Win one of ten limited edition signed copies of Holly and Sophie’s book

The limited edition cover of Build a Business From Your Kitchen TableDo you dream of starting your own business? Maybe you have a brilliant idea, but you’re looking for straightforward, practical advice on strategies, market research, finding funding and building your brand. If so, this book is just what you need. In Build A Business From Your Kitchen Table notonthehighstreet.com founders Holly Tucker and Sophie Cornish tell their story – detailing everything they learned on their journey building a successful business as well as some of the obstacles they faced along the way. They don’t just talk about their own experiences, but those of notonthehighstreet.com’s 3,000 (and counting) independent sellers too. The book has already had an overwhelmingly positive response from critics and has stormed to number one in The Sunday Times Business List.

To celebrate, we’re giving away ten signed copies of the book. The limited edition cover was illustrated by our very own Lydia Ripper, and has been circulated to just a handful of close friends of the business. If you’d like to enter the competition, here’s all you need to do:

1. Comment on this blog post and tell us one thing you’d love about being your own boss
2. Tweet or like this blog post so it’s shared with your Twitter followers or Facebook friends.

Our ten favourite entries will win a limited edition signed copy of the book* which should be just the thing you need to inspire you to build your own business, and guide you every step of the way. Good luck!

*Terms and conditions apply: To be in with a chance of winning a signed limited edition copy of Build A Business From Your Kitchen Table by Holly Tucker and Sophie Cornish, you must leave a comment on this blog post telling us one thing you’d love about being your own boss, and either tweet the link to the blog post on Twitter or ‘like’ or share the article on Facebook. One entry will be valid per person. One winner will be selected by staff at notonthehighstreet.com at our sole discretion, and our decision is final. The prize is not transferable and there is no cash alternative. Winners will be contacted by email. You must enter your email address when you leave a comment, but this will not be published. We will not use your email address for any other purpose than to contact you if you are selected as a winner.  Competition closes at 1.30pm on Monday 23 July 2012. Winners will be contacted by 5pm on the same day. 

  1. It would be very liberating but hard work to be your own boss, but it would be great, I would love to win this, to give me the encouragement to try it.

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  2. I love that I can roll out of bed and still be dressed and working 20mins later. No more silly commutes for me :)

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  3. I’ve recently started out as self employed and my friends now call me ‘Shelley-three-hats’ thanks to my three jobs (and large hat selection). My third job and first love is designing, making and selling jewellery, which I would like to say I do from my kitchen table, but I don’t have one! So that’s goal no.1 sorted: Get a kitchen table. From then on it gets a little harder, so tips from Holly and Sophie would be amazing!

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  4. The best thing about being your own boss would be not having to call in sick when you are feeling horrible – you can work from the sofa in your PJs!

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  5. I would love being my own boss though self motivation would be super hard. I would be the best boss (to myself) allowing as many tea & biscuit breaks as needed (there’s really never enough of those with out feeling judged in an office).

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  6. It would be great to be more in control of the home/work balance while working yet earning doing something you love.

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  7. Has to be creating and building something you are proud of. ‘the only way to do great work is to love what you do’ – Steve jobs
    Congrats on the book ladies :-)

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  8. I really like the flexibility of being able to work when it suits me. This will become so much more important to me when my little one arrives in August too. I would love this book. I’ve been selling with NOTHS for a couple of months now but I’m sure I can learn more from the book – especially what it is like to juggle family and business. Thanks for the opportunity.

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  9. I wul love to win a copy as I am tryinf so hard to start a new business and really need help from people who know what tehy are talking about. People who talk in words I understand and not teh double dutch you get off teh business gateways, baks, hmrc etc etc. i think I would work so much harder if it were for me and my family xxx

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  10. I would love to be my own boss because i am very self motivated and feel i can pursue ideas further than if i was to do it through someone else. Id love to create a recognised brand and be able to work my own hours. :)

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  11. The best thing about being your own boss is that you get to make the decisions and get to run your business how you want to and take it in the direction you want it to go!

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  12. The best thing about being your own boss is the flexibility to, hopefully, achieve a better work/life balance. For me, this includes spending more time with my family, being more attentive to my long-suffering friends, and giving more back to the community in which we live.

