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An important point here: If you are the sole source of family income, think hard about how you can stretch out the severance payment. Are there other ways you can make money while you develop your go-it-alone enterprise? Once again, you want to limit your risk and limit the pressure you put on the business to succeed in an unrealistic time frame.

Husband and Wife

A frequent model that I have also encountered is the interplay between husband and wife, in various ways, to start a go-it-alone enterprise. In many cases one spouse may continue working, and though it pinches the family income, it’s sufficient—for a time—to allow the other spouse to get his or her business up and going. An example would be Krisan Marotta, who started her business, Krisan’s BackOffice, after she had been an at-home mom. Her husband supported the family while she got the business going. Later, she supported the family while he started his own entirely separate business.

Working on your new enterprise at night and on weekends, while you keep your day job, isn’t always possible. One entrepreneur who had to leave his existing employer—because of potential conflicts—before starting his new career is Chris Palermo. Today, Palermo’s enterprise, Global Communication Networks, Inc. (, is a substantial success and one of Sprint’s top five revenue producers in the nation.

Palermo had a skill in selling and customer service, with experience as a global account manager at AT&T, and a district sales manager at Cable & Wireless. He saw the opportunity to develop a telecommunications agency in his home turf of South Florida because he believed that business customers were frustrated by the lack of good customer service, which he knew he could provide.

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GO IT ALONE! Copyright 2004 by Bruce Judson. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.