Ensure your risk pays off… regularly. Funding the founder is only fair
Really well paid people not only get paid for what they do and what they are going to do, they get rewarded for what they have done. Not all of their achievements are on open display though. We often debate the worthiness of say, sportspeople raking in huge dollars on the 1st and 15th of the month or the CEO of a multinational signing huge bonus checks with their own name printed next to “payee”. And this may or may not be a debate for another time. Here’s a question for right now though – and it’s just for you.
Are you paying yourself enough?
Be honest. Sure you may tell yourself that it’s the staff you’ve hired that do the real work: the customer-facing tasks, the production, site inspections and so on. But did they decide to lay their future, and that of their family, on the line one sleepless night (maybe) to go “all in” on a business idea? Did they trade-in the deep, dreamless slumber of a salaried employee for the night terrors of total autonomy and raw consequence? Okay, it’s not like that – all the time.
Basically, as the owner, you have decided to accept ALL (yes, underlined, bold and italicised) the risk on pretty much every level with almost everything at stake. Sure, the waters have calmed and with your processes in place, numbers identified, achieved and locked in, you might reason to yourself that things were never that bad. Just remember, nostalgia is just history with the bad bits edited out.
How did you even get here?
Back to the sportsperson/CEO argument (just for a moment) and an interesting number – we love numbers. 10,000 hours. That’s how long theorists tell us we need to practice, to achieve world class excellence. Let’s break that down. Let’s say that you intended to play basketball at the highest level by the time you turned 20. Let’s assume that you practiced two hours per day 5days per week. You’d be fine – IF you started when you were 9months old.
Let’s say you started out showing some business nous aged, say 12 and really started actively pursuing an entrepreneurial path at 15. You study, learn, attend seminars, try and fail and succeed a little and improve. You keep this up 5 days a week, 6 hours per day – not including coffee or comfort breaks or lapsing into some quality youtube time. Great, you might have a shot at coming out on top by your 21st birthday.
Wait, what do you mean “might”?
Yes, that’s right. Might! Fortunately/Unfortunately, luck still has a hand in all this. The good news is that those 10,000 hours, if used properly, will insulate you against some of the risks of not ending up right where you imagined you would. Don’t get me wrong, those hours will all but guarantee you a good measure of success but there are no ironclad guarantees in long term business success.
So tell me, what’s that worth to you? All that time you put in, the sacrifices, the dedication.
Again, let’s ask the question – are you paying yourself enough?