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It’s been 12 years since I started PakMag. I started it with one desire: To help parents. I wanted to bring more joy to family life by informing parents of all the great things happening around town. If I could entertain and educate you too – then that was a bonus.

When I started PakMag, I had never worked in the print industry. I did not have a degree, I hadn’t written a story since school and I never had an inclination to be a writer (in fact I was a C grade student, especially in English).

I had no idea of what I was doing when I started PakMag and I’d still suggest that this is the case!

To top it off, I started a parenting magazine and didn’t have kids… I was however studying to be a school teacher at James Cook University, and I was also a childrens’ entertainer. But at 26 years of age, I had very strong desire to do my part to make the world a better place and went all in despite not knowing what I was signing up for.

The thing is, being a business owner is not glamorous. I think it’s funny when people think I am successful. Sure, I have succeeded in surviving for 12 years in this business (and twenty years with my entertainment business), but success is like pregnancy. Everyone congratulates you but no one knows how many times you were screwed to get there.

It’s certainly been an interesting journey and I am not the same person I was when I started out. Here are ten things I have learnt about raising a business and a family.

  1. You are going to be burnt more times than an English tourist in the outback.

  2. You are going to feel a whole lot of guilt. Guilty when you work on your business, and guilty when you are at home with sick kids. Guilty for taking a break, and guilty for working too hard. Guilt, guilt, guilt.

  3. You are going to feel like you aren’t doing your best work. Perfectionism has to go, and “it’s not my best, but it’s the best I can do right now” will be your new mantra.

  4. People will let you down. You will be shocked more times than a kid playing with a knife in a toaster, and it will hurt just as much.

  5. People will think you are mysterious or aloof. Because you have been burnt more times than an English tourist you don’t let many people into your private world.

  6. You will downplay your achievements. Because no one likes a showoff.

  7. You will have so many sleepless nights and moments of despair because you simply just can’t do it all. A business is as needy as a newborn with colic.

  8. You will be busier than a mosquito in a nudist colony. There will always be so much to do, so much opportunity, but only so much you can bite into at one time.

  9. You will have times where you feel very alone, and so isolated because of the repetitive nature of points 1-8.

  10. Just when you think you can’t take anymore, something positive will happen like a client or follower will send you a positive note and you will pull up your big girl panties and go for another round with “Mike Tyson” – for your family, your team, and your followers. Quitting on your dream is harder than quitting eating chocolate for life.

PakMag was my first baby. It’s nearly a teenager now, and I am really proud of what it’s become. I hope the teenage years are filled with us making more of a difference, and that we grow into the vision I hope for it. It’s certainly not been easy, but as they say “Rome wasn’t built in a day”.


  • Bree James

    Bree James, epitomises ‘entrepreneur’. From starting her first official business at the age of eighteen, to running one of Australia’s most successful regional publishing companies, Bree has entrepreneurial DNA in every fibre of her being. The eternal solution finder, Bree’s innate ability to seize opportunity and fill market gaps has attributed to her huge success in the business world. But she’s more than just the driving force behind her own enterprises. Working with organisations around the country, Bree is also an acclaimed presenter, author, podcaster, travel writer, YouTuber, performer, and an inspirational mentor to small business owners everywhere. Her philosophy in life is to be brave, be bold and be brilliant.