Many of us have been ingrained since birth with the idea that being your own boss and determining your own destiny is a fundamental part of achieving the American Dream. After all, taking risks and being entrepreneurial can yield great rewards.

Of course, building a business is easier said than done. Furthermore, even the most prosperous ventures have some disadvantages. Chief among them is that most small business owners have a lion's share of their personal net worth tied up in the value of the companies they have built -- possibly creating  considerable risk in both the short (business failure) and long term (liquidation).

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