BP and I had “the money talk” this morning.
(He forgets we have had this talk before.)
The crux of the problem is that I made a conscious choice years ago to forego a salary and/or a monthly retainer for a healthy percentage of a deal on which I was/am working.
He asked if I would prefer to be put on salary so I can stop suffering (and whining about suffering) and forego the percentage.
I . . . declined.
WTF is wrong with me? Well, I have worked too damn hard for too long and suffered too much to give up 75% of what I have been working for. Yes, there is no guarantee that it will fund, and so I am doubly stupid for turning down cash now, but I just cannot.
He also offered to “be my agent” to contact the owner of the company and a couple of other people I have consulted to get money for me. I declined that as well.
He then asked exasperatedly how in the fuck does he know I can run the company if I cannot logically discuss these money issues. I had to tell him that I understand his concern but I have two problems. First, my entire economic value depends upon the fact that I know what I am doing, and how can I appear to know what I am doing if I am struggling financially? Second, I am not completely able to wrap my mind around the fact that I am poor when I have always been successful. How could I be poor? There is a difference between having money be tight for a month or more, knowing that business is cyclical. It’s a completely different thing to have no idea how things will ever change.
Early on, the other parts of my business were robust and the work we did on the deal was limited. Over time, it has grown and become all-encompassing.
Maintaining the balance of paying work vs percentage work is always difficult. It’s even harder now that I am on my own, without other lawyers to whom I can hand things off if I need to be out of the country for a few weeks at any time. I have taken on smaller deals, smaller clients, but then I am working just as hard for less money.
I love my job . . . I really do. I just need to figure this out.