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The Real Deal What's it really like to be embezzled, expand internationally, or sell your product to Target? Get the inside scoop from these entrepreneurs on the ultimate highs (and lows) of business ownership.

By Geoff Williams

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Admit it--you're curious. Like the irresistible urge to gawkat tabloid TV or read a gossipy celebrity story in Peoplemagazine, you can't get enough intimate details of what otherpeople have gone through. As an entrepreneur, you've wondered,What would it be like to expand internationally or surpass yourcompetition? You've dreamed about fighting back againstgovernment regulation or seeing your product appear on theToday show. And though you have no desire to experience it,you want to know how an entrepreneur survived an embezzlementscandal that cost him over $250,000. You even want to learn theheartbreaking details of the small-business owner who failed, butthen dusted himself off and built another business.

Face it, you want to hear how other entrepreneurs have weatheredstorms, overcome obstacles or surpassed all expectations tocatapult their businesses to the next level. Read on to share someonce-in-a-lifetime experiences.

What It's Really Like to... Get aProduct Into Target
"You can't get a better feeling than when you get yourfirst customer," says Joe Heron, 43, CEO of theMinneapolis-based Ardea Beverage Co., which manufactures airforceNutriSoda, ahealthy soda pop packed with amino acids and B vitamins and lackingthe usual ingredients like sugar, aspartame, sodium and caffeine.In Heron's case, the feeling he had after landing his firstcustomer was pure euphoria-because his first client was Target.

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