Making the decision to jump out of the corporate world and build your own business takes guts. Depending on your source, the attrition rate for start-ups is somewhere between 30 and 95 percent. Access to venture capital is, by many accounts, starting to dry up. Getting a loan from the bank requires proof that you don't really need the loan in the first place.
It's a rough and tumble world out there, and the path of an entrepreneur doesn't come standard with safety nets. But, the good news is that you can make it in business if you're willing to embrace sacrifice. In my own personal path, I know that the only reason I survived was that I put my fledgling startup before my own needs, on more than one occasion. Sacking out on a friend's couch, selling my Mercedes and having my wife work a job gave me the time and resources I needed to grow my business into what it is today.
In all the talk of sacrifice and high rates of attrition, there's one area that isn't given the attention it deserves. There's a silver lining to all the doom and gloom: the professional networking opportunities offered by industry organizations. The biggest regret I have is that I didn't plug into these organizations sooner. I thought I was too small to join in the conventions and be taken seriously. I was wrong, and my ability to recognize this fact saved me countless hours of pounding the pavement and dealing with frustrating, low-quality vendors.