One interesting aspect of a young adult is their enthusiasm, at least in my generation, of taking risks. One such risk I took was taking a job from an individual who was cash-flow negative. At the time I did not know this. The business he was running was auction related and since a good friend of mine and I had done something similar to earn an income early in college I was extremely excited to engage in business with someone who sounded like he had a long-term plan. When I was part owner of an internet auction based business, the long-term plan was dreamed up but never imagined. My business partner and I closed up shop when we had finally run out of resources. We were smart. Instead of cutting our losses and running, we shut everything down before we ran into any losses because we knew what the future held.
When I started working with this new business I was promised to be paid the following month. The advertisement I responded to actually had a starting hourly wage in it, but during the interview I was informed that because of the nature of the business (items to sell at auction are not consistent) my pay would being within a month. For the first month I would be volunteering my time. The prospect of this business sounded wonderful and I was happy to postpone monetary gratification in the short-term for the long-term payout. This business was going to thrive and the money would pour in! So my dreams led me to believe.
What started out as one month of no pay turned into two and then three. By the third month I was promised a top of the line lap-top computer in the fourth month. I was already wise about the time I was wasting with this endeavor but hope kept me in it. The lap-top was the last straw. How can a business afford to buy me a $1,500 computer but not afford to pay me that same amount? Anything would have been better than nothing. Think of a small payment as a good-faith token to show it’s worth continuing. Soon after, my “volunteering” came to an end. I had had enough.