I work at a startup and went in thinking of it exactly as I do a corporate gig. Pay me what I’m worth as a regular salary. The equity is just a bonus that may or may never happen. I don’t rely on it at all, and honestly never think about it.
I think before you join a startup you should ask yourself if you are joining it because of some delusion of riches or if you’re joining it because you actually want to work there.