It’s been a while since I’ve written a blog post…A long time…A few months in fact. I wonder whether there’s anyone still reading these posts (please say hello, if you are still here)…
I have received several reminders that I’m losing my ‘fans’ and ‘followers’ on my Facebook page and a few of my regular customers have called to ask if I’m ‘still doing cakes?’
I love to bake, but over the last few months, something changed about the way I bakes, and reasons why I was baking. A few months ago my circumstances changed. Cake orders were still coming in, without me doing anything to promote the business. My time began to be taken up with other things, this meant fewer blog posts, less updates on Facebook and even fewer tweets.
Maybe I became complacent. Initially I thought that I was being ‘business minded’ or ‘more financially focused’ about the cake business. As each order was confirmed, I calculated my time, the cost of ingredients, the packaging, and all the other elements that go into completing a cake. My Accountant would have been proud (this is one of the areas I fall short with running my business). Suddenly, someone’s birthday cake for their beloved, became a “cake order”. I lost my Cake Mojo and sometimes some orders seemed to be more trouble than they were worth. Last minute orders were not good for my stress levels either. The number of times I have recently been let down with ‘express delivery orders’ which ceased to manifest have pushed me to the limit with spontaneity (every cake maker, is always good friends with the mail or delivery service).
So I took a break and I stepped back from the business. But the thing was and is, I STILL LOVE TO BAKE. Over the summer, on lazy rainy days, I watched my daughters organise themselves in the kitchen and bake cookies. I ate them, laying on the sofa, watching recorded episodes of Cake Boss, Cupcake Girls and Have Cake, Will Travel; AND I STILL LOVE TO BAKE.
The moment the thing that you love to do becomes ‘all about the money’, the joy just goes.
I received email enquiries and phone calls for cakes that I would have previously been thrilled to create. Instead of jumping at the chance to do create them, by the time I’d got back to customers, they had found someone else to make their cake.
I looked for a cake decorating course to inspire me…nothing did. I trawled through the internet, looking at images of cakes, but nothing got my juices going (or shouldn’t that be ‘got my butter melting’?).
I continued to take some time out and then it hit me, one morning. The moment the thing that you love to do becomes ‘all about the money’, the joy just goes. I realised that I had lost my joy…my cake joy!
While taking some time out, I even prayed that my cake joy would come back. This week, I received an enquiry for a cake that I’ve always wanted to make. Instead of just getting on and making it, for the fun of it, I hoped that this would present itself in a ‘cake order’. My heart actually leapt when I was discussing the options for the cake, on the phone.
So when the oven goes on this Thursday morning it will be because I will be baking for joy and will have fun being creative…the two things that got me started in this business, in the first place.
The best bit about being in my business, is when you lift the lid off the cake box, to do the ‘big reveal’ to your customer and you fulfil their dreams in cake. That’s how I started off and that’s where I continue to be.