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Negotiate with Your Employer
"I left [my] job and started doing freelance production work—party decorating, floral and production design, trying to figure out where I wanted to be in the business. Then I got a job with Formica Corporation. I made a deal that they would pay for me to go back to school for interior design."
—Courtney Sloane, Founder, Alternative Design
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Stay Calm
"You can't allow yourself the luxury of being overwhelmed, because then you can't do anything."
—Kathe Padilla, Founder of Zambian Children's Fund, which supports an orphanage and a school in Africa
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Be Creative
"Putting together the financial structure [was the hardest thing]. It was the part I knew and cared the least about; no bank would help me. One day I woke up and said, 'I have to make this a creative project, too.' I developed my own alternative bank, borrowing small amounts from people who believed in me. I was able to pay them back in four years, and by that time I was bankable."
—Stephanie Odegard, President, Odegard Inc., a rug design and import company
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Enjoy the Rewards
"Now a business trip is to wine country or a food festival. I love it all. You can't serve ad copy at a dinner party, but a beautiful cheese tray is always a big hit."
—Sara Vivenzio, Founder, Cheese School of San Francisco
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Have Faith in Yourself
"First, take it easy. Because it's your passion, you can get carried away and burn out. Second, take small steps. I've seen a lot of people with great vision who don't go anywhere because they want the end result immediately. Third, don't try to figure out what sells. You are the one thing other businesses can't duplicate."
—Teresa Chang, Founder, Teresa Chang Ceramics
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Be Your Own Boss

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