Overview: become your own boss

But something was missing. He dreamed of starting up his own business, so he gave up his job and drove to India in a camper van in search of inspiration. After eating fantastic food cooked on the spot in local markets, he decided to start up his own food business selling ready-prepared meal kits.

His company Bighams is now a supplier to supermarket chain Waitrose and has an annual turnover of £7.5m.

‘I’m not very good at working for other people. I don’t like being told what to do. I like being in control of my destiny,’ he says.

Lizzie Vann spent eight years as an investment analyst with a firm of actuaries before giving up her career to start her own company making organic food for children.

She devised recipes in her kitchen at home and, despite several initial setbacks, her company Organix now sells 10 million jars of baby food a year and has annual sales of £16m.

‘I always wanted life to feel it had a coherent pattern to it and made sense,’ she says. ‘But life in the City didn’t feel like that. I felt very important earning lots of money, but it just didn’t feel the right thing to be doing as I turned 30.’

If you have ever dreamed of giving up your job in the corporate world to start up your own business, the good news is that it is never too late to start. Contrary to popular myth, you don’t have to start young to be a successful entrepreneur, or to have dropped out of school at 15 or have been thinking of brilliant business ideas since birth.

In reality, many successful entrepreneurs spend years climbing the corporate ladder and following conventional careers as accountants, bankers and lawyers before deciding to take the plunge to go it alone.

Gaining experience in the corporate world may even give your entrepreneurial endeavour a better chance of survival.

Rachel Bridge is enterprise editor of The Sunday Times and the author of ‘How I Made It – 40 successful entrepreneurs reveal all’ published on 30 November by Kogan Page price £14.99.

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