The Sparkline — a blog for independent creatives and entrepreneurs building matterful things.

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The odds are stacked against you. It’s true. I’m often amazed at how many people decide to try to build small businesses online, despite the odds. Maybe it’s naivete. Maybe it’s egotism. Maybe it’s bravery. Probably it’s a combination of all three. I think you need all three to succeed as an entrepreneur.

Last year we ran a pilot to test local meetups for the Fizzle community. We learned a few things in the process: Community is everything for an entrepreneur. In fact, a local support system of fellow entrepreneurs can be the difference between persevering and quitting. And we're not a fan of quitting around here.

Now, in stage 5 of the small business roadmap, it’s time to get into the nitty gritty: can this business idea of yours actually make enough money to support you in a meaningful way? This is a stage most of us are not well prepared for, typically diving in without any knowledge of the metrics, the movements or the models.

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