Big News: FounderDating is joining OneVest to build the largest community for entrepreneurs. Details here
Latest Notifications
You have no recent recommendations.
Name
Title
 
MiniBio
FOLLOW
Title
 Followers
FOLLOW TOPIC

Question goes here

1,300 Followers

  • Name
    Entrepreneur
  • Name
    Entrepreneur
  • Name
    Entrepreneur
  • Name
    Entrepreneur
  • Name
    Entrepreneur
  • Name
    Entrepreneur
  • Name
    Entrepreneur
  • Name
    Entrepreneur

Pitching my own job description and compensation package

I am in the enviable position of writing a pitch for my desired job description (chief of staff), my compensation package (equity, salary, benefits), and my non-negotiables for inclusion into my final contract with a startup that I have a verbal offer from.

I'd really like to get input, advice, from people who have negotiated their job description, compensation package, and non-negotiables and/or are startup executives who have evaluated pitches of job descriptions, compensation packages, and non-negotiables.

My questions are:

1) How do I figure out what's reasonable? What should I ask for?

2) How do I prepare for the negotiation process?

3) What makes a negotiation strong?

4) What are common pitfalls (particularly legal) to watch out for?

5) How should I think about where I want to start vs. where I want to be in six months (in both roles and responsibilities as well as in compensation)?

Thank you in advance for either pointing me to the right resources to figure this out or answering these questions based on your own experiences!

12 Replies

Stefan Negritoiu
0
1
Stefan Negritoiu Entrepreneur • Advisor
Cofounder at MileLogr.com & FreeBusy.io
If your situation is so open ended you're the only one who can truly answer it.An analytical approach can only take you so far. Trust your intuition.
Lydia Loizides
0
1
Lydia Loizides Entrepreneur • Advisor
Founder and CEO @GGGrit

Deborah - happy to help you. Send me a note with your email address and we can take this offline if you want.

Stephen Peters
0
0
Stephen Peters Entrepreneur
Looking for the next challenge and opportunity
This may not help you much, but it is an interesting read on an non-typical way to go about this: http://qz.com/77020/the-secret-to-a-higher-salary-is-to-ask-for-nothing-at-all/
Rob Gropper
0
0
Rob Gropper Entrepreneur
Director at PetHero, SPC - Member at Eastside Incubator - Principal at Tuxedo Technologies Group
Deborah, i don't think we have enough information to give you specifics. so much depends on what space the startup is in, funding stage and amount, (bootstrap/VC backed, seed, A/B/C... round, etc.). to be blunt, as a CEO your questions raise red flags for me - just being honest. Best advice I can give is to put yourself in the shoes of the CEO/founders and then ask yourself what you would want to see from this candidate and this process. As CEO/founder its all about execution - getting the right stuff done in a chaotic environment with little formal structure or direction. As CEO not only do you not care about job titles/descriptions, but you will be turned off by a candidate who is focused on such things. This is a startup, things are fluid and the founding team needs to see that you are nimble and flexible and able to wear lots of different hats and thrive in an environment that lacks structure. Not sure what a chief of staff would do in a startup so i'm guessing this is a later stage startup and i'm guessing this is someone charged with "getting all that stuff done that doesn't neatly fit under skill sets of the founders (dev, design, sales, biz dev, marketing, product)". If you have the offer i would be very cautious in the negotiation process about appearing to 'corporate' or worried about process/job description, structure, etc. Nothing wrong with being firm in your negotiations - CEO/founders appreciate people with good negotiating skills (as long as they are put to good use for the benefit of the company). Regarding equity, search for an article titled "cutting the founders pie" or "slicing the founders pie" - there are no hard and fast rules about equity, but this is the best primer on the subject i've found. what makes a negotiation strong is the scarcity of what you have relative to the needs of the other party.
Deborah Chang
0
0
Deborah Chang Entrepreneur
Educator Entrepreneur: Taking Down Systemic Barriers to Education Innovation
Thank you to everyone who has replied so far! Lydia and Ron, I've emailed you to continue our conversation offline. Stephen, thank you so much for the link. On first read, that style of negotiation very much appeals to me. I am also a giver and would like to be in a productive working relationship with other givers.

