For any of you that have been following this blog for a while you have heard me talk about, and seen me post my cakes. Last year, I decided to get serious about cake decorating and pursue it as a business. I got business cards, attended conferances and classes, and started taking on a steady stream of orders at a reduced starter price. The last part might have been my down fall.
I research the heck out of running a cake business and felt I was ready to get started. However, I lacked the confidance in my skills to charge full price, so I offered my services for a deep, deep discount. In January, I was gung-ho, and took on enough orders to carry me thought until April. I was so stoked! But then an odd thing happened. A week before each order was due, I found myself getting nervous, anxious and irritable. I was unable to take care of my house during the week before the order due date. I also found ,as much as I might try to schedule things outside of family time, it was always seeping into those hours.
In addition to the family intrustion, money was becoming a huge factor. Each time I had an order due I would have to do a fairly large outlay of money in supplies. In most cases the supply cost far exceeded the cost I was charging for the cake. So it was almost as if I was paying the customer for the cost of letting me do a cake for them. This started creating additional resentment and anger towards the craft.
I found with each order my resentment grew. I was sacrificing time with my family and it was costing me money in the process. Ok, I was learning but was it worth it? I was starting to feel like it wasn’t. But I was resistant to giving it up, I didn’t want to be a quitter.
By the end of Febuary I started to realize I was not in love with cake decorating like I had been just a fewmonths prior. I wanted to devote more time to my family, and had started wanting to expand the reach of my blog. My interests were changing and I found that I no longer wanted to decorate cakes anymore. After a long conversation with a trusted friend she stressed the idea that I must narrow my focus and pick where I wanted to go. Then I finally made the desion that I would no longer take on any cake orders and let the idea of a cake business fade into the background.
The other twist to this story was once I shared this with my family, they were surprisingly excited about my decision. They felt the resentment, anxity and neglect that was brought on by this venture. They wanted to be supportive of me and said nothing. But in reality they secretly wanted me to stop doing cake decorating. I had no idea this had such a big obvious impact on my family, but there it was clear as day. My kids were only little once and I was exchanging time with them for a business that I didn’t even enjoy anymore.
I might decide to try and start a cake business one day when I have more time. When my children are older. When I’m not working full-time. But for now I have decided to keep it as an occasional hobby and something to bring me joy. Not stress.
So what is my reason for telling you this story? To reinforce the idea that it is ok to change your mind. Sometime if it’s for the right reasons, it’s ok to be a quitter.