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The Delicate Balance of Work and Family

Don't go walking out onto that start-up tightrope without the support of loved ones to steer you in the right direction.

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This story appears in the January 2002 issue of Entrepreneurs Start-Ups magazine.

With another holiday season behind us, many of you will be jumping back into your start-up plans-jotting down brainstormed ideas on a cocktail napkin, making phone calls, hitting the streets in search of potential customers. This is a good time to do it, before the January blahs have a chance to set in and suck away all your creative energy. At the same time, this is also the perfect time to remember the time you just spent with friends and family over the holidays-because whether or not you realize it, you're about to have a tremendous impact on their lives.

When you're starting a business, you put much thought into things like raising money, locating a target market, creating a marketing campaign and a business plan and talking with advisors. In that shuffle, friends and family sometimes get forgotten, when in fact they really should be at the top of your list of concerns. Your friends and family are going to be greatly impacted by your new business, regardless of whether they're directly involved-i.e., lending you money-or whether they're simply offering you moral support. As such, they deserve as much attention as that business plan you're laboring over.

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