The CEO of a Company Valued at More Than $250 Million Shares Her Best Piece of Advice for New College Grads

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DLD13 conference Munich - "patterns that connect" - Germany January 20-22, 2013
FlickrAlexa von Tobel, CEO of LearnVest.

By Jacquelyn Smith

Graduation season is upon us and nearly two million people in the US will soon be entering the "real world."

To help these new grads navigate this exciting and scary time in their lives, Alexa von Tobel, CEO of financial planning company LearnVest, shared her best advice for them with Adam Bryant of the New York Times."You have to dream big because no one else can dream for you," she told Bryant when he asked her what career and life advice she gives to college grads.

She continued: "Now that I'm becoming a new parent myself, I'm trying to think about what my parents did to help me believe in myself. I don't think I'm special in any way. I just believe in hard work and I believe in dreaming big."

She told Bryant that she likes to ask her young mentees, "What's your biggest dream?"

"It will be something small and I'll say: 'Dream bigger. Just give yourself the ability to say, 'I want something bigger,' because who cares if you fail? Truly, who cares? So dream bigger because no one else is going to do it for you.'"

To help them figure out what it is they really want, she suggests they ask themselves: When I'm 90, will I regret this?

"When I was in undergrad, they did a study of 90-year-olds in the psychology lab. What they found is that no one ever regretted anything they did," she told the New York Times. "They just regretted the things they didn't do. That just gave me license to be bold."
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