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Diary Of A Start-Up Chicken wings, bloody lips--plus more pots of coffee than you can count. Here's what it's really like to start a business on the side.

By John R. Hendricks

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

It's 8:30 a.m. on Friday, the day I'm quitting mywell-paying job. My wife, Greer, and I make our way to the subwaythrough a torrential downpour. Because my hands are full, when weget to the turnstile, I shut our collapsible umbrella with my chin.The next thing I know, the umbrella flies back at me, almostknocking out a tooth.

My finger was still on the "open" button. Great.I've been planning this morning for weeks--in certain respects,for years--and it isn't supposed to happen this way. Up untilthe bloody lip, I'm running at 90 percent confidence and 10percent fear. Afterwards, it's 90 percent fear.

As the subway door shuts, I reflect on the events that haveled me, at 30, to this moment.