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Enjoying working with demanding clients

Jurgen Kuhnel doesn’t sound like he was ever cut out to be an employee. "I've actually worked for myself my whole life.”

"I'm not very good under leadership. I'm a very dedicated hard worker and I know exactly what I need to do to get to wherever I need to be.”

His energy and enthusiasm zing down the phone line from South Africa. “I know what my responsibilities are and I accept that."

"I struggle to be motivated by someone else's vision really - like someone else's goals and ideas."

Taking over the family farm

Mobile phones have made quite a lot of difference to life as a farmer; as I speak to Phil Mappledoram he’s bustling about his fields in his tractor.
Phil’s family have been farmers for 80 years.  His three older sisters weren’t interested in taking on the family business (and mortgages), but he went straight from A-levels to agricultural college and back home again. 

Actress turned model, poet and author

Listening to Venus Jones’ story is kind of touching. Her career has gone from strength to strength, but powered not so much by self-belief, as by the belief others have had in her.

She is doing great, despite a really modest attitude towards her wide range of talents.

“It was maybe 2000 was when I stopped doing full-time work. That was when I was working for the Boys and Girls Club and youth programs. I was an individual service counselor and a project coordinator.”

Changing career direction

Very few of the people I've interviewed for this site to are working for themselves now as the culmination of a single-minded career plan.

Nearly everyone seems to have fallen into it, stepping along a somewhat random path. Once we fall in, of course, and taste the nectar of being our own bosses, it's rare that we fall back out again!

And this is big stuff, what we choose to do for a living, and how we choose to do it. It takes up an awful lot of our waking hours.

Leaving an accountancy partnership to work for herself

Ten years ago, Kate Robathan “extricated” herself from her job as a partner in a small firm of accountants.
“Partnerships are very tricky things.  I should have known, as I’m married, that you can’t change a man."

"Fundamentally, my business partners weren’t going to change, and I didn’t like the way it was going."

Building this site: help from friends and family

Just in case you're wondering whether I'm a real person, or a construct created by a vast and evil corporation to exploit you (the self-employed masses), worry not.

I am really me.

A bit older and a bit fatter than in the photo, but still a properly real member of the self-employed tribe.

Not that I'm not averse to the odd bit of exploitation, oh no. Us small business folk need all the help we can get, I'd say, and friends and family can be a good first port of call!

And mine have been superhelpful, thank you everyone.