The board suggests I pay myself less. Why should I?

Dear Aunty B,

I am the owner/CEO of a medium-sized financial services company. My business partners have just suggested that as I haven’t met my targets for the six months, I take a cut in salary.

I see this as very short term because we are building a very big business, which will deliver us huge returns in the long run – but not the short term.

Besides, I could be earning more money employed elsewhere like the rest of my peers and don’t see why I should take a cut.

Should I refuse?

Leigh B,


Leigh, if you do, you might be out on your butt. Being told to cut your salary is not to be taken lightly. And talking about what your peers are earning elsewhere is nonsense – they don’t have a stake in a company.

Listen. You set the targets, so there is no point talking short term/long term. This is not the time to get uppity. But it is the time to suck up to the board and come up with some brilliant short term growth strategies.

Also suggest ways the company can cut some costs and assure the board targets will be met.

Don’t accept the suggestion – but make sure you work darn hard reining in costs and bringing in more revenue, so in six months time you tell them you have factored into your budgets, a big, fat rise… for yourself.



James Omond writes: A man owned a small business in Melbourne Victoria. The Department of Consumer & Employment Protection heard that he was not paying proper wages to his employees and sent an agent down to interview him. “I need a list of your employees and how much you pay them,” demanded the agent.

“Well,” replied the businessman, “there’s my PA who’s been with me for three years. I pay her $800 a week plus free coffee and tea. The receptionist has been here for 18 months, and I pay her $600 per week. Then there’s the half-wit who works about 18 hours every day and does about 90% of all the work around here. He makes about $10 per week, pays his own transport, and I buy him a bottle of red every Saturday night. He also sleeps with my wife occasionally.”

“That’s the guy I want to talk to – the half-wit,” says the agent. “That would be me,” replied the businessman.


Aunty B - Your problems answered by SmartCompany's business bitch
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