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Is It Ever OK for Founders to Sell Off Their Company Shares? Selling stock in your company, especially if it keeps you from sleeping in your car, is not necessarily a bad move.

By Amanda Steinberg

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

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?

A quick survey of other startup founders revealed that they believe it's OK to sell a tiny percentage of stock (in the single digits) once a company's valuation reaches $10 million.

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