By Ed McLaughlin and Wyn Lydecker
Recently, I was at a technology meet-up in New York, and it seemed that every attendee was an employee working for a startup owned and controlled by someone else.
On the one hand, I can appreciate the importance of being a loyal employee – as long as you are developing new competencies, you are being paid fairly for your efforts, you are being recognized for your contributions, and you are being challenged to fulfill your own dreams too.
On the other hand, I get frustrated when I see so many people working to fulfill someone else’s dream – especially when those same people have entrepreneurial aspirations of their own. I get particularly angry when I learn that capable talent is being paid below-market salaries and without commensurate upside – all while working to create value for someone else.
Are you in a similar situation? It only gets worse if your boss has the audacity to suggest that you have reached the limit of your potential – while you slave away fulfilling his or her vision. That is the greatest sin of all.
If you get nothing else from this blog post, remember you are the only one who can put limits on your own potential. Do not give anyone else the license to gain control over your confidence in your potential. If you have a boss who is putting limits on you, while enjoying the benefits of your productive output, you need to ask yourself if they have your best interests at heart. If they don’t, then you need to make a change.
Don’t get me wrong, I know that the job market has forced compromise and that we all need to make a living and pay our debts. Due to the laws of supply and demand, you may have been forced to settle, biding your time while formulating your own dream. Well things are starting to change! Demand for good talent is starting to exceed supply, and you need to be ready to make your move.
Should I Stay or Should I Go?
Here is the 4-Question Test that I think you should take to make your decision:
- Are you building competence in the areas that will help you fulfill your dream? If you are not building your skillset, talent, and brand to bolster your vision for your life, you need to make a change now.
- Are you being paid a fair market salary for your productive output and contribution? You need to interview and test the market to make this determination. If you are not being paid a fair market salary, you probably need to make a change.
- Do you have a fair equity stake in your company’s upside if it is sold or goes public? If you are being paid a below-market salary in exchange for upside, the value of your equity stake needs to be at least five times the value of your salary shortfall.
- Does your boss have your best interests at heart by building your confidence in your potential?
- Does your boss enable or disable your confidence in your potential?
- Does your boss invest in you via training, travel and business challenge?
- Are you empowered to take risks to create new value streams and build your competence?
You need to be honest with yourself; you need to test your results with the market, and you need to solicit the opinions of trusted advisors who have your best interests at heart. The job market has changed for the good, and the opportunity for new business startups has never been better. It is your time to take charge of yourpotential and fulfill your dreams.
Ed McLaughlin is currently co-writing the book “The Purpose Is Profit” The Truth about Starting and Building Your Own Business,” with Wyn Lydecker and Paul McLaughlin.
Copyright © 2015 by Ed McLaughlin All rights reserved.