It's the novice entrepreneur's mantra: "Don'tbe afraid to ask friends and family to invest in your businessidea." But what if that seed money doesn't last past theseedling stage? Then you'll need to tap a wider circle offriends. At least that's what Robert Poole of Clayton, NorthCarolina, did. With $115,000 raised from friends in 1994, thispostman-by-day financed the start-up of Rules of the Game, aTrivial Pursuit-like board game of obscure sporting rulesguaranteed to stump sports nuts.
But before long, Poole realized he needed another $500,000 todrive the business. Confident the game would sell if only peopleknew about it, he hawked it to local radio talk shows where it wasplayed on the air, attracting lots of attention. When Poole won anorder from Kmart, more friends and family wanted in.
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