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Take risks when you can
Chris Larsen
Founder, E-Loan.com and Prosper.com

"Cut the lifeboats." I heard this from Jim Collins, who wrote "Built to Last" and was the best M.B.A. professor I had at Stanford. He pleaded with the class, saying, "You're young. You can fail two or three times, even lose all your money two or three times, and you'll be just fine. Taking that risk puts you in the path of wealth."

If he hadn't said that, I probably would have taken a job, like a typical M.B.A., instead of founding a company. Starting my own business seemed so risky, but maxing out credit cards or even going bankrupt isn't so risky if you do it at a young age. You'll never regret taking those risks, but you might regret it if you don't.

NEXT: Tap the power of compounding

Last updated July 22 2008: 11:27 AM ET
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