Here’s a must-read article for would-be small business owners, “When the Boss Is Last In Line For A Paycheck” .

This article offers several stories that track with my own experience of small business ownership. When you’re a business owner, first and foremost, you’re an investor in your own business. It is unlikely that you’ll find other investors unless you’re putting your own cash in…but even beyond your cash, you are investing your time.

Some of the business owners in the story acknowledge that they could make more money working for someone else, but that they love what they are doing.

I’ve been there; building something is exhilarating. For now, I have a corporate job. Less exhilarating, but the (relative) financial security is great.

It is all a balancing act — and like learning how to do something as unlikely as a one-armed handstand, while others can coach you, you ultimately have to figure it out on your own.

(And now that the Times finally allows permalinks, this nice “case study” article will apparently be available long beyond the old 7 day or so timeframe! I wrote about Nina Garduno’s Free City Supershop months ago, and I still see hits to my blog using her name as a search term…they land on my blog post, but if they want to see the Times article, they get a request to pay $4.95 to read the article. So thank you, NY Times, for getting up to speed on the permalink!)