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It’s striking how many successful go-it-alone entrepreneurs initially established their businesses by working on them at night and on weekends. Of the many go-it-alone entrepreneurs I interviewed for this book, at least 60% followed this approach. Here are some additional examples:

  • David Tartamella, the founder of 1-800-MYLOGO, spent 6 months working at night and weekends to set up his business before he started working on it full time. This was on top of the many years he had spent working on logo design as a personal passion and running an early Web site that displayed his designs to an international group of corresponding individuals.

  • Lars Hundley, the founder of, maintained his day job and continued to work on his MBA while starting his business. He stayed at the job until he “did not have time to sleep anymore, “ he says. “It was one of the craziest periods of my life.”

  • Sherman Eisner founded A&E Home Security Company as a weekend and evening business, while working in a finance-related position for the Treasury Department. Nonetheless, his go-it-alone business is so successful that it enabled Eisner to retire early from his day job with the federal government.

In essence, I am suggesting a tradeoff: Work hard, lose some sleep, get your new business off the ground, and in return you won’t put your livelihood at risk.


Tim Cutting spends his days as an employee at Sun Microsystems and his nights and weekends as the CEO of Niveus Media.

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GO IT ALONE! Copyright 2004 by Bruce Judson. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.