The fact of the matter is that many small businesses should not be started in the first place. They suffer from a weak business model, an excessively competitive market landscape, soon to be obsolete technology, or a host of other potentially fatal flaws. Sometimes, worse yet, they are not fatally flawed, but they are only compelling enough to break even or sustain a small loss, systematically draining the owners and managers of time and resources, but never producing any real wealth. Venture capitalists refer to these as the “walking dead” – in fact, for a venture capitalist, a walking dead company could even be marginally profitable, but difficult to exit due to lack of upside potential or strategic relevance for a potential acquirer. I don’t include this lesson to discourage you, rather it is here to remind you that not all businesses are exceptionally successful; in fact, many never even reach profitability. You should still believe in your dreams and persevere, but if you are sitting on a dog or thinking about starting one up, at some point you need to stop kidding yourself and apply your considerable energy, talent and other resources to an endeavor that has the upside potential that warrants such exertion and risk. Be honest with yourself when you make this assessment. Your future wealth and happiness are tied to how honest you are with yourself on this topic..