When I sold my first public relations business, I made some stupid mistakes, like buying a house that was too expensive. So I didn't have a lot of extra left to start my second business.
In 1992, I went to work with the largest PR agency in the world for six months as one of their top executives in Los Angeles to make some money. I am an entrepreneur at heart, so that did not work. I left after a year and started my second business.
I had my business contacts and already had the infrastructure -- a computer and a phone.
A few years later, when I started to build my company and do fairly well, I applied for a line of credit for $25,000 at the bank. I hated having that over my head. I asked them to close it when I still owed $12,000. I also maxed out our company credit card to the tune of about $12,000.
Today, I am happy to say that I've paid off most of that loan and credit card debt. I owe about $2,100. I don't use credit cards. That is it. Once you start accumulating credit like that, there is no going back.
We have made a vow to live within our means. I am tired of paying the ridiculously high interest rates. I figure if I don't have any debt, we're ahead of the game.
I have never missed a payroll in my entire life, and I never intend too. But if something happens, I have an equity line on my home. I absolutely do not want to dip into it. But, I always have that as a backup.
Still, reliance on credit or loans can ruin a small business. You're not living within your means.
Regulation nightmares are keeping many small business owners up at night. Red tape is either adding more costs or gumming up the hiring process. Here's what seven entrepreneurs had to say about it.
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