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Your So-Called Life

The overachieving entrepreneur's guide to making time for a real life.

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This story appears in the March 1999 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Many motives jump-start entrepreneurs, but romance is rarely one of them. For Gary Schaffer, however, love was the major reason he started On Target Mapping seven years ago in Pittsburgh. Because he was dating a woman who lived in France at the time, Schaffer explains, "I needed to get myself in a position that would give me the flexibility to visit her."

Schaffer, 33, eventually married the woman, who moved to the United States. But family ties still play a role in the business plan of the 25-employee firm, which earns several million dollars each year by providing telecommunications, risk assessment, routing and scheduling data, and software solutions to telecommunications service providers, government agencies and other businesses. The company was recently acquired by MapInfo Corp., a worldwide provider of business mapping solutions and spatial information management systems based in Troy, New York. Of his early days, Schaffer says, "My personal decisions pushed my business decisions."

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