Valerie Khoo


This is the personal blog of Valerie Khoo – artist, author and podcaster. Valerie is passionate about exploring the worlds of creativity and business. She is co-host of the popular podcasts ‘So you want to be a writer’ and ‘So you want to be a photographer’. Valerie is a mentor to artists, writers and business owners on how they can turn their passions into thriving professional practices. She is author of ‘Power Stories: The 8 Stories You MUST Tell to Build an Epic Business’. Valerie is also CEO of the Australian Writers’ Centre, one of the world’s leading centres for writing courses.

You Might Also Like


  1. Emma - My Bespoke Chair

    I totally hear you and it is always weirdly reassuring to read that the stress and sleepless nights are completely normal. Worse than having a newborn at home! But my love for my product makes it worth while and “wins” feel utterly, stomach-churningly brilliant. Thanks for the great post.

    1. valeriekhoo

      Sometimes the sleepless nights are from the stress. Other times, it’s because there’s just so much to do!

  2. Chandra Clarke Bak

    #2 happens in the service world too, sadly.

    1. valeriekhoo

      Agree 100 per cent. I’ve been asked to write entire books (like 60,000 words) for free!

  3. Kate James

    Great article Valerie. All so very true. Like you though, I wouldn’t change it for the world.

    1. valeriekhoo

      Gotta love building your own business. We must be crazy – but someone’s got to do it!

  4. Jodie @ Parent Wellbeing

    Valerie – I think another aspect of the underbelly is managing the highs and lows – feeling like you’re on the brink of greatness and failure all at the same time!

    1. valeriekhoo

      I hear you. And you can have great periods but then stuff happens behind the scenes like your IT totally falls over … I think that running a small business is an exercise in constant problem solving!

  5. Rashida Tayabali

    Great post Valerie. It’s true no one ever tells you about the long hours and the stress.but it’s so fulfilling when you achieve even the smallest goal and know it happened all because of you.

    1. valeriekhoo

      I guess that’s why we do it! You need single-minded doggedness to run a business. I wish I could apply that same tenacity to my fitness regime …

  6. Corinne Torres

    Point 2 resonates strongly. To the statement “We need you to drop your fees”, I would ask – “Would you like me to drop the quality of my services to match?”
    I would either win a customer or save a lot of time!!

  7. Hanna Frederick

    Could not agree more. After leaving corporate world, and becoming a chocolatier, the sweet success produces lots of sweat for sure! Yet achieving a dream is what life is about. Found my number 3, so that made life easier.