The topic this week of one man/woman bands toiling away all year, to take their only holiday when everyone else is away at Christmas, is one close to my heart. I do this job by myself and in order to take a holiday during the year, I need to find someone else to take it on which never seems to work out because we all want a break at the same time.

The result is I am counting down till the summer break.

Reading the stories of the columnists this week, I am not alone. I suspect there are many New Zealanders working for themselves who give themselves a week or two holiday a year and that's it, if they are lucky. But they cherish the independence of running their own operation - for many it's a better way of juggling work and family.

In an expert column this week, MYOB's Scott Gardiner gives some insights on ways of walking away from the business temporarily for a break. He looks at the options of closing down for a week or two, bringing in a contractor you trust, or job sharing over the period.


Piano tuner, Jonathan Mason hits the nail on the head when he says the temptation to keep going rather than down tools and see what happens, is very strong when you are self-employed.

Mt Eden jeweller, Wayne Jeffers adds he may not get much holiday but he likes being in control of his career and business and not having someone looking over his shoulder.

For those of you who are working all hours - Zabbana's Kelly Lawrence says she feels like she is always working even in her sleep - and wondering what it's all for, the artist Miranda Brown has taken a step back to recoup this year and is enjoying the experience. As she says, it's amazing what can happen when you don't fill in all the space with "busyness".

Meanwhile Mike Goldthorpe who has his own ad agency, Hunch, is looking forward to building to a size next year that he can start hiring so he can get a holiday with the family during the year.

Both Goldthorpe and INK's Vicki Febery mention they like choosing who they work with, obviously one of the upsides of being a one man/woman bands.

And that's it for 2013
I am handing this section over to Caitlin Sykes, the former editor of Unlimited magazine, as my family and I make a big move to San Francisco to live. I am very keen to keep in touch with what NZ businesses are doing especially those with aspirations to take on the US market so do contact me through the Herald. To all the small businesses I have worked with over the past couple of years, thanks very much for making the effort to get in touch. I have enormous respect for what business owners in New Zealand are achieving every day and have been honoured to help you write your stories.