Forget Compensation, let's talk "Quality of Life"

“Why is "quality of life" such an afterthought amongst startups? We all seem to understand stock options, salaries, and big exits. But why is it we can't seem to quantify, "I actually have a better life" unless it's attached to a dollar sign?"

March 25th, 2020   |    By: Wil Schroter    |    Tags: Recruiting

Would you rather make $200K with a shitty quality of life or $100K with an awesome quality of life?

In the startup world we all seem to understand that $200K is better than $100K, but we do a really lousy job of qualifying that difference based on what actually matters — our quality of life.

When we step back for a second, we may come to find out that "compensation" in strictly monetary terms, is a broken metric. We're all really trying to translate those dollar signs into how it will impact our quality of life.

So why don't we just start with what improves our quality of life and then figure out where money comes in?

What we really want is time.

Years ago at, we instituted a work from home policy. At the time we were all still office-bound (spoiler alert: we're mostly remote now) so having an extra day to work in our Snuggies (still a thing) was a huge benefit.

The day off wasn't the benefit — it's what it gave us the freedom to do.

We made breakfast for our kids. We took time to go on a hike. We slept in for the hour we were otherwise going to be getting ready and commuted. We took calls in our pajamas. It felt like a "snow day" every single week.

Incidentally, it cost us nothing as a company, but opened our eyes to what we were really looking for — a quality of life "promotion."

In Case You Missed It

I’m Killing Myself. How Is Everyone Else Finding Work/Life Balance. Work/Life balance isn't about working less, it's about adjusting our approach to work.

Is Doing Non-Startup Stuff Good For My Startup? (podcast). Join Wil and Ryan as they discuss how doing stuff that's NOT Startup related is important not only for your own sanity, but for the growth of your company.

I’m Burnt Out. What Do I Do? When we hit a point of burn out it's important that we understand what to do about it. If we ignore it, the problem only gets much worse. So let's take a look at what Founders do to deal with burnout head on.

About the Author

Wil Schroter

Wil Schroter is the Founder + CEO @, a startup platform that includes BizplanClarity, Fundable, Launchrock, and Zirtual. He started his first company at age 19 which grew to over $700 million in billings within 5 years (despite his involvement). After that he launched 8 more companies, the last 3 venture backed, to refine his learning of what not to do. He's a seasoned expert at starting companies and a total amateur at everything else.

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