Fancy Titles, Little Pay


7 percent of small business owners pay employees more than they pay themselves

One of the most paraphrased quotes from the Analects of Confucius is, “Choose a job you love and you will never work a day in your life.” The original quote was written to describe the different stages of enlightenment and actually goes: He who knows the truth is not equal to one who loves it, but the one who delights in it is the winner of all.

As we celebrate National Small Business Week, the original saying rings especially true for all small business owners whose truth is entrepreneurship and one they delight in — no matter the cost. But just because one loves what they do, it doesn’t make for easy work.

This is evidenced in a recent TSheets survey. One in 2 small business owners is aware they could be earning more money and enjoying a more lavish lifestyle being an employee elsewhere. Other studies have shown how small business owners earn a lot less than the national average.  

Many people also assume being the boss means having a glamorous title like “CEO” or “Founder” and working from wherever they wish and sipping margaritas. The truth is business owners actually have not one, but two bosses — their customers and their employees. And the buck stops with employers. Seven percent of small business owners surveyed pay their employees more than they pay themselves to retain talent and keep the business running.

And while stories of glorious venture capital funding make the front pages, most small businesses are self-financed and bootstrapped. Our survey shows 43 percent of small business owners have poured their own money into the business, often taking away from retirement, vacations, and college funds.

So if you know a small business owner, reach out and celebrate their work for transforming ideas into realities, fueling passion into initiatives, and being the backbone of our economy.

2018 national small business week

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