This is the first post of a six part series about some truths behind the first 6 years of my cake journey. We hope you enjoyed reading it, be sure to comment and let us know. If you want to start at the beginning please head to the introduction, Let Me Tell You a Secret.
When I quit my job 6 years ago, I did it cold turkey. Meaning when I walked out of the office on my last day, that was also when my paycheck ended. There was no part-time job or other forms of income at that time – it was all cake.
Was it the right choice? Back then I thought so… and it’s