I have procrastinated a while now about doing my first ever Blog, mainly because I was unclear on a) what it was I wanted to say b) who might read it and c) what the point was? Then my day suddenly shifted. I was planning on finishing off my Valentines treats and posting them on my social media pages. That changed when I spotted that my dog Eric was three quarters of the way through eating a cotton bud that he had no doubt stolen from the bathroom bin.
A quick phone call to the vets, followed by a visit and now I have a little boy feeling deeply sorry for himself shivering and covered in a blanket and asleep on my lap. The vet managed to get the said item out and I am incredibly grateful as little dogs (he is a 15-month-old Shih Tzu) can get into real trouble not being able to pass this sort of thing on their own. Anyway, an hour has passed, I have a small dent in my bank account and I now find myself somewhat incapacitated. Because he is comfy and settled and I am stuck sat on the settee instead.
Ordinarily in this sort of scenario, I would make a brew, put the T.V. on and indulge myself in a couple of hours of binge watching the latest Netflix box set. But today I figured, why not write that blog I have been meaning to write for a bit now? I am feeling more motivated than I have in a while and that’s largely thanks to a weekly course I’ve been attending, run by David Brice and Paul Bradford of Cakeflix.com. It is just what I need right now, it’s a course to help give businesses a boost at a time when small businesses everywhere are massively suffering. It would be easy and totally understandable to give up, but I actually feel more determined than ever to make my business a success. This course has helped bring me back some of my mojo 😊
One key thing I have learnt over the various lockdowns is to “control the controllables”, now anyone who knows me, I mean really knows me, knows that I am a control freak who overthinks everything…. So, this has not been an easy mantra for me to adopt, but it helps me. I can’t control what’s going on in the world right now, does it freak me out? Yes of course, but can I control it? No. But what I can control is what is going on in my world.
I decided to open my business up in September of 2020 after years of dreaming and wanting to have my own cake business. Opening a cake business in the midst of a global pandemic, might not seem like the brightest idea, but it was a case of “it’s now or never”. I was made redundant in March 2020 from a job I had been in for 19 years, was it a job I loved? No, did it give me financial security? Yes absolutely. So, breaking away from a job I had relied on to help pay for holidays and treats was a frightening prospect. Thankfully, my redundancy package gave me time, to re-group, gather, and support my two boys through the first lockdown and through the first lot of home-schooling.
I have immense admiration for working parents who are working from home and home-schooling, I was lucky enough through the first lockdown to just have to home-school the boys, and there were days that drove me crazy. So how people are coping with full time work and homeschooling I just don’t know. I also have huge admiration for teachers, how they don’t get driven to despair by my Son’s need to know the ins and outs of everything, and the fact he literally cannot sit still for more than five minutes I do not know! Over this first lockdown I weighed up my options, I could try and apply for another finance job or I could take the leap and run my own business.
As a bit of background, I Iove to cook, should have gone to catering college, hindsight is a wonderful thing, I didn’t. I first made a birthday cake for my Son 8 years ago, and what started as a “I reckon I can do an ok job at a cake for my son”, became a quick and obvious addictive passion.
I wanted to learn more, for every cake I made I tried to incorporate a new element or skill that I hadn’t used before to push myself on, to keep myself learning. I sit and watch hours of tutorials, cake programmes trying to learn from others, I’m on so many cakey facebook pages, my feed is almost entirely cake based. I love cakes but most importantly I love the reaction from a customer, when they see the cake, I have produced for them. I never once in 19 years in my previous job, got the same buzz that I get when I see that I have made someone happy with the cake I’ve made for them. And now I am lucky enough to be doing it full time and I can call myself a cake artist. Things are slow right now, understandably, but I am using this time to make sure I am ready for when this all goes away, and we get to live a normal life again and hug our family and friends and celebrate our birthdays and weddings in a big way. So, for now, I’m controlling the controllables, and keeping myself motivated and excited about what the future holds.
I’ll be blogging about my business journey through these crazy times, and plan to share with you how things are going. If you want to share my journey or comment to let me know how you are getting on, then please do, until the next time, take care and stay safe.
Here’s a picture of the cotton bud smuggling thief, who is feeling much better now 😊) and a picture of the Valentines treats I will be offering (I managed to make them later in the evening)