Learn to do more with less. It is very easy to raise your first small round of funding these days, but a funded startup also has very high expectations to meet to get the next round of funding. Set bad habits by paying too much, or spending vicariously, and you wont be able to keep up that culture when the going gets tough and everything falls apart.
The rule is simple – if you start something, you have to consistently keep it going. You get brownies for everyone in office on tuesdays, find a way to keep it going till the end of time. One week when the brownie doesnt show, everyone knows what’s happening – “cost cutting” and thats bad for morale.
So be very careful about what you start off.
If you keep your burn rate low – applies for your startup, applies for your own life as well – it is amazing freedom, and it will keep you alive during the lean days. I have a burn rate of about 28K – 30K a month on the personal front – that’s it. And a good chunk of that is rent on my apartment. You would not believe the kind of freedom that gives you. I could quit my job when i wanted to and start up The Startup Centre. I can take a month off and go on vacation (if i want to) as long as i can cover that amount, and that is fairly easy.
My mentor told me that learning how to bring something to profitability, starts with your own personal finances. How you handle your own life, will reflect when you dare for the grandiose things, in ways that would surprise you.