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From Paycheck to Pay Dirt: Blazing Your Own Trail As a Business Owner

First-time business owners starting a venture in unfamiliar waters face a special set of challenges. Here are three who tackled them with success.

This story appears in the July 2011 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Eric Beverding had been a club auto-racing fan for years, thanks to his wife, Dacia Rivers, a lifelong race car enthusiast. Beverding was working in production at a boutique political advertising agency in Austin, Texas, when he and Rivers finally decided to place their bets on their hobby.

Although they knew they wanted to start a club sport track, they also knew they had to be sure that the area would support such a business.

"My wife's family is in automotive retail, and they had customers telling them over and over that they were tired of driving and having to spend the night or spend a thousand dollars to go away for a weekend to a track to have fun in their cars," Beverding says.

He looked at the radius of influence for the few club-based tracks in the area and found that the nearest one was still far enough away that it wouldn't affect his location. He was right. He and Rivers opened Harris Hill Road (H2R) in June 2008 in nearby San Marcos, Texas.

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