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Dare to dream,

Ever worried about the future of your career, or fantasised about throwing in the towel to be your own boss and work as you please? Having a successful professional life on your own terms isn’t a pipe dream. Anita Chaudhuri quizzes John Williams, entrepreneur, author and coach, on how to escape the rat race

There’s something about summertime that magically creates an expanded headspace: blossomy bright mornings pottering around the garden before work or a rosé-fuelled evening with a dear friend that allows you to dwell in the blissful realm of possibility. You risk asking, ‘What if I started that Etsy print shop that I’ve been thinking about for ages?’ or, ‘I wonder if my boss would let me drop down to four days a week?’

Instead of acting on our yearnings, we allow the hopeful lazy hours to slip by, and soon the leaves are falling from the trees and we find ourselves consumed once more by a syndrome the French have brilliantly nicknamed ‘métro, boulot, dodo’, the grinding daily sequence of commute, job, sleep.

Author and entrepreneur John Williams is all too familiar with this pattern. He has coached thousands of people in the art of escaping the nine-to-five by establishing ‘play projects’ and turning them into viable businesses. Through his bestselling books, Screw Work Let’s Play (Pearson, £12.99) and Screw Work Break Free (Random House, £12.99), and groundbreaking online programmes, such as the 30 Day Challenge, he provides tools that anyone can use to launch their business – even if they’re a first-timer.

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