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Not letting work take over completely

I’m loving building up my work as an artist, letting what has been a hobby for a long time blossom into a career.

I’ve worked for myself before though, and I’m conscious of wanting to keep it within limits, and keep it from taking over my whole life.

Weathering the ups and downs of California real estate

Andy Tse had a couple of jobs with internet companies after he left college, but it didn’t take long before he decided he’d rather work for himself.

“The number one reason was to be able to control my own schedule, because at the time I had one baby and another on the way.”

“Oh yeah, business is GREAT!”

Someone said to me, she hates it when everyone else goes round bragging about how busy they are. She wishes we would all tell each other the truth, and create a more supportive atmosphere.

And I know what she means. When someone asks me, how’s business, there are very few people where (on occasion) I’d feel free to say, well, now that you ask, it’s been a bit pants lately and I feel depressed and strapped for cash.

Choreographing the dance

David* started out as a dancer, and soon found his true vocation in choreography.

“Well, I started to dance. I think I’m not an exceptional physical talent, and I felt like it’s most interesting to make things, rather than be the vehicle to make things.”

“There’s a kind of power differential. Rather than trying to form yourself, to be something that someone else wants, by making my own work, I was pursuing my own interests.”

Balancing baby and business

I tried continuing to run my own business after I had a baby, and it didn't really work out.

That's not to say that it wouldn't for all businesses but mine was at the time a one-woman affair which couldn't really be run by anyone else, probably a little like being freelance.

I wanted to do both: to look after my baby in the early months and to keep the company afloat.

I managed to eek this incompatible way of working for a few months before the baby won and I made the company dormant.

Going freelance as a copywriter and PR consultant

It was becoming a mum that got Josie Fitzhugh started as her own boss: “I was heading up a regional office of a big PR company in the UK and when I went on maternity leave I decided not to go back. I became a freelancer, ticking along.”

But it was a sadder family development in her family that helped to bring her and her business across the world, from the UK to New Zealand.

“My mum died very suddenly about ten years ago and that gave us a jolt. We are not immortal. It got us thinking about what we were going to do.”