When I took a leave of absence from Harvard Business School to launch LearnVest, I knew it was a risky move. So before I started putting my business plan into action, I made sure to stash nine months of living expenses–accrued during my few years of working on Wall Street–in a savings account. That money wasn’t operating capital for the business. It was money I could tap to pay for any unexpected bills that cropped up in my personal life.
Having that cushion played a huge role in those early days. It liberated me. Knowing I had fallback savings allowed me to stay laser focused on building LearnVest. The last thing I wanted to be thinking about was–and still is–my own financial issues. Four years in, even though LearnVest is growing rapidly, my personal “freedom fund” remains a valuable strategic asset for me. I’m confident that when–not if–one of life’s unexpected expenses crops up, I’ll be safe and secure. That safety net gives me more confidence navigating the daily high-wire act of entrepreneurship.
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