So I need some additional opinions on this ... I've got the opportunity of a lifetime at my feet (metaphorically speaking) that will likely boost my reputation and business to new and profitable heights. But in order to win this contract, I need to personally sacrifice nearly all up front pay (crew will still get paid) in exchange for the first money out of the sale of this particular product. Now keep in mind, in addition to keeping the bid low by cutting myself out of it, my willingness to sacrifice my pay will give confidence to the customer/investor that my idea will be profitable ... if i can believe in it, they can believe in it. To me, this sounds like a reasonable risk with a reasonable reward. Certainly too risky to be anywhere near conservative ... but nowhere near the realm of gambling. In my mind, this sort of risk is part of business ... usually you go for slow and steady growth ... but every once in a while, you take a risk in the hopes of moving your company rapidly to the next level. (The personal risk we're talking about here is loosing about $14,000, not millions.) Personally, I'm 30 years old and at the bottom of the financial barrel ... credit is shot, 0 savings, car was repossessed (though I have one to drive in the mean time) ... but my house is safely paid up as are my school loans. Fortunately I live alone and have no dependents at this point, the only person I need to worry about is how my girlfriend (who is a lawyer and lives on her own) feels about our future. I do need to worry about my future (I would like a family) but I feel that with this opportunity I can move myself drastically closer to a stable career and the elusive "getting paid for what you TRULY love to do" scenario. But currently I'm suffering from being surrounded by nay-sayers or "realists" as some like to call themselves ... I say they've lost their capacity to dream of something better. What do you all have to say about this?