Dear Aunty B,
I am starting up, but not getting the type of people I require. They are risk adverse and all want to stay working in big companies. Should I offer them equity?
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Would you sell part of your home to a complete stranger? Because that is essentially what your business is. When you take on an equity partner it is like swapping vows. You are essentially creating a business marriage. You are stuck with them through good times and bad times.
You never do that for a complete stranger.
What you must do is this: sell them the vision. Tell them all the exciting opportunities they will get in your start up, the training, the responsibility and the authority that they would never get in a 9-to-5 run of the mill corporate job where they are stuck down the bottom of the heap.
Certainly tell them that there is a possibility of equity in a few years after they have proven themselves, but never use it as the initial carrot.
Don’t forget. If they are risk adverse, they are probably not right for the business.
Your Aunty B
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