with Aliza Sherman
If you own a business - home-based or otherwise - this is the blog where you'll find practical tips and smart ideas about entrepreneurship. I've started and run 4 different businesses so "been there, done that." I'll also invite successful entrepreneurs to share their best advice with you.
To learn more about Aliza, check out her profile on Work It, Mom! and her website, www.mediaegg.com.
While this is the 6th business I’ve started, I really don’t consider myself a risk-taker as an entrepreneur because I pick businesses that play to my strengths, experience and skills.
Why am I a serial entrepreneur? I get these ideas, and then get a feeling that I should just go for it and that everything is going to work out. Then I start things rolling and try not to look down as I walk that tightrope of bootstrapping a new business.
I’m not entirely without a safety net. I still have the social media marketing business I co-founded as one safety net although my two business partners are running the day-to-day as I’m pursuing this new venture. Plus my husband has a steady job so I’m not entirely without options in case my new venture doesn’t succeed.
But I know it will succeed.
What is your risk tolerance?
Part of this question is based on emotions: are you willing to start something new with the possibility of limited income for a while until things get off the ground? Or are you the type to need to know you have a steady paycheck and money in the bank for those lean times?
The other part of this question is based on financial realities? Are you the sole breadwinner in your family? Chances are your risk tolerance is a lot lower than if you had a two-income household. I think in some cases people who are single can have higher risk tolerances than people with families but this isn’t a hard and fast rule.
Think about it. Do you have a risk tolerance level high enough to start or join a new business?
What do you need in place to take an entrepreneurial risk?
Do you dream of being part of an exciting new venture, but need something in place to take the plunge? What would help you feel more comfortable taking that risk? It might be:
- a specific timeframe. If after 3 months or 6 months things didn’t take off with the new venture, you knew you could walk away and return to something more sure.
- money in the bank. Do you need to make sure you have savings to cover a period of time without steady income?
- a minimum income. Would it help if you knew you could make a certain amount - even if a very small amount - each month to cover some bills?
- a piece of the action. Could you forgo a salary in the short term knowing you’d own a piece of the company in case it does become wildly successful?
Only you know what you can handle.
Do you want to be a part of a new venture?
Have you heard of startup companies doing interesting things and thought “I wish I could be a part of that?” What about it sounded appealing? The scrappy startup adventure? Or the specific business idea? Think about the type of business that you’d love to be a part. Even if you didn’t think you could start it yourself, there are probably people out there - right this minute - starting up something like it who would love for you to join them in their efforts.
Case in point: My new venture - Mediaegg - is a mobile apps and gaming company based on iPhone and iPad platforms and focused on the women’s and kids’ markets. Each of our apps has a microphilanthropy feature built in to encourage giving to good causes. Our motto is “Give to Play, Play to Give.” We can create custom apps for clients and are also innovating our own apps. Our first client app launches within the next week, and our first original app will hopefully launch before Christmas.
I’m bootstrapping the business entirely from my freelance income. I’m building a team of talented people who believe in the Mediaegg vision and mission. I’m also assembling an advisory board to tap into incredible minds to help grow the business and keep it on track.
Do you want to be a part of this?
If so, the first thing I’ll ask you is “what is your risk tolerance?” What would you need to work for a startup in a high-growth industry?
The next thing I’d ask is “can you work work virtually?” I’m a firm believer in the virtual team and keeping overhead costs extremely low.
Finally, if it is a fit - if you bring the right skills to the table and we have a good rapport - I’ll probably ask “when can you start?”
Being a part of new business venture is risky but can be incredibly rewarding. With the right idea, the right team and that mysterious combination of the right time and place, the payoff can be huge.
I’m planning for a huge payoff.
So I ask you, “how much risk can you handle?”
- Our Biggest Business Fears (workitmom.com)
- The Art of Bootstrapping: Funding Startups the hard Way - Part 1 (wolpers.posterous.com)
- Eight Tips To Successfully Bootstrap Your Business (startupprofessionals.com)
- Funding a start up by Avisha Khubani (helpmyresume.info)
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