If you're careful, you can maintain a mutually beneficial relationship with an ex-employer after you start a business, writes Marc Prosser, co-founder of Marc Waring Ventures. It's best to avoid talking to your colleagues or customers about your business idea until you actually leave, at which point it's important to tell your boss about your entrepreneurial plans. "Explaining your plan to your boss and possibly a senior executive or owner, gives you an opportunity to make them feel less threatened by your new venture," Prosser explains.

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