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Will Power

What would you do if you suddenly inherited a business?

This story appears in the September 2004 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

After a colleague died of a stroke at age 32, Thomas Leonard wasseized by panic. He was only in his 40s, but he was single andchildless, and heart disease ran in his family. Calling his bestfriend, Dave Buck, Leonard asked, "If anything happens, whatwould happen to CoachVille?" He was speaking of his business, anonline hub with everything from industry news to online classes forpersonal-growth coaches. Buck was a coach and was familiar withCoachVille, so Leonard asked if Buck would take over the company,should Leonard die prematurely.

"Of course-but don't die!" exclaimed Buck. Thenext day, he was in possession of Leonard's will. Buck stuffedit in a filing cabinet, believing he'd never use it. And thereit remained for almost two years.

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