I took a job with a promising start-up about 1 year ago after being in software for 3 years shortly after receiving my B.A. I was hired to assist in software but over the past year have evolved into a leading operations executive. I take on an immense amount of responsibilities, work crazy hours, and above all deliver. However, I am entirely underpaid (started at 55k now making 80k in NYC marketplace)...my counterpart in the company is making about 180k because of impressive credentials although I am noticeably carrying much of her weight. It's gotten to the point where clients even approach me about it. My co-worker has even told me I am "abused." For the past few very busy weeks (we are booming right now)....my boss started feeding me lines as he sees me slave away into the evening, such as, "if you stick with us through this you'll be rich...." and "you won't be an employee for long," etc. etc. My other owner told me that he is so impressed with me and never thought he would offer equity to someone else but I'm different. Anyhow...I was finally approached and asked for a meeting to discuss salary and job responsibilities and told he "thinks they want to make me a partner." I am at a complete loss as to how to approach this negotiation...at first I was flattered by the idea of being a partner but soon had that gut feeling it is being used as a carrot ( they will probably offer me a vested option that won't start being paid for at least 1 year). I've worked so hard these past few months (averaging 15 hour days + weekends) I've questioned recently if I can do this for another year without a major salary increase. How do I make the negotiation more about a significant salary increase without offending? I'd like to receive a balance of the two...any idea on how to approach this? THANK YOU!