Monday, April 6, 2009

My Year of Hopefulness - Launching Sideways

In New York City, there is a an organization that helps women launch their dream businesses by providing support, advice, and networking at a reasonable cost through after-work classes and networking events. Ladies Who Launch, provides a venue to help women not only dream about building their own careers on their own terms, but also helps them reach that goal. I receive a daily email from Ladies Who Launch that contains an inspirational story or a short piece of advice that keeps me going at the exact moment when I think that I might not be able to make a go of being an entrepreneur. It shows up at precisely the right time, with exactly the message I need in that moment. I'm not sure how they do it, though I am so grateful for their skill!

Today, I received an email about launching sideways - keeping your day job and excelling at it, while also developing your own business on your own time. Victoria Colligan, the founder of Ladies Who Launch, offers some advice on managing this balance and a three-step action plan to put some life back into a side-business that has stalled or to give you inspiration and encouragement if you're just about to begin the journey:

"One of the lowest risk ways to propel your dream, test your idea, and fund your new venture is to launch on the side of a full time job. Many women have passed through the Incubator Intensive Workshops with full time jobs and full time ideas that they are yearning to start but feel too busy or to guilty to do so. Side launching is a viable and smart way to launch any new business. Follow these tips and give it a try:

1. Be disciplined and consistent about the hours you choose to work on your idea. Is it from 5 to 7am before the kids wake up or in the evenings after you put them to bed? Are you carving out time on the weekends? Be honest and clear with yourself about your time constraints and time commitments; your road to success will be faster.

2. Decide whether and when to tell colleagues or your boss. You may be surprised by their enthusiasm and support.

3. Determine benchmarks for yourself that indicate when you would consider making your side gig a full time adventure. What are your lifestyle demands? What would you be willing to sacrifice for a time if it meant being able to devote more energy to your business? Be realistic but also be willing to go for it!"

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