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This story appears in the May 1999 issue of Business Start-Ups magazine.

Mohnish Pabrai reached an impasse in his corporate career in 1990. As a single guy with few fiscal responsibilities, it seemed the best time to start his own . He collected $45,000 in on 14 and started TransTech Inc., an IT consulting firm in Downers Grove, Illinois.

After two years in business, Pabrai had clients--but no cash flow. To keep his tech venture going, he dove deeper into by convincing four friends to lend him $5,000 each from their credit cards. "And they were insane enough to do it," jokes Pabrai, 34. "When minimum payments came due, I would go to the next card and take a loan. I never missed a payment, so there were never any credit [problems]."

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