You may be lucky and find such people. In my experience, I have not found any contractors who are willing to defer payment or go without pay for an extended period. Deferred equity seems useful to the founder, but the contractor will likely perceive this as a double-IOU.
I have been successful at negotiating reduced rates from what the contractor cited as their usual rate. This seems reasonable to me. It means the contractor cares enough about your mission and believes in you enough that they will accept lower rates. They are someone you can work with over the long-term and may offer them co-founder or employee roles at some point.
Since I am both a contractor and founder of my own startup, I am able to see both sides. From the contractor's perspective, they are contractors because they need to make money to survive. They usually don't have a leisurely financial situation where they can go without income for extended periods. They may need money to cover basic bills or to finance their own venture. Receiving equity doesn't help them cover their own immediate goals. Not only ,you are asking them to take a leap of faith that the equity will ever amount to anything. You are asking them to take an even greater leap of faith if you give them an IOU for equity (which is essentially and IOU for an IOU).
If people don't feel they are being compensate fairly, even if they take the job, they may not put full effort into it and may abandon the work as soon as something better comes along. Neither are helpful to the entrepreneur.
If you find a true co-founder (you should only have one or two), then that person should share in a large part of the equity, generally with no salary as they share both risk and reward. They are also a business partner with a management role. You will likely find people who might make good co-founders, whom you simply can't persuade to come on board because they can't go without income. So the ideal co-founder is someone not only who fits the role, is excited by the mission, but also is in a position where they can work at least part-time for a period without income. It is this combination that is challenging to find.
Finally, you don't want a large team of co-founders. It would be hard to run a company with 6 people thinking they are all jointly running it. Giving equity to many also complicates your later situation for investors.