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Don't Be A Downer

Tips to help you break free from self-sabotage

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

You want your venture to make it big, right? Subconsciously, you may not. Take, for example, Rand Stagen, 29, the founder and publisher of The Met magazine, a Dallas publication that covers the local entertainment and nightlife scene. He started the magazine at age 23 with the aim of expanding it into a large-scale national media company.

"When I started the business, I was unstoppable," reflects Stagen, who has grown The Met into a $2.5 million venture with 30 employees. "People said that a 23-year-old couldn't survive in a Top 10 media market [like Dallas]. But we did it! We proved them wrong." After a while, however, Stagen found himself engaging in self-sabotage. "As I developed my business, I started getting complacent, thinking, `Yeah, we did it! Now I'm accomplished.' But what about the media empire I wanted to build? As I started to realize how difficult it is to compete on a local level, let alone trying to take on the world, the media empire was no longer the goal-it was to keep surviving," admits Stagen. For the first time in his career, he began to have doubts, resigning himself to thinking that it was more realistic to be content with a successful local publication.

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