For others following this thread, another article that I've found useful as well is A Fully Comprehensive Way to Write Your Own JobDescription(http://inboundandagile.com/a-fully-comprehensive-way-to-write-your-own-job-description/#sthash.H09E2K0g.dpbs).

Also, the link to Rob's recommendation, I believe, is here:http://www.andrew.cmu.edu/user/fd0n/35%20Founders'%20Pie%20Calculator.htm

Finally, for context in case any other people also felt a red flag being raised, the founder of this particular startup gave me explicit directions to write the job description, compensation package, and non-negotiables pitch as a starting point for negotiations. I also hear the feedback that it's important to not appear "corporate".
John Wallace
0
0
John Wallace Entrepreneur
President at Apps Incorporated
From a compensation standpoint, here's how I look at it: Let's say that my current yearly comp is $240K. Now, let's say that the most I can negotiate for is $150K in total comp (salary + benefits). That means that I am making a $90K/year investment in the company. (More that that, probably, since who works only 40 hrs/week at a startup?) So I'm looking to get at least as much equity as someone who would be investing $90K/year of cash in the company. That's the minimum number. I may figure that the risk, or my unique value to the company, or my opportunity costs push that number higher.

Pitfalls I think about:
o my legal obligations/liabilities if the company goes under.
o my tax obligations (if any) as a shareholder of the corp.
o when I can sell my stock and under what terms.
o what happens if I am terminated?

Before signing I'd want to see the company's shareholder agreements, investor agreements, promises made to investors/customers, etc. I'm making an investment. The last thing I'd want to do is invest in a company that isn't going to make it.
Phil Mitchell
0
0
Phil Mitchell Entrepreneur
Founder at Larkwire
There was recently a pretty good post on this topic on Hacker News: http://blog.upstart.com/2013/05/how-to-negotiate-job-offer.html https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=5787759 ------------------------------------------------- Phil Mitchell *Larkwire* [removed to protect privacy] [removed to protect privacy] @larkwire http://blog.larkwire.com
Ben Land
0
0
Ben Land Entrepreneur
Corporate Communications & Entrepreneur
Deborah - thanks for the honest question - and kudos to all the members who provided such valuable input. I'm in a similar position - flattering and daunting simultaneously - so I appreciate the learning this discussion provides.
Deborah Chang
0
0
Deborah Chang Entrepreneur
Educator Entrepreneur: Taking Down Systemic Barriers to Education Innovation
John, that seems like a pretty intuitive way to look at the balance of salary and equity. Thank you. Ben, good luck to you as well! Phil, thank you for the resource!
Deborah Chang
0
0
Deborah Chang Entrepreneur
Educator Entrepreneur: Taking Down Systemic Barriers to Education Innovation
I would also add as advice to talk to current employees/partners of the startup as well as ex-employees to get a read of baseline rates for compensation, expectations for the job, and how feasible your non-negotiables are.
Join FounderDating to participate in the discussion
Nothing gets posted to LinkedIn and your information will not be shared.

Just a few more details please.

DO: Start a discussion, share a resource, or ask a question related to entrepreneurship.
DON'T: Post about prohibited topics such as recruiting, cofounder wanted, check out my product
or feedback on the FD site (you can send this to us directly info@founderdating.com).
See the Community Code of Conduct for more details.

Title

Give your question or discussion topic a great title, make it catchy and succinct.

Details

Make sure what you're about to say is specific and relevant - you'll get better responses.

Topics

Tag your discussion so you get more relevant responses.

Question goes here

1,300 Followers

  • Name
    Details
  • Name
    Details
  • Name
    Details
  • Name
    Details
  • Name
    Details
  • Name
    Details
  • Name
    Details
  • Name
    Details
Know someone who should answer this question? Enter their email below
Stay current and follow these discussion topics?