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Don't Quit Your Day Job
How to launch your start-up without losing your day job.
Inc. Magazine, March 2004

...But in many cases, double-timing entrepreneurs have little choice but to operate undercover. Kate Stein launched her start-up, a Boston-based maker of humorous headgear for women called Over the Top Tiaras, while working in promotions at the search engine Lycos, keeping her venture secret for half a year. "Management generally frowned on that kind of thing," says Stein, who feared losing her rapidly deflating Internet job. On the other hand, the slowdown left her restless. "I was bored, getting out of work early most days," she says. "But my own business was exciting--and a backup plan in case there was no turnaround."

So Stein maxed out her vacation days to attend trade shows and took advantage of her colleagues' technical expertise to help build her website. For economic reasons, Lycos finally laid her off this past August. But Stein wasn't particularly troubled by the news--the tiara business was finally getting to be too much to handle part-time, anyway. "I couldn't keep up with orders, production, and all of that in my off-hours," says Stein, 31. "I was constantly exhausted, with no time for a love life, walking my dog, or even taking a nap." She's since found free desk space at a friend's office, increased her product line from five to 15 designs, and doubled her sales. The only downside? Having to pay for her own health insurance...

Entrepreneurs Encounter Small Triumphs, Insomnia
Excerpts from Associated Press coverage captured in several media outlets
March 2005

...Those who take the plunge say being your own boss is immensely difficult, but intensely gratifying.

''It keeps me thin, between the worrying and the lean times,'' said Kate Stein, 32, who owns Over theTop Tiaras, a Boston company that sells tiaras online. She founded the business after a tiara she had made for her sister was a hit at a party and after she was laid off from Lycos Inc. in 2001.

''Do I miss corporate life?'' Stein said. ''Every time I write a check for my health insurance, I miss it very much.''...

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