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.