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Rewarding the right behaviours

A bit like the dogs in my local park, some of my clients are better behaved than others.

Some of them always honour their appointments, arrive on time, pay promptly, and are a pleasure to spend time with. Others, not so much.

How to cultivate more of the former and less of the latter? As with the dogs in the park, I suspect there's quite a lot to be gained by making sure we reward the right behaviours.

Running four small businesses

Adriaan Theron is a man with a plan.

"I was always going to start my own business. Working in the restaurant industry and getting capital together was just a stepping stone to start to do my own thing."

Working for yourself "you can have a bit of a greater say on your financial situation. You feel that you're more in charge and you can make whatever you want to make."

“I just believe that the opportunities to create wealth are much easier working for yourself than working for someone else.”

Winging it

Once upon a time, I had a job in the world’s largest firm of accountants.

I would rock up at a client company, in a suit, with the weight of 100 solid years of reputation and respectability enveloping me. Like a corporate ReadyBrek kid.

The rules of engagement were very clear. Most of them were even written down, in professional standards, or in the client engagement letter or in the staff handbook.

Now, I’m just me. And it definitely feels like I’m making a lot of it up as I go along.

Getting innovative with landscape design

Lindsay Rothwell’s background is in arts writing and editing but now her creativity is coming out in a more tangible realm.

Having children, and moving from London to San Francisco’s Bay Area, threw her established working life up in the air.

“I think if only one thing had changed, I don’t know that I would have entirely changed industries from the art world to landscape design."

“My hope at the time was to go fully freelance as an art writer, and had we stayed in London, that is what I would have done."

Going freelance

It wasn’t spotting celebrities in the foyer of television centre, it certainly wasn’t the canteen food and perhaps bizarrely, it wasn’t even the reliable monthly payslip.

The thing I missed most when I left the BBC after twelve years as a staff journalist was a phone number: 60950.

I’d thought about going freelance over a long enough period to adjust to the idea of a less secure work pattern.

An actor's life of uncertainty

After a drama degree, theatre school in Ireland, and RADA, Stephen Darcy “was 26 basically before I hit the adult world.” Working for yourself generally includes quite a lot of uncertainty, but life as an actor seems to stretch that to the max.

In a year he typically works six or seven months. “The last two years I’ve been extremely lucky with commercials. A commercial that you might do in a day or three days can earn you your year’s salary.”