What would you do if you had a cushy job or recently retired as a millionaire? Most people would say that they would be sitting poolside enjoying a frosty beverage. I bet the last thing they would say would be that they’re taking the reigns of a small startup.
After all, being a part of a start up involves a lot of hard work and perseverance. And since it’s not that large, you can’t even guarantee that money is going to be made.
So, what’s the attraction? How do you work with someone that money isn't really that important to them?
In this post I'll break down why your multi-millionaire boss enjoys working for a startup. How to work with them, even if they have different motivations as you and sometimes don't seem like things are a priority. Being this same boss, I get it. Here are a few things that are important to me and can help you deal with me as your boss.
Regardless if you’re raking in the dough at large corporation or enjoying retirement, there’s a good chance that you’re not frequently getting recognized for your accomplishments. Think about the millionaire next door. You probably have no idea who they are and how they achieved their wealth.
That may not sound like a big deal as an outsider. But deep inside we all strive to recognized. In fact, one study found that 83 percent of respondents said that recognition for contributions was more fulfilling than any rewards or gifts.
And, that’s exactly what a startup provides. When you join a startup everyone is at the entry-level position. That means every team member's hard work and dedication has a direct impact that won’t go unnoticed. Don’t think that matters? Take a second and recall the entrepreneurs that inspire and motivate you.
Do you look up to them because of their bank accounts? Or because they built a successful company?
Related: 7 Core Beliefs of Great Bosses
2. Gets to do real work.
Piggybacking on my last point. Everything you do in a startup makes a difference. Regardless if it’s choosing the colors of the brand to a line of code to hiring employees, you’re not just a small cog in a large machine.
From personal experience, it’s part of the startup culture for everyone involved to identify and focus on what’s most important. This encourages everyone to think more creatively and provide value. This hands-on approach also allows everyone to see what they’ve achieved and share in the success of the startup.
Related: A Reality Check for Anyone Eager to Work for a Startup
3. Has more responsibilities.
Responsibility is a good thing, particularly when it comes to work. It makes you feel like an important player on a team.
Furthermore, as voice coach and psychotherapist Jennifer Hamady explains, “by distancing ourselves from our own potential role in problems, we also disregard the possibility of our place in the solutions, as well as the joy and affinity that come from problem solving effectively together.”
Our self-esteem and feelings of empowerment increase when we own our choices and accept responsibility. Since startups don't the time or money to waste on non-contributing team members, every position is vital. Even though meeting these high expectations can be stressful, they’re also more rewarding.
4. Helps create a corporate culture.
Unlike a startup, established and successful businesses already have an established culture. That may not matter to some. But if you’re looking to make a difference and make your voice heard, then it’s easy to see why a startup is so appealing.
As a leader of a startup, you can create a culture that fosters laughter, debate and passion while still being productive and reducing turnover. You can achieve this by encouraging everyone to share their ideas, offering skills development recognizing innovation, and building a meaningful mission.
5. All hands on deck.
There’s a common motto in the startup community: all hands on deck.
This simply means that everyone needs to be prepared to do just about anything. This could be writing a blog post, meeting with investors, networking at events, responding to customer service inquiries, even cleaning the office.
Eventually you’ll these roles will be filled, but right now everyone is expected to juggle multiple responsibilities. Again, it may sound stressful. However, this gives everyone a chance to learn new skills, enhance existing skills, and help everyone find meaning in their work.
Related: 5 Things No One Tells You About Working at a Startup
6. Presents new opportunities.
While joining a startup will probably mean that your millionaire boss will be taking a hefty pay cut, the opportunities it provides will outweigh that paycheck.
For example, they’ll meet new people like investors, develop new ideas and have their articles published in leading publications. If the startup is a success, these new opportunities can build toward any future undertakings that may have in mind. As Francis Bacon said, "A wise man will make more opportunities than he finds."
Related: Deepak Chopra's 3 Quick Tips for Dealing With Toxic Bosses
7. Surrounded by an environment of innovation.
One of the most rewarding things about being involved with a startup is that you’re working side-by-side with people who are passionate and enthusiastic. This sparks inspiration from the bottom-up, which in turn develops new ideas.
Innovation is one of the best ways to learn how to spot a problem and discover news ways to solve it. It’s a great trait that anyone can apply to their personal or professional lives.
Related: 10 Reasons Why You Shouldn't Join a Startup
8. Puts their strengths to work.
As mentioned above, startups don’t have the resources to have any weak links. This ensures that everyone’s specific strengths won’t go to waste.
For your boss, this could be their uncanny ability to network or chance to put their mad coding skills to work. Again, this goes all back to being appreciated and recognized for what you can bring to the table.
Related: The Difference Between a Leader and a Boss
9. The atmosphere is awesome.
Since they’re setting the rules, you can be certain that the atmosphere is going to be awesome. For instance, there may be a more-relaxed dress code, places to take a nap or exercise. There’s flexible schedules and times when you’re allowed to bring your dog to work.
Most importantly, the startup community is a tight-kit group where ideas are constantly exchanged. That creativity and passion is highly contagious.
10. Stronger bonds.
One of my favorite things about being involved with a small startup is the strong bond among the team. Since we’re all in this together, we’re energized and motivated. We driven to produce not only an amazing product, but also top-notch content and customer service.
It’s tough to find this time of camaraderie anywhere else.
Related: 6 Selling Points About Working for a Small Startup
11. Learns to be frugal.
I’ll let you in on a little secret about millionaires. They’re frugal. That’s how they’ve been able to achieve and maintain their wealth.
There’s also no better place to learn how to become more frugal than at a startup. Since money is tight, you have to learn how to become resourceful and staying within your budget. It can be a tough balancing act, but it’s necessary in order for the startup to become successful.
12. Gives the chance to share the wealth.
Whether if it’s sharing knowledge, skills, wealth, or giving back to the community, helping others makes us happier. That’s just reason why so many startup founders encourage volunteerism and are so philanthropic. Additionally, it enhances teamwork, creates a positive culture, and introduces everyone to new perspectives.
Even small cash-strapped startups can give back. For starters the startup could donate 1 percent of the company’s equity or profits to a charitable organization or foundation. Or, all team members could volunteer to a local nonprofit.
Millionaire founders can even give-back by dipping into their own pockets and be helping their employees obtain wealth. Take MoPub CEO Jim Payne, for example. When the company was acquired for $350 million, he turned 36 out of 100 employees into millionaires.
"Exits are few and far between, even though it seems like they happen all the time in the press," Payne told Business Insider. "It was important to me that people who took a chance on MoPub would not only have a great outcome but that they would also have one that was significantly impactful to them and their future opportunities."
"The best thing you can do to help your employees make a lot of money in an outcome is to take care of them early," says Payne. This was through getting employees stock early, offering performance-based stock-option grants, and selecting ethical investors.