Inc. readers don't launch companies because they are interested in earning a living. They launch companies because they aim to live a certain type of life--one that allows them to follow their passions, control who they associate with, and express who they are. That's why Inc. must succeed each month as both a business and a lifestyle magazine. In this country, business ownership not only offers the most reliable path to the accumulation of wealth (versus stock-market investing, most types of employment, playing the lottery), but also offers far greater personal control over major lifestyle choices. It was with this in mind that we created this month's 12-page guide to "The Good Life." Directed by senior editor Riza Cruz, the package of stories opens on page 58 with a roundtable discussion between five entrepreneurs who define their own ideas of a happy, rewarding life by how they actually live, not just what they imagine. There's Danny O'Neill (this month's cover subject), who owns a specialty coffee-roasting company and whose idea of personal fulfillment includes regular trips to Costa Rica and an open throttle on his BMW K 1200 RS motorcycle. Meanwhile, panelist Monique Greenwood, founder and CEO of Akwaaba Enterprises in Brooklyn, prizes her flexible schedule and finds her deepest satisfaction in helping other African Americans get ahead. Our Good Life package also offers a diverting vacation selection for every month of 2004, plus a sophisticated A to Z guide to living well. Want to know how to laze without the La-Z-Boy stigma, cook with the perfect sea salts, or play DJ for your friends? See pages 70-71. Owning your own company, of course, doesn't mean an easy life. Long hours and heavy responsibilities usually come with the territory--especially when a business is young and establishing its direction. But when you run the show yourself, you at least have a better chance of ensuring that late office hours are spent doing something you find truly meaningful. To most Inc. readers, having that choice is what the Good Life is really all about.


To assemble the roundtable panel for this month's feature on "The Good Life," senior editor Riza Cruz found herself wrangling an overwhelming number of enthusiastic and outspoken entrepreneurs. Cruz has previously edited and written for Vanity Fair, Sports Illustrated Women, and Business 2.0, where she edited the popular "Brazen Careerist" advice column that targeted dot-commers.

Staff writer Patrick J. Sauer (at left) previously authored books on leadership in politics (The Complete Idiot's Guide to the American Presidents) and provocative legal cases (You Be the Judge). This month, he tackles the management secrets of the NFL. Recently married, Sauer wants for only one thing: a Super Bowl victory for the Philadelphia Eagles.

Ellen Neuborne is a freelance writer based in New York City who has spent more than a dozen years on the marketing beat. This month, she writes about marketing through search engines. Her work has appeared in Business 2.0, Sales and Marketing Management, Working Mother, USA Today, and Business Week. A believer in advertising as a cultural bellwether, Neuborne often hides the TV remote so that her family can't avoid the commercials.