Why I'm Starting a Second Business — When My First One Is Still a Toddler

Don’t go it alone. My friend Angela Jia Kim is a PR whiz herself. Her three companies got more than 100 major stories last year alone. We asked ourselves: “What if we created a PR school and made this information available to everyone?” Soon we had a win-win plan. We’d piggyback off Angela’s Savor the Success website, team, and sales channels; I’d get top editors involved as mentors; and together we’d craft material. We each bring our own strengths, network, and enthusiasm — with less risk, time, and stress. And by joining forces, we can go fast: We’ll launch Savor PR School this January, just three months after our initial conversation.

Multiple businesses have different structures and timelines. Savor PR School and guesterly have very different models, which means they work well together. Savor PR School, a low-tech, high-expertise product, will generate revenue in months; guesterly involves high-tech, patent-protected software and a long-lead sales channel (most of our leads are for events a year out!). Having a business that creates cash flow in the short term lets me grow the business that has more delayed returns.

Stagger workloads and cross-pollinate. When one company goes through a slow period or has a bad day, the other is there — it’s the startup equivalent of dating a few people at once. And there’s more variety to keep things interesting. Another perk: A strategy, suggestion, or research project for one business often generates an idea for the other. As a bonus, it’s made me better at organizing and prioritizing.

You have more fun. Stepping on the startup carousel for the second time is way more fun than I ever expected. Just like a second-time parent, I barely realized all the insight, confidence, and mentors I picked up on my first go-round. And now I get to “play business” in more areas that I’m passionate about, and work with more of my favorite people. Two really is better than one.

For years, Rachel Hofstetter (@rachelhoffy) was a food editor at places like O, the Oprah Magazine and Reader’s Digest. Besides copious amounts of chocolate and cheese, her favorite part was talking with up-and-coming food entrepreneurs. Their stories led to Cooking Up a Business, a book about food startups, which gave Rachel the entrepreneurial itch. She left her editor career to launch guesterly, a software platform that enables anyone to create a custom event playbill. Now she’s combining her two worlds into Savor PR School, an A-Z guide to getting great PR.

This piece originally appeared on DailyWorth in January 2015.

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