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Starting a new business is not easy. There are many factors to be considered, and it is important to do your research and prepare yourself as much as possible, with some 80 percent of new businesses failing within the first couple of years.

I have had the opportunity to be a part of three companies in three different industries. Along this journey, I have seen business done a lot of things right -- and a lot of things wrong. Building a business is a daunting task -- from originally creating the idea, then planning and validating that idea to fund raising, staffing and achieving profitability. There are many pitfalls in the journey that could easily completely destroy your business.

Luckily, I have always been an avid reader. From my very first read, Og Mandino’s classic, The Greatest Salesman In the World, I developed a hunger for learning. I satisfied that hunger by devouring over 1,500 books on business, leadership, start-ups, business finance, culture creation and many more business-related topics. I am convinced that it was the information I absorbed in these books and the validation from mentors that has helped me to avoid a bunch of potholes on the road to success in business.

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