I never thought I would become an entrepreneur. I'm a mom with a mortgage. I am remarkably risk averse. I like predictable income.
But these days, I actually feel more secure working for multiple clients rather than one employer who could run into financial trouble and leave me without any income. Did I mention I have a mortgage to pay?
So if you're thinking about becoming an entrepreneur, whether you're a mom or not, here's my message: take the leap.
You don't have to quit your job, take six months to write an amazing business plan and raise $100,000 in venture capital. You can start exploring your entrepreneurial idea on the side of a day job or while staying home with your kids. In fact, you can launch your business in three days. Here's how:
Day 1 to Become a Mom Entrepreneur
On the first day, you figure out what you want to do and what you will charge. If you're a professional with a specific skill -- such as an accountant or lawyer -- talk to independent professionals in the same field about the rates they charge. If you're selling a product, look at the competing products and make a dispassionate decision about where yours falls in the quality scale, and what you can charge.
Make sure you understand your employer's policies regarding outside work and stay within those boundaries. The last thing you want to do is start an outside gig that gets you fired!
Day 2 to Become a Mom Entrepreneur
On the second day, buy business cards and set up a Web site. Business cards are available at low cost at a number of online sites such as Vista Print, or your local copy shop.
You can easily create a basic Web site free with blogging software on Blogger or Wordpress, or pay for a site through Typepad, Yahoo! small business, GoDaddy.com or a similar vendor. These services are remarkably easy to use and your site doesn't need to be fancy to be effective.
For mom entrepreneurs setting up as a consultant, put up a brief summary of your resume and the services you offer. If you can include samples of your work or case studies, do so. Again, make sure you don't violate any of your employer's policies and get fired.
For mom entrepreneurs selling a product, upload some gorgeous photos of the item and describe how it works and what differentiates it from similar products on the market. If you have friends who have tried it, get their testimonials about how much they love it and put them on your site.
Day 3 to Become a Mom Entrepreneur
On the third day, land your first client. Or make your first sale. Until you actually put it into action, you'll never know whether you have the seeds of a great business or not. From there, you can figure everything else out.
You may think I'm being facetious, but I'm serious. Okay, you will have a lot of work remaining to fully launch your business, but this three-day plan will get you started on the path to being a mom entrepreneur. (If you think there's a problem with this plan, leave a comment describing your objection or concern. I will do my best to address it -- I love troubleshooting.)