Alexa von Tobel believes that an economic downturn is the perfect time to start a new business: "When the world is running for shelter, that's the time to go out and be really bold."

She should know. LearnVest, the financial planning website she launched during the Great Recession with "a tiny bit of savings" after dropping out of Harvard Business School, sold to Northwestern Mutual in 2015 for a reported $375 million. In 2019, von Tobel founded Inspired Capital, which provides seed and Series A funding for startups. She has also published two books, writes a column for, and hosts Inc.'s Founders Project podcast. Von Tobel spoke with Eric Schurenberg, the CEO of Inc. and Fast Company, for the latest "Real Talk: Business Reboot" streaming event Tuesday. Watch the clips below for her advice on leadership, raising money, embracing feedback, and letting passion drive your productivity.

On the gut feeling that led her to start LearnVest:

On why being a CEO means constantly evolving: 

On her version of the adage "if you love what you do, you'll never work a day in your life":

On the hurdles she overcame while growing LearnVest:

On the risks of "overcapitalizing" your business:

On what she looks for in a potential investment:

On the handful of things every entrepreneur should do from the start:

On the benefits and drawbacks of MBAs: