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We’ve all been there. Your boss needs you to work, you family needs you at home. When you’re self-employed, this is magnified ten-fold.

I still remember the frantic efforts to pick the door lock of a BMW, the light fading, my wife calling, my customer pacing. I’d promised her I’d be home in time, him I’d get his car open and neither was happening.

I’d struggled to earn anything all day then finally the job came in, a new BMW. It was a tough job, I’d never done one and they were difficult to pick. It was winter, the weather was bad, and the light was fading.

This was over ten years ago, at a time when my kids were just seven and three years old, my business was just getting going. I’d still have days with little work, so when a job came in I’d have to take it. In parallel, I’d have times I’d need to be home , to have the kids, so my wife could go to work. Just like yourself, we had no family about to help us, it was tough.

I know many of us go through leaving the forces and settling miles from our place of birth. We made our home in the beautiful city of Lincoln, our families were 200 miles away. We had to work well together, managing this constant juggle.

Today I had a similar, unusual choice. I was booked onto a training course, one hundred miles from home. I’d previously promised to take my daughter to the train station mid-day, to go back to university, and on top of that, my son to school. It was a tough one. I wanted to do it all, my business was once again making life difficult all round.

On this occasion, I booked a Taxi for her to get to the train station, and my wife did the school run. I had the most amazing day, getting an education. It would’ve been easier for all of us if hadn’t gone on the course, I felt bad, even though they all told me to do it.

These are the choices we face when we don’t have a boss. Family or work. There’s no-one to make the choice for you.

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