I've posted this story a couple times, but it's such an eye-opener to brand-spankin-new hosts, I'll type it again.
We first started out several years ago colocating at a big ISP. Within a couple months, we had enough customers to cover our colo fees. We were profitable!
Or were we? The four partners weren't being paid. Took a long time to start paying a living wage. But then we did. We were profitable!
Or were we? We really should have a professional office shouldn't we. So we got one, at some $2400/month. Took a few more months to recoup that cost, but then we did. We were profitable!
Or were we?... You get the idea.