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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.

By Karen E. Spaeder

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

With another holiday season behind us, many of you will bejumping back into your start-up plans-jotting downbrainstormed ideas on a cocktail napkin, making phone calls,hitting the streets in search of potential customers. This is agood time to do it, before the January blahs have a chance to setin and suck away all your creative energy. At the same time, thisis also the perfect time to remember the time you just spent withfriends and family over the holidays-because whether or notyou realize it, you're about to have a tremendous impact ontheir lives.

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

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