What Does It Take to Be Fearless About Money and Life? 6 Leaders’ Answers

Julia Chang

fearless moneyWhat does it mean to be “financially fearless”?

LearnVest C.E.O. Alexa von Tobel defines it as taking control of your money, so it doesn’t control you. That’s one reason why she named her new book “Financially Fearless“—she wanted her advice to inspire people to go from feeling anxious about money to feeling amazing about it.

We were curious to know what types of answers we’d get from other business leaders if we asked them to define financial fearlessness in their own words. So we reached out to everyone from successful entrepreneurs to intrepid investors and found that their points of view didn’t just apply to their financial lives … they also seemed to reflect a mantra from these bold leaders’ personal lives.


David1. Don’t let the unknown throw you off your game.

—David Daneshgar, co-founder of BloomNation

This former World Series of Poker champion left the world of high-stakes card games to become an entrepreneur, cofounding BloomNation after his friend complained that his aunt’s florist business was being hurt by competition from online floral websites.

So he and his partners got the idea to build an online marketplace that connected customers directly with florists, enabling them to get exactly what they wanted instead of relying on stock photos that didn’t always reflect what was delivered. But Daneshgar needed the funds to get started. His solution, naturally, was to win a game of poker. So he entered a local tournament and won more than $25,000 to launch the business. Despite the odds at stake, Daneshgar says that losing was never part of his fearless plan:

“Luckily, I didn’t have [the fear of losing], although my partners did. Poker makes you emotionally stable, no matter what the financial swing is. If I lost $50,000 one day, [I knew I’d] win it back another day. If I showed my emotions, I wouldn’t be able to win. When I knew money was on the line, I always did better.

When it comes down to it, and you have all your chips down, are you willing to trust yourself? Ninety-nine percent of people don’t because they are scared. Even when I was in business school, everyone claimed they had an idea, but they couldn’t execute on it [because of fear]. They were [leaving school with] $100,000 worth of debt, so they had to be financially comfortable. But an entrepreneur knows that anything that is comfortable is not in their ecosystem.”

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