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Full Steam Ahead

Sure, you've heard it all before--how to start a business, what to expect, etc. But the question remains: What's it <i>really</i> like to start your own business. One entrepreneur shares his story about putting his startup's wheels in motion.

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This story appears in the September 2004 issue of Start Up.

The rice fields spiraled below me. From the air, the flooded paddies reminded me that I was entering a foreign and exotic land. Although I had performed months of recon, I was unprepared for the feeling of irreversible change. My whole future revolved around the successful completion of my mission. I had left behind my home of 16 years in search of a golden future in this unearthly place-Northern California. My comfort zone vanished into thin air.

I had one suitcase, a duffel bag and a briefcase stuffed with a laptop. My most sacred possession was draft 22 of a thorough business plan full of information-painfully heavy, I mused, as the rain slapped against the windshield a few hours north of Sacramento.

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