Yes, you might be an entrepreneur if…you’re the lowest paid employee in your company.
A common misconception amongst the general public is that people with “CEO” or “President” on their business card make lots of money. If the company name on that card is “IBM” or “Ford” then that’s probably true (although if you’re at Ford then you’ve got other issues to deal with), but if it reads “MWI” on your card as well as any title of significance in the hierarchical management structure then chances are as your title goes up your pay goes down.
I base my claim on the following math: If you were to average out what any employee ever employed at MWI would have made if their employment had continued for the seven years I have been here and compared it to the yearly average of what I have been paid then every employee of MWI has made more money than I have. And I’ve had some employees that truly don’t get paid much. But when you’ve never paid yourself more than $42K in a year and you’ve gone for 3.5 years without any pay, it’s not hard to get that yearly average down.
This goes back to the fact that a true entrepreneur would rather keep a business running then get paid, if those are the two options and he has the ability to not get paid. I have a hard time imagining taking more pay than any of my employees until such time as we’ve got plenty of money in the bank and things are prosperous. Until then I’ll continue to be the lowest paid guy here. I think it helps me to be creative about how to make the company run better and be more profitable.
Then again, maybe I’m getting too used to it.Liked it? Share it!
How in the world do you survive without getting paid for 3.5 years? Are you living off savings? Do you have a farm in your backyard? Does your wife ever get to go shopping? (I find that to be a necessary investment in marital happiness.)
Much of that is answered on the entry that talks specifically about how I haven’t paid myself for 3.5 years. But no, we don’t have savings because we put all our savings in the business, we don’t have a farm, and my wife doesn’t go “shopping,” at least not in a traditional sense. I’d guess she spends about $50 on clothes per year, maybe $100 tops. No, probably $50. But she’s great that way, she’s not one of these women who “needs” to have her nails done, “needs” to have her hair done, “needs” to buy new clothes or have nice furniture, etc. It’s not that she’s a pushover or anything, not at all. Not even a little bit. She just doesn’t put much stock in things that are superficial or material. Sure, she’d like to have money to do all those things, but they’re not necessities for her. It’s been as perfect a match as can be. I don’t think anyone else would have stuck with me during all the ups and downs of running a business.
LOL good for you for having a wife who is supportive. I am a wife myself who is very supportive of my husband as well.
The thing with our situation is that NEITHER of us have a steady paycheck-we are BOTH Entreprenuers, so that makes life that much more harder-yet interesting at the same time!
And people think I’m nuts…
When my wife and I have talks about me freelancing again, she’s quick to remind me of a couple conditions. We must first have a boat load of money in the bank, and I must have 3 months of projects booked out. It’ll be difficult to make the plunge again, especially as the little ninos are born.