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Consortium alum Ben Pitts on leaving Goldman Sachs to be an entrepreneur

“We need to make decisions that reflect the deepest sense of who we are, who we want to be.”

Consortium alumnus Ben Pitts (University of Virginia, 2009) was a successful wealth advisor to high-net-worth individuals, working for a Consortium corporate partner and “making more money than I’d ever dreamed I could.” But nearly five years ago, after advising so many hard-working, fulfilled entrepreneurs, he finally succumbed to the urge to become one himself.

In a LinkedIn post about his experience, Ben described the passion, purpose and principles that seemingly drove so many of his clients. He realized money didn’t motivate these successful entrepreneurs. Their drive to solve problems did — and the money was a happy result of their efforts.

Ben tells how one entrepreneur in particular “pushed me over the edge,” persuading him that he had to take the plunge and scratch the entrepreneurial itch he could no longer resist. Five days after that meeting, he gave notice at Goldman, Sachs & Co. In his post, he is careful to note that his aim was not to create “advice for some employees to quit their jobs.”

“But Goldman Sachs needs a great employee with no distractions,” Ben writes. “I firmly believe the firm is better off now that I’m living my dream and I appreciate the three years the firm gave me to prepare me for accomplishing that. I would not be where I am without those three years.”

And where is he? He’s now at Cypress Financial Planning. There, he’s led the development of myFinancialAnswers, built to help employers deliver a financial wellness program that “provide[s] a technology platform that delivers robust financial planning for all who need it.”

“What is most important is that we understand what matters most to us in our own lives and careers,” Ben wrote. “We need to make decisions that reflect the deepest sense of who we are, who we want to be, and how we can maximize our contribution to our families, communities, employers, and the world around us.”

Read more about Ben’s story on LinkedIn.

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