Glenn S. Phillips, Forte Inc., Birmingham, Ala. Seven years ago, Phillips was financing his computer-consulting firm with credit cards. He ended up $300,000 in debt. Struggling through a painful divorce made matters worse and, at his lowest point, he was living in a rented room because he couldn't afford even the cheapest apartment. "In retrospect, it's real obvious what the problems were, but at the time it wasn't," said Phillips, who acknowledges he had issues establishing personal and professional boundaries. He worked around the clock, but charged a pittance for his company's consulting services. "There wasn't any further down to go without being bankrupt," he said. So did he throw in the towel? N-o. He went into counseling for his personal struggles and reached out to mentors for business advice. Business began to rebound. "It was kind of like a big ship starting to turn," he said. Today, debts are paid off, he remarried in 2006 and bought a house last year. He'll also finish 2009 with $1 million in revenues for his eight-employee company. "There are people who will help you if you're not in denial, and not looking for someone to fix your problems," Phillips said. "Be very candid with yourself, and then very candid with people you can trust."
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