Putting every last penny of your personal savings into your startup is a bad idea, according to Alexa Von Tobel

Her advice comes from her perspective not only as the founder of LearnVest, a financial planning website that has raised $69 million to date, but as a certified financial planner.

"That is one of the worst things you can do... take so much risk that you can't think clearly," Von Tobel says.

"If you are literally blindly desperate because you are worried that if the business does not work your entire family, house, whatever goes under, you're not going to be in a clear, steady position of power. And that's what you need to be in when you're running a business," she adds.

That said, Von Tobel, who dropped out of Harvard Business School to start her company with a portion of her personal savings, strongly recommends having some skin in the game.

Not only should you want to be financially invested in your own company, but doing so will ultimately lead you to make better decisions, she says. 

"Because I was actually paying for things myself with my own savings, it sharpened my focus of how to spend money. Quickly you'll be able to say, we don't need that," she says

Von Tobel swears that when it came time for LearnVest to take money, her thriftiness is the reason that investors trusted her. 

For more financial--and other startup--lessons from Von Tobel, check out the video below.

Published on: Sep 15, 2014