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Diary Of A Start-Up

Chicken wings, bloody lips--plus more pots of coffee than you can count. Here's what it's really like to start a business on the side.

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This story appears in the February 2000 issue of Business Start-Ups magazine.

It's 8:30 a.m. on Friday, the day I'm quitting my well-paying job. My wife, Greer, and I make our way to the subway through a torrential downpour. Because my hands are full, when we get to the turnstile, I shut our collapsible umbrella with my chin. The next thing I know, the umbrella flies back at me, almost knocking out a tooth.

My finger was still on the "open" button. Great. I've been planning this morning for weeks--in certain respects, for years--and it isn't supposed to happen this way. Up until the bloody lip, I'm running at 90 percent confidence and 10 percent fear. Afterwards, it's 90 percent fear.

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