With the opportunity to be your own boss, flexible hours and unlimited income potential, many would agree that "entrepreneur" is the aspirational career title of the moment. But as any small-business owner can tell you, it often comes with a set of corresponding challenges: lots of responsibility for unpredictable pay, high risk and long hours along with the inevitable day-to-day headaches of running a company.

The financial crisis and subsequent shaky recovery have significantly increased these challenges for small-business owners everywhere, which begs the question: If they could do it all again, would they?

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The answer is a resounding "yes," according to a Gallup survey released yesterday. More than 80 percent of the 600 small-business owners surveyed said that if they got an automatic re-do, they would choose the same career path. It's a percentage that hasn't changed much over the past 11 years, which suggests that despite the setbacks and hardships many small-business owners faced during the Great Recession, they don't regret taking the entrepreneurial plunge. So what gives?

While there are a lot of unique answers to that question Gallup found that the overwhelmingly response was a sense of independence. Other popular answers were job satisfaction, benefits derived from a flexible schedule and interacting with customers. 

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Of course, all of this independence and flexibility comes with trade-offs. When asked what the big challenge was when starting a business, the majority of respondents cited day-to-day stressors, such as generating revenue and a customer base, securing cash flow, obtaining credit and funds and marketing. Other commonly cited challenges included dealing with government regulations and the stress of uncertainty that comes with starting something. 

Tell Us: When it comes to starting your business, what's the most rewarding part? The most challenging? And would you do it all again?