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  13. I would love to be my own boss so that I could work on something meaningful, in line with my own values and beliefs that fitted around my family life. Any opportunity to make the right things important in the world would be great.

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  14. I would love being my own boss mostly because I’d love to have a job where I could be truly creative on a daily basis. I think the sense of satisfaction would be worth all the hard work

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  15. I would love to be my own boss because if you are lucky enough to do something you are really passionate about it no longer feels like work. I have been making baby name art for a few y

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  16. I’d love being my own boss, because i’d then be able to work from home and spend time with my little puppy Til’s.

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  17. I would love to be my own boss because if you are lucky enough to do something you are really passionate about it no longer feels like work. I have been making baby name art for a few years now as well as working full time. Making an original gift for someone is a great feeling as its nice to make people feel happy and a unique gift really does that well.

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  18. I’ve dreamt of running my own business for years and now the kids are gone its MY time. Running a business is about creating a vision, working hard and getting out there! But you can’t do it on your own and support is crucial. And what better way to start than with advice from women who’ve been then and succeeded so spectacularly! Well done Sophie & Holly

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  19. I would love to be my own boss and channel all of my passion and creativity into something that brought success, satisfaction and returns directly to me! I think my passion and creativity would grow even more that way and nothing beats doing a job that you love. I am planning how I might be able to make the break now and this book would be such a valuable read. Fingers crossed!
    Ps – Tweeted also via @DecoratorsNotes

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  20. I’m looking forward to being able to to take 100% responsibility for the successes (and failures) of a brand. I’ll reap in all of the rewards and no doubt learn so many lessons along they way. Exciting times ahead.

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  21. I’d love to start a business from my kitchen table, mainly because I could combine work with family and children. I have some ideas but need to get more advice and support to make it happen so this book would be a brilliant and useful read for me.

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  22. i’m an early bird & can happily get up at the crack of dawn & get lots done & i would love to do something on my own if I just had the ooopmh to take the risk ~ reading the book would probably inspire me & give me courage. i love looking through NOTHS.com & I would love to set up something that people would love to visit xxx

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  23. I love the fact that you can be as creative as you want to be, no permission is needed to have a new idea come to fruition. The ability to develop new products and to expand your market is exciting. The sky’s the limit! Working to your own schedule gives you the flexibility to develop new ideas and to work at your own pace, rather than to other people’s deadlines. I am working on a new product line at the moment. We return to the UK in 4 week and I am excited to start a home business – sharing something I love doing with others.

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  24. Knowing that I have achieved something for me, not for my children, family or friends but just for me, something I could respect me for.

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  25. Being flexible for my children is my biggest motivation, that and being able to stay in and cosy on cold, wet days!

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  26. I love the fact that while most people are watching trash on TV, I am turning it into treasure! My kitchen table is covered in vintage fabrics and trims which I upcycle into gorgeous pieces of lingerie. I can’t wait to be able to show my wares on notonthehighstreet!!

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  27. I love to be able to call all the shots, and be the one who can take the credit if something works well but also take the criticism if something doesn’t. Working for other people can grind you down when you expect someone to say ‘well done’ for a good job, now I don’t have to wait and hope it’ll be recognised because I can say it to myself! And I am my own worst critic, so it really has to be great for me to say well done!

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  28. The best thing about being your own boss is knowing that any success that comes from your business is down to you – your ideas, creativity, determination and drive. Your career can follow a path you choose, rather than one that somebody else sets for you. No amount of money can buy you that kind of freedom and self satisfaction!

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  29. I love the fact that you can work in your Pj’s in front of the TV. Also that you can stop and start when you want so if you’re having an off day you can just take it easy (if work allows of course).

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  30. One thing i would love about being my own boss is that I would have the ability to make my customers happy…Because making other people happy makes me happy!

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  31. One thing I’d love about being my own boss is being able to further develop something I really believe in. This would be the ultimate reward for all the risk and hard work. Feeling passionate everyday about doing what you do and being the master of your own destiny is really exciting- if not a little daunting- and is certainly character building!

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  32. The sheer elation you finally feel after months of utter trepidation, worry and self-doubt has got to feel good. Bring it on.

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  33. I’d love to wake up every morning excited about what the day ahead might bring, the opportunity to have limitless creativity, and the sense of achievement of being completely self reliant. Also knowing that i was brave enough to give up the rat race for something i believed in xx

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  34. After a really difficult personal year of losing my mum so young,I have not let it knock me back and continue to strive to be my own boss one day, travelling 120 miles a day to work and back and then sitting at home to try and kick start my own business in the evening has been hard work and an emotional rollarcoaster but if it means being able to be there for my younger brother and sister and to not travel so far would be the dream, if this book gave me 1% of the massive success that you guys have had I would be making my mum proud, so this book would give me some top tips and hints that would be massively appreciated Thanks :-)

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  35. It would be the ideal way to be flexible and adaptable to my three little girls and everything that goes on in their lives…. I have a small business brewing (literally from my kitchen table!) but can do with all the advice, tips and information available -plus some real encouragement. I adore what I do and have lots of enthusiasm, but it needs to become organised and viable …

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  36. I would like to be my own boss so I can be flexible about going home to support my mum and I can develop my creativity

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  37. I am a textile designer/maker and I would love to be my own boss as it would allow me to explore wherever my creativity took me rather than working to fixed parameters! x

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  38. The best thing about being your own boss is that despite the tears,sweat, long hours and potential neglect of my family, I know that I would be doing something that inspires me and makes me ‘want’ to work rather than just ‘have to’. To know that I have that extra control of my life may be scary but at the heart is an idea that I grew…how satisfying!

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  39. It’s going to be tough, really tough but you know you’re going to love your boss and if you don’t, then who else could get away with arguing with them!

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  40. If you were serious about building a Business from your kitchen table wouldn’t you just go out and BUY the book NOW instead of waiting to win one? You could write off the purchase as a Business expense :-)
    I would still like to win one though.

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  41. Being in control of your own destiny!Oh and not having to ask permission for your holiday dates (not that you’d be getting many holidays to begin with lol)!

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  42. The one great thing about being your own boss would be to see your business grow around you and exceed more than you ever thought it would and know that you have achieved this and being truly passionate about what you do.

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  43. I need this book, on maternity leave with 2nd child, just found out work now movi g my office a further 45 miles away! Friend & I have just started to try to sell handpainted furniture & home accessories , but we have no experience! We are aiming for our own shop! We need to grow & quickly! Help!

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  44. For me, it would be about creating something that I was really proud of. putting my all into it because it’s mine and it’s success and failure would lie with me. I would like to learn and grow, work with great creative people and know that I’m doing something valuable that I love. Also, I like the idea that if I get pregnant, I can continue to work once my baby is born as I am my own boss and I understand and value the importance of being with your child as a priority.

    I am so excited about this book and so inspired by you both.

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  45. We are experimenting next week to see if our business idea can swim!
    I would like to be my own boss because childcare is so unaffordable, and when I move as a military spouse the business can move too! Fingers crossed we can do it, but the book would really help us get off the ground! X

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  46. I would love to be my own boss and being able to work at my own pace on things I do love to do, surrounded by beautiful objects chosen by me, not having to endure nasty smells on the bus every morning (and even worse ones in the evening) and last by no least, making my own mistakes and learning from them instead of being blamed by other people’s ones…oh the dream !♥

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  47. I’d love to be my own Boss because I’d love earning a living doing something I am passionate about, on my own terms. Getting job satisfaction and feeling more in control of work/family time would be wonderful. I am actually working on becoming my own boss at the moment, so I plan to get hold of a copy of your book one way or another :o )

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  48. Just one thing? That is HARD. The one thing I would like most about being my own boss (apart from all the other things like working where I want, when I want, being able to have a dog, being able to meet lots of other interesting like minded people, being able to reap the rewards of my hard work) is that I would be able to control my own destiny. I want the challenge of seeing what I can make of something created by me. I want to start small and see what I can build and where I can take something, just using the power of me. I hope I am brave enough to do it one day.

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  49. I love working for myself because everyday is different, a new creative idea can be just fun to do or become new arm for my business…who wouldn’t love that :)

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  50. Being my own boss means having the creative freedom and independence to work on what I love doing with the overwhelming thought of actually getting paid for it. Gb

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  51. I want to encourage my wife to become her own boss – she has a fantastic idea, and I want to give her the support and gentle nudge to do it! I know she will be amazing and make it a success! She would love being her own boss, and I am hoping I can become her PA!

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  52. Being my own boss would give me freedom,the chance to express myself in a creative capacity and most of all the ability to create a life that is right for me and my family.

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  53. I currently make personalised wooden crafts from my kitchen table but seem to get a little overwhlemed with what I should be doing to make it work best for me and bringing up a young family. I don’t drive so would love for me to be able to be my own boss and stay at home to be there for my children when they are poorly or we have the holidays … soooo .. a book to help me with finding some sort of direction would be AMAZING!

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  54. Simply being able to spend more time with my kids :) Although it’ll be hard work hopefully I’ll be able to give them a better future

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  55. When I was in my early twenties I was running a dance franchise and I loved the challenge and control it brought into my life and business experiences. And most of all? I enjoyed the flexibility and being able to say “yeah…why not, I deserve an extra 20 min in a sun today as it won’t be back from a long time”. Being your own boss is the best way to keep you under a healthy pressure and motive to keep the bull by the horns every single day. It comes with extreme challenges and obstacles but is worth getting up in the morning for:)I had this beautiful opportunity to meet Holly at the entrepreneurial event I worked for and have never been so inspired by her story. The book would allow me to bring back those memories and galvanise myself into action.

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  56. There is no such commitment and love in business life like the one you feel for you own business. I only understood some moths ago why it still worth for my dad to work 24 hours a day for the family business. Since then me and my brother and sister also started to put as much energy into it as possible… and the magic happened: the more energy we put into it, the more happiness and success it gave back to us. It’s never too much when it’s about our own!:)

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  57. To be my own boss would be fantastic as I would be set free. In my current job creativity is not encouraged and I feel like a bird who’s wings have been clipped.

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  58. I am my own boss and I love working at home and being able to watch my little girl grow up! I want to grow my business into something that will allow me to support my family so my partner can go back to working freelance without having to worry about looking after us! I love NOTHS and if I don’t win I will buy this book anyway! x

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  59. Being an inspirational Mother to my gorgeous son. Teaching him to strive for whatever he wishes for, to work hard to achieve and fullfull all of his dreams in life, like I would have when I become my own boss. E X C I T E D !

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  60. I need a rectangle in my life, full of practical ideas, to help me burst out the bubble that keeps sending me in never ending spirals….please help me liberate the Power of Me :-) and let me cascade into the world of earning a living as ‘just me’….I love being mum to all five of my kiddies,(big and small) but possibility of returning to my old post is one that has been uprooted, so now I need ways of planting ideas and letting them establish, grow and bloom with some advice that works like manure, sunlight and rain all together.

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  61. I believe that I have been called to be my own boss as this would give me the freedom to aim for the sky and not have to answer to anyone else. I would be able to give myself holidays when I wanted them and work hours that suited me and not someone else. This book would give me ideas and help me achieve my goal.

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  62. I love the idea of spending all my days working with wonderful customers on wonderful illustration ideas. Working on something I love everyday, enjoying the homeliness and security of my own desk, my own views and as many biscuits as I fancy! I am already producing freelance work, but need the words, encouragement and advice to really allow myself to be my own business. The thought of making what I truly love my full time career is an absolute dream. I’m excited by the possibilities and opportunities it will bring! I really believe this book will help me in my journey!

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  63. I’d love to be my own boss because I’ve had ‘bosses’ and most of them used that ‘power’ to just be horrible and scare everyone, which just resulted in people not wanted to work. This way I’d only have to answer to myself, and I’m not scary :p Plus I’d make my own rules and take everything in my stride. As well as treating everyone who might work with me really nicely, I think being really lush to people you work with only makes them want to work harder! One day I will be my own boss with my own little shop selling interiors and doing styling on the side :)

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  64. The one thing above all others I’d love about being my own boss is to ‘do things my way’ follow my thoughts and ideas and create something new born from me, my experiences and passions. Surely there can be nothing more satisfying if it works than that. You are very inspirational ladies. One of your biggest fans!

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  65. I’ve developed several disabilities over the last 2 years due to ill-health which has affected my life in a huge way. I once worked full time and enjoyed the independence that I once had. The one thing which I would love to do being my own boss is I hope to one day get back to work but do something which I can put my heart and soul into. Since becoming ill I really appreciate life’s little achievements that bit more and I want to improve both my family’s and my life for the future – any advise including this book would help me focus on what I need to do moving forwards.

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  66. I really need to win a copy of the book. As a mother of 3 year old twin boys i can’t afford to go out to work. i would love to be able to work from home as i think it is important to be at home for my children. i have so many business ideas but really don’t know where to start.

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  67. I believe everyone should find their passion in life and if possible make that career. Unfortunately that rarely happens when you work for someone else.
    I’d love to be able to work my career round my boys being able to mmake them a priority while being able to do something for myself at the same time.

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  68. I gave up work when two of our children were born prematurely and ill. When I was due to return, our son was experiencing frequent hospital readmissions so I decided to stay home. To be able to work from my beautiful farmhouse kitchen table would mean that I could manage to work again, and still be in hospital with him whenever he needed me. That, simply, would be the one best thing.

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  69. Becoming my own boss was a step toward a new future for me after suffering with ME for over 3 years and being unable to work. Setting up my own jewellery business, combining my love of all things creative and most importantly being able to start working again without the fear of making my health worse. Now I need the wisdom of ladies like you who have succeeded. Many thanks.

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  70. being my own boss would allow me to express myself and be confident in my ability .freedom from bosses taking advantage of you

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  71. Has a dinning room table (will that do? Need a bigger kitchen if it really must become a kitchen table), ideas, skills, children, family, home and friends, and oh yes, work (grrrr), and would so much prefer the work shaped juggling ball to have the light and bounce of passion (however much hard work is involved) than the drudge and weight of a millstone!

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  72. Incredibly disillusioned with big business and their take take take mentalities- they have forgottent why they are in business and how much their customers- and even employees matter. I find my self at a crossroads career wise and my husband does too. In this rare situation our own business would be the ideal way to proceed- to work as a team cis we work so well together, but also to cut out big business beaurocracy, shareholders and venture capitalists and red tape in deciding how the business should do business, and what it is there to do for the good people of the public! vive la independence!

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  73. It is great being you own boss. Its wonderfully rewarding.You have our own unique calling card and creative space. Its wonderful to see people’s reactions to the bespoke pieces that you have made specifically tailored to their needs and wants. It rocks.

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  74. To be passionate and confident about my product. My designs are in my sketch pad and I am ready to bring them to life! If I were my own boss I would probably be the strictest boss that I have ever encountered but I am sure I would be extremely happy.

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  75. whether its raining, whether I have an 18hr day ahead, whether you only break even that day, whether you will have to work so hard you have to work 7 days a week … I would still be living the dream to be my own boss and have my own restaurant :)

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  76. Oh where to start. Firstly congrats on the book girls. After 12 yrs of being at home with my four georgous boys the baby is starting playschool in sept, so now it’s time for me again. This book could help me get my craft & baking business up and running. Working from home is the only way for me to go back to work as I still have school runs, activities etc. Also the joy of working from home. My 12yr old son is a avid baker and hopefully he may even get involved. Best of luck with the book xoxoxo

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  77. The best thing is the freedom you get from being your own boss – that the responsibility is all yours – but the success is all yours too!

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  78. Being my own boss would be a fantastic opporuniy as I would have the freedom to work at the times when I’m most productive, which is normally very early morning and late evening. Removing the chain like restrictions of working for others would provide me with the opportunity to break free and blossom as a crafter.

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  79. For me, being my own boss would be the challenge ahead everyday, but more importantly being the name behind the company that made my customers happy!

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  80. The one thing to love about being your own boss is knowing that everything is done through love, passion, hard work, determination using your very best creativity and abilities. It’s hard to be given this free rain when you work for someone else. I also believe I would a great employer for others having experienced the good and the bad on the receiving end. x

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  81. I’d absolutely love to be my own boss so that I can spend more time with my gorgeous (now 10 mnths) son, working around his schedule as apposed to my corporate retail company’s- working just as hard but in our time!
    I’m a workaholic but just not necessarily between 9am and 5:30pm.
    Holly & Sophie you’re amazing!

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  82. Being my own boss would be great. I could be creative where ever, whenever I want. Even in my pj’s. No more uncomfortable uniforms for me.

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  83. Seeing the ideas in my head come to fruition and watch others benefit from them. I’d love to let other people come on my journey.

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  84. I think that being ones own boss would bring the ultimate challenges personally in organization and responsibility. I also think it would bring the ultimate rewards in personal achievement and sense of accomplishment!

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  85. It would be great to take my designs forward and creat products that are design focussed that clients will appreciate and form a brand loyalty. To be able to work really hard in order to get the satisfaction of gaining sales and profit and having happy customers.

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  86. Showing my child that hard work is the only way forward, and that with hard work and a lot of determination you can build yourself an empire! Congratulations on the book, certainly an inspiration to all!

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  87. Being my own boss would mean having the passion to do what I love, the freedom to fit round my family but main thing having the satisfaction of happy customers who enjoy your products.

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  88. I’d like to be my own boss because, i’d like to be able to help those people that never seem to get jobs, because they have no experience i’d like to give them the experience and build their confidence with them. Plus shorter hours in the summer! :)

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  89. I would really like to learn more about how to run a successful business so I could spread the love that my heart creates & leave a legacy for the loves of my life! Thank you for generously sharing your wisdom!

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  90. I am one of the bosses (the bossiest apparently), with the rest of my family! We run a sensory company and its not easy but I wouldn’t do anything else- I love the freedom it entails, and being able to take my dog to work everyday! I would love to expand and reach my goals, perhaps with the insight of this book I would be spured onto making the business bigger and better.

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  91. I have always dreamed of being my own boss and am hoping that this book will give me that extra push to bite the bullet and go for it! I would love to be my own boss so that I can express my creativity to the fullest and to set example to my children that if you really want to do something,you go for it!

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  92. I love being able to fit my work around my 2 young children, even if that does mean having to eat on the floor because all my work is on the kitchen table and never being able to have a toilet break on my own!!

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  93. I would love that feeling of achieving something everyday! Doing everything the way I want to do it and at the pace I want to do it. Would be hard work but very rewarding! :)

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  94. I would love to be able to run a successful business and to be able to be a fantastic mother to so I could make my family proud and to be able to show them the world and that they too can make amazing things happen in their own lives. All i need is that magical idea and to get started. This book would give me the inspiration that I need. The items from not on the height street have certainly given my home the inspiration it needed!!

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  95. What I love is that I make the choices ;) what to make, when to make and come up with new ideas and just go for it so I can be bossy at myself ;)

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  96. I am a pom in OZ and I want to learn all the great tips and tricks on how to build a business from my kitchen table, so that I can enjoy the sand, surf and sun with my two gorgeous kids while building up a business, so that when they are too cool for me any longer (not looking forward to that!), I will have built myself a great little business to occupy my time, mind and work philosophies…

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  97. Having given up teaching to follow my dream of creating and making beautiful things that make people smile it would be wonderful to have the insight from those that have and are continuing to do it despite the difficult times. However, as much as I love my new makey life, the best bit has to be the freedom it gives me to spend time with my 3 and 4 year old. Watching them designing their own creations with my off cuts, buttons and ribbons etc x x

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  98. I would love to be able to be creative on my terms. My goal is to have a creative business that allows me to be mom to my boys & still contribute to my family income.
    Thank you for the opportunity to win a book!

    Nerissa

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  99. This is just up my daughter’s street. She is trying to get herself established in the Hand Stitched cards. She has done some amazing work – and many of the family love her cards – and the ones who recieve the cards. It is very early days and at times she struggles with the slow process. All the people who are lucky enough to have a card off her are stunned by them.
    This book would be great for her!

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