Venture Capital & Stock/company shares
Hello, Ivan Jimenez
I recently started working for a start-up company as a web developer.
Since it is a start-up the pay is not that great, but I was given company shares as 'payment'.
I do not have a business degree nor knowledge of shares/stocks.
So, what exactly can I do with these shares?
How can I generate wealth with the shares?
Unless you have absolutely nothing better to do with your time, I'd leave.
If the company doesn't do well enough, after paying the real owners "salaries", you'll make nothing and in general, a startup that can't afford (or just refuses) to pay their staff with real money, don't work.
At best, they'll see the error of their ways and start paying their employees but by then you'll probably have reached your capacity to work without lay and have left.
All that said, if you're intent on being part of this startup, my single best piece of advice is that you stick it out and stay with the owners for the [very] long haul. Nothing is worse than bailing out and then seeing the company grow after you've left and essentially forfeited your right to any payout.
As I noted previously, your startup may not be the economic success that everyone is hoping for but the owners will no doubt move on to other businesses until they find the right one. Like most entrepreneurs, they'll likely bring along staff that is loyal and although you'll probably be working for free there as well, if you're there when they finally hit it big, you'll be in a great position to negotiate a nice payoff for your unbridled loyalty and dedication to them.
In the meantime, I suggest you find some gigs / side jobs that can bring in immediate revenue. If you haven't already, register a profile at Guru.com, Elance, Fiverr, etc. Also be sure to make clear with your startup bosses that you'll be working on other projects while you're working for them so there's no conflict of interests down the road.
Regarding wealth with your shares, focus on getting the physical shares and pray the company does well.
I hope I was able to help and offered guidance.