If I had to start again ... Josephine Fairley

I'm a world-class shopper, and would have loved running a shop where I could sell things I've found all over the world. But I have a leaf-in-the-wind approach to work. I'm very open to other people's ideas of what I can do. I never planned to go into chocolate, for example. My husband Craig Sams had developed the prototype for Green & Black's, and he didn't know what to do with it - his business was in healthfood. But it was the best chocolate I'd ever eaten, and I nagged him to do something. Eventually he said: 'If you're so interested, you do it.'

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Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

That has been utterly characteristic of my career. At 19, I was a secretary at Woman's World magazine, and one day the features editor asked me to write 100 words. When I said I couldn't write, he told me not to be so wet. His belief made me think maybe I could. Later, my boss was launching a new publication, and described what he wanted in the editor. I jokingly said: 'You want someone like me.' He told me to start in the morning. I became Britain's youngest magazine editor, at 23, running Look Now.

Even when Green & Black's took off, there was never enough money to pay me, so I had to continue working as a freelance journalist, doing 16-hour days. I didn't really mind, because the company was our baby.

It was hard when private equity came in. My roles were filled by people doing them full-time, and it was like they were taking my baby away. I've found it easier since Cadbury's took over.

Someone recently asked what I like most about my husband. I said he's handsome and funny. When they asked what he liked about his wife, he said my capacity for hard work. We're now running Judges, our organic bakery in Hastings, and a natural health centre in the area. I'm still doing those 16-hour days. But if you're bringing pleasure to people's lives, why would you stop just to go and stare at sunsets?

Josephine Fairley was co-founder of Green & Black's chocolate.

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