Some 40 hour weeks are longer than a 50 hour week

Working nine to five, what a way to make a living…

Dolly had a thing or two to say about working a standard week in a company for a salary. For many folk it’s a good way to be. It’s usually stable, with a reliable salary and you can switch off at the end of the day and relax. It just isn’t the way a lot of people want to be. The daily grind is just that. It can be a slow drag through the day, watching the clock, and looking forward to getting out of the office as soon as possible! The reality is that forty hours a week can seem like a lifetime if you don’t want to be there.

Now nobody said the life of a cabinetmaker, or even a student cabinetmaker, is easy. But  it can be so much more rewarding that the hours don’t seem to matter. Time flies by and it is not unusual for students at Rowden to work from 8am until early evening. And then come in on the weekend to do even more. All for the sheer desire to do more of what they’re doing.

Even when these same students leave there is no sense that they are off looking for an easy life, but rather a life fulfilled. As anyone who has set up a new business will tell you, at the start all your waking hours are spent thinking about your fledgling company.

I think the difference for a cabinetmaker over so many other new businesses is that the time devoted to the making is so enjoyable. It can be so relaxing, so mindful, that it eases past without pain or effort, leaving you with plenty of energy for the other aspects of the business. Looking after the marketing, clients, a bit of admin, it isn’t at all unusual for a cabinetmaker to work fifty hours over the course of a week, and to still find time to do everything else they want to  in their life. And not least because over half of those hours were spent doing something they love.

Until next time,



David established Rowden Atelier in 1995, a now world renowned fine woodworking school. Discover Rowden, the woodworking courses, and the work that students go on to do.

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