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Deadly Sins

Sloth, greed, gluttony-we don't care what you do on your own time. But when it comes to the mortality of your start-up, you need to play by the rules.

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This story appears in the August 2001 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

There is really only one experience to rival that of starting your own business venture, and that's witnessing the birth of your child. Because I've done both, I find comparisons of certain parallels inevitable. For instance, you experience many of the same emotions: exhilaration, anxiety, joy, panic . . . and confusion.

Over the past 20 years, I've advised and counseled many business owners, particularly those in the start-up and high-growth early phases. All that experience has allowed me to recognize some patterns that successful-and unsuccessful-businesses exhibit.

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