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My parents came to New Orleans to visit this weekend. (That’s them in 1966!) My dad, himself an entrepreneur, and my mom, a logistics and problem-solving whiz, have been two of my greatest supporters—both with practical advice and cheerleading—in the almost six years of Jessica Broome Research. Hearing them say, “You did good!” is more meaningful to me than any praise from any client (although I love praise from my clients, too…).

On Sunday night, my dad said something that struck me. I was talking about my travel plans for the next few months and trying to figure out how I was going to be able to spend November working from Bali and January working from Buenos Aires. (Usually, November is a very busy month for me and January is slower. It would make a lot more sense to be in Argentina, which is only one hour ahead of east coast time, in November, and Bali, which is 11 hours ahead, in January—but that’s monsoon season.)

“You should skip Bali,” my dad said. I was appalled. Telling me not to travel is like telling my dog not to chase squirrels. It’s my great love and my motivator for designing my life the way I have. Besides, last winter, I spent 2 months in Thailand, which is in the same time zone as Bali, with no comments from the peanut gallery.

“Your business wasn’t really real then,” he pointed out. “You weren’t totally committed; you didn’t even know how long you’d keep doing it. Now, it’s more solid. You have to be accessible to your clients.”

It’s the truth. I am really real now. I’ve come over to the dark side of self-employment– and I’m not sure if I’ll ever go back to cubicle life. So, I guess it’s Buenos Aires for me this winter—with no lapse in client service, of course.