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“I want to go out on my own and start a business,” a new acquaintance confessed the other day, “but then I look around at other people who’ve done it, and I hesitate. It really bugs me that I can’t pick out what makes one person a success and another a washout. There just doesn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason to it. Do you see any?”

He looked pleased when I told him he’d hit on the great unknown factor in business, in effect the test every successful entrepreneur must pass. What I didn’t tell him, however, was that he’d already flunked it.

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