Part 3

Whatever else happens during the launch of your business, one thing you can be sure of: You won't be the same person at the end of it

Twelve months ago in a cover story called " The Start-Up Diaries," Inc. began following five fledgling businesses and their founders. What happened? Well, nothing -- nothing -- went as expected. There were ups and downs, of course, and manifold reroutings of strategy and tactics and profit models. There were lessons.

For all the management insights each founder has gleaned, however, it may be the personal insights about themselves that have turned out to be the most important. Creating a company changes a person. We know. We asked. Want an idea of what it feels like to be an entrepreneur launching a start-up? Want an idea of how it can transform you?

Here, in this final installment of the diaries, is what the founders we've followed think you should know.

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