From the December 2001 issue of Startups

On a day like today, when it's raining outside and I know the freeways will be a mess, it can be tough to get out of bed-particularly when I know I've got a full day ahead and a lot of work to get done, and no guarantee that any of it will be easy. Staying under the covers can sound like a pretty attractive option at that early hour. You probably know that feeling well as an entrepreneur. And I don't just mean feeling like you want to hide under the covers on certain days. When you're new to entrepreneurship, struggling to make ends meet and learn how to run a successful business, every day can seem like a challenge.

That's true whether you've been in business for 10 years or 10 minutes, but when you're a start-up, those first few months of business ownership are often the toughest. We talk about this concept in "Surviving Your First Year," where we provide you with several ways to muddle through and come out ahead. As many of the entrepreneurs we talked to for this article illustrate, it's possible to survive that first year, as long as you take the necessary steps to get the job done.

But I would also invite you not to merely survive your first year. You should congratulate yourself for having the gumption to start a business, one of the most difficult undertakings anyone could tackle. You should be glad you now have the freedom to be your own boss and mold your business into what you want it to be. You should celebrate the fact that you have the power to reinvigorate our downtrodden economy and get America's entrepreneurs back on track. You should be happy to be an entrepreneur.

So amid all that surviving, make sure you do some thriving. You have earned it, and America needs it.

 
BACK ON TRACK AMERICA
Entrepreneur magazine is proud to be a sponsor of Jane Applegate's Back on Track America, a coalition of small-business experts-including our own Editorial Director Rieva Lesonsky-who are embarking on a rail journey across the United States to bring free guidance to the doorsteps of America's small businesses. The effort is dedicated to revitalizing those small businesses still reeling from the recession and the September 11 attacks. Visit www.backontrackamerica.com for more information and a schedule of upcoming events.