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This story appears in the January 2001 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Gail Klein was on top of the world-actually, way higher than that. The 30-year-old Charlottesville, , entrepreneur had zoomed out of nowhere to land $1.2 million in in the fall of 1999, and her ,, was the subject of heavy buzz. It had quickly grown to 60 employees and had a potentially huge customer base because its focus was on the changing workplace-on helping people find meaning and fullfillment in their working lives. How could it fail?

Then one day the bottom fell out. "I had a commitment for $2 million in additional funding. The day they were supposed to put in the money, they withdrew the offer," recalls Bentley. Not good-and the ride became stomach-turning bumpy. "Of course I went to other funders, but nobody else would invest," says Bentley, who served as chair, president and publisher. "I had to lay off all 60 employees. I had never failed in my life. That was just a terrible time."

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