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There's Risk Involved

Can risking your life on a mountainside make you a better entrepreneur?

This story appears in the February 2003 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Jason Niedle went to Mount Kilimanjaro in search of adventure. He found a rainbow of experience ranging from inspiration to exhaustion.

Hiking through the African rain forest to approach the sides of the dormant Tanzanian volcano was "really beautiful," recalls the 31-year-old Anaheim, California, entrepreneur. That changed after they began the high-altitude part of the ascent to the 19,340-foot peak. "It was a brutal grind," says Niedle, co-owner of 15-person Printmedia, a printing company. "I'd take a step and breathe and take the next step and breathe. After a couple of hours of that, I was ready to give up."

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