Jana Cruder
Aili Nahas
November 30, 2016 08:54 AM

An outspoken talk show host, bestselling author and producer, Chelsea Handler isn’t one to shy away from a little hard work.

“I love to be creative,” says Handler, 41, whose chat show Chelsea, airs on Netflix. “It’s a worker. That’s all I got going on. It’s not like I’m married or have babies. The show is like a dream come true for me. Work hard, play hard.”

And the host, known for her direct and candid approach, says of her achievements, “it sounds pompous, but I always believed that I would be really successful. I didn’t want to be one of those people who wasn’t going to be.”

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For Handler, one of six children to a used car salesman father and homemaker mother, the success is all the more sweet because of the financial security it provides.

“I wanted the opposite of what I had growing up,” says Handler, who has said she felt insecure around friends who had money. “I wanted to be comfortable and I wanted someone in my house, cleaning!”

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  • For more from Chelsea Handler, pick up the new issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday.

Most importantly, the television star strove to find a way to stand on her own. “I didn’t ever want to rely on a man to provide for me,” says Handler. “I wanted to create something that was completely and utterly mine. And I didn’t want anybody in my life dictating what I do.”

Now, Handler says she’s open to a relationship, but is perfectly content with everything she’s accomplished thus far. “I don’t really have anyone to answer to,” she says. “That’s nice for work and it’s nice for life!”

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