How do I manage my mind around this business situation? I am working as a product owner and the original arrangement was that I would receive payment when and if the app we are working on sells and/or from advertisements that we acquire for the app. I am the creative executive, so to speak, and I wear several other hats: the concept creator, designer, social media manager, sales, and more. The company I work with handles the development side based on my designs.

My struggle is that it has been a year of spending 30 hours or more on this project without pay. The business owner that I work with and I have had several conversations about possible compensation. Each time he says that he isn’t in a position to offer anything which I understand based on our original arrangement and Covid financial-related concerns. I empathize greatly. However, I still need to find a way to get paid. Our latest conversation was strange, in that, he claims he thought I was getting paid since last fall. I have specifically asked for what I want but struggle with feeling like I shouldn’t expect his business to pay me a salary if the app isn’t making any money yet. But the truth is the app won’t happen without me, so I am stuck. Thanks for your help in advance.