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Is It Ever OK for Founders to Sell Off Their Company Shares?

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This story appears in the January 2014 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

One of the strangest things about being a startup founder is that I'm running a multimillion-dollar company but earning a salary far below my market value. My company may be worth a lot, but the vast majority of my personal net worth is tied up in an illiquid asset (company stock), which is no help to me as a mom with two small kids, a mortgage, medical bills and day-to-day expenses.

Five years in and easily $500,000 below what should have been my accumulated earnings since 2009, I'm left scratching my head. I hear murmurings that some founders sell personal shares long before an exit. Should I do the same? Should you if you're in this boat?

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