What is the value of your time and risk tolerance?
A member of the Female Founders Network shared her story of working for a successful startup that recently became a public company. She was an early employee but was never offered shares or options and questioned whether or not it was fair.
With the amount of pay inequity in the market, it would be easy to chalk it up to another example of gender inequality. Without knowing the numbers, I have to generously assume it has more to do with risk and reward.
Startups are high risk. It’s easy to look back at a successful startup and wish you were paid in equity. But how would you feel forgoing cash and benefits for a stock vesting plan if the company failed after 4 years? My guess is that the experience gained would not feel like adequate reward for most. That’s the risk – reward relationship of startup.
My advice to the Female Founder Network and you is to know the value of your time and your risk tolerance. Everyone deserves to be fully compensated for the value of their time. The method should reflect your risk tolerance.
1/ cash + benefits
2/ stock + options
Time is one of your most precious resources that can only be valued by you. The method should be negotiated.