Not everyone is independently wealthy or can work without pay. As an executive in a startup you need to make certain sacrifices to keep the momentum going and hopefully you've prepared for that and have some cash flow to pay your bills. However, you can't expect everyone you hire to live by stock alone. There has to be some compensation as the best people out there should be making money at their current position. You have to find the happy medium of stock and cash flow. If your top candidate is the right candidate they should be willing to sacrifice a bit of cash flow to get in at the ground floor and help the organizations grow.