In this week’s episode of Money Confidential, host Stefanie O’Connell Rodriguez addresses the fears surrounding taking the financial leap of starting a business.

By Real Simple Editors
March 15, 2021
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Money Confidential episode 3 - Paco de Leon headshot
Credit: courtesy

Real Simple's Money Confidential podcast takes money questions and concerns from real people and offers practical advice from experts and host Stefanie O'Connell Rodriguez. Together, these pros have real, open conversations about money and how it makes us feel. On this week's episode, O'Connell Rodriguez talks with a woman eager to start her own business—but fearful of leaving the financial stability she currently enjoys behind.

This week's caller—we'll call her Mia, though that's not her real name—is 28 years old, works in the northeast, and is celebrating five years at her corporate job. She has a comfortable emergency fund, lives within her means, and has opportunities for growth at her current workplace: Her career path is pretty linear and offers financial security. Still, Mia dreams of starting her own business. And even as she can't shake the feeling that she wants to become self-employed and feel passionate about her work, she also can't escape the fear of leaving her financial security behind and taking the risks that come with entrepreneurship.

To help Mia decide if the risks of starting her own business are worth it—and if now, during a pandemic and economic crisis, is a good time to do so—O'Connell Rodriguez turns to Paco de Leon, the founder of bookkeeping agency and personal finance community The Hell Yeah Group who has experience as a financial planner, a debt collector, a small business consultant, and a bookkeeper.

"You kind of just have to start," de Leon says of taking that initial leap to starting a business. She recommends starting small and paying attention: "As an entrepreneur, it's your job to kind of be in collaboration with your audience and the people that you're serving." If your initial, small effort doesn't appeal to your audience, you can modify your approach and try again.

More than that, though, de Leon addresses the fear and uncertainty that comes with the financial risks associated with entrepreneurship—and how Mia (and aspiring business-starters like her) can address those emotions.

Listen to this week's Money Confidential—"Is now a bad time to start a business?"—for de Leon and O'Connell Rodriguez's conversation about financial risk, starting a business, and balancing the two. Money Confidential is available on Apple podcasts, Amazon, Spotify, PlayerFM, or wherever you listen to your favorite podcasts.