a big dog person (used to own two rotties) and could go on those type of sits.
But on the other hand, my entire being is screaming its a bad idea. She has MS, has had gastric bypass surgery, and always seems to have something medically going on - either with that or she needs foot surgery or a boob lift or she's always sick or something. Same deal with her son -he's always sick. She's also not very organized or computer literate and that would translate into me doing allll the work.
On the other hand, I feel bad for her because she does need to work sooner or later and I feel like she feels that I went and did this and that as a friend, I should have given her an in from the beginning.
What do I want to do? I want to do this on my own. I don't even want to have employees right now and plus, that is clearly not what she wants.
I need a way to let her down verrrry easy and totally expect her still to take it hard. Help!