How Much Should You Pay Yourself?

Three CreateWorth readers reveal what they pay themselves and why.

Joselle Ho

Joselle Ho, Miso Media

Salary: My two co-founders and I each make $65,000-$70,000. We started when we went from bootstrapped to funded, a year and a half in

Take-Home: It’s every entrepreneur’s first instinct to sacrifice for the “good of the company,” but at an early stage you are the company. Pay yourself on the low end at first—investors like to see you stretching every dollar—but you need to earn enough to survive or your company won’t.




Mackey Ziser

Mackey McNeill, Mackey Advisors

Salary: $195,000

Take-Home: I did a market-based evaluation of similar companies for my position. To not pay yourself devalues your effort and confuses your thinking about your business as an asset.





Meghan Schinderle and Katie WebbMeghan Schinderle & Katie Webb, Intertwined Events

Salary: When we started, 30% of every client booked went to the business, and 35% to each of us. As we grew, we began drawing a monthly salary after reviewing our expenses and projected revenue for the month. Now we do a projected budget for the year and review it quarterly to adjust salaries as needed.

Take-Home: Having the formulas in place to calculate pay prepared us for having employees, when we became responsible for others’ livelihoods too!


Cash in. Do you draw a salary? How did you decide how much to pay yourself? 

Originally published April 10, 2012

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