Subscribe to Entrepreneur for $5

Your Butt on the Line

Hate to burst your balloon, but you'll have to risk your money to raise money.

This story appears in the July 2000 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Brian Jersey had it all. A rising young executive, Jersey was the director of marketing for Prodigy Internet in White Plains, New York. There he had his own secretary and oversaw a $40 million budget, two ad agencies and a staff of seven. And he had the kind of salary and bonus package that came with the job-circa 1995, that is, before Internet option mania took hold of the country.

Call it the inexplicable entrepreneurial spirit, but Jersey, now 39, chucked it-job security and all-in 1996 to start 1-800 BIRTHDAY, a reminder service that would also sell gifts. Jersey felt that 1-800 BIRTHDAY had the same potential as 1-800-FLOWERS, except in a niche that had yet to be exploited.

Continue reading this article - and everything on Entrepreneur!

Become a member to get unlimited access and support the voices you want to hear more from. Get full access to Entrepreneur for just $5.

Get 3 months free with code zendesk

Presented by Zendesk

Champions of Customer Service zendesk

Entrepreneur Editors' Picks