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How I Did It

Personal and sometimes emotional entrepreneur stories.

How I Did It: Matt Rutledge, Woot

How Matt Rutledge came up with the website, Woot, which sells products in small bursts and prides itself on being absolutely, painfully honest with its customers.

How We Did It: The Blue Man Group

From downtown performance art to global entertainment empire.

How I Did It: Phil Hanes

The long and happy career of a southern rag tycoon.

How I Did It: Bob Williamson of Horizon Software

Once a homeless drug abuser, he's now king of the cafeteria.

How I Did It: Laurel Touby, Founder of Mediabistro

New York Story: From poor, lonely writer to hostess with the mostest.

How I Did It: George Naddaff

From Spit 'n' Shine Boy To Boston Chicken and Beyond.

How I Did It: Jack Ma,

The unlikely rise of China's hottest internet tycoon.

How I Did It: Mel Zuckerman, Chairman, Canyon Ranch

In midlife, Mel Zuckerman was an overweight homebuilder. Then, a trip to a Spartan fat farm changed everything. He got his health back and went on to transform the fitness and spa industry with his posh Canyon Ranch retreats.

How I Did It: Bobbi Brown, Founder and CEO, Bobbi Brown Cosmetics

In New York in the excessive 1980s, Bobbi Brown made it big by pushing moderation. She became makeup artist to the stars by introducing a palette of natural hues--and along the way became a star herself, with her name on a global brand.

How I Did It: Richard Schaps, CEO, Van Wagner Communications

Richard Schaps sold his outdoor-advertising company, Van Wagner, for $170 million. On Tuesday, he passed out millions of dollars to his people--and then started another outdoor-advertising company called Van Wagner.

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