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You Win! Poor You! Critics are following your every move. Competitors are targeting you. Your friends resent you. Now why'd you have to go and be a success?

By Michelle Prather

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Martha Stewart treats her staff like slaves. Oh, yeah? HowardSchultz "picks on the little guy" by shamelessly openingnew Starbucks cafes beside independent cafes. Well, listen tothis-Jeff Bezos is trying to send brick-and-mortar bookstores to anearly grave; maybe he should focus on getting Amazon.com into theblack instead. And Bill Gates-well, he just has too much money!

From tabloid fodder and paranoid proclamations to pure envy, thepublic sure spends a lot of time tarnishing what are supposed to bejoyous success stories. Let's face it, if Gatesdidn't rank as the richest person in the world in thisyear's Forbes list, he'd still get picked on-onlyfor being poor instead of rich. So are the years (or months thatfeel like years, given 20-hour workdays) invested in erecting newindustries, adding to today's winning ideas or merelyestablishing career autonomy all worth it if they make you thebull's-eye in the latest mudslinging match? Well, we found thateven if dues paid include botched friendships, the threat ofcorporate collusion and sheer exhaustion, pursuing "thedream," for most entrepeneurs, is worth the cost.

Facing Fierce Competitors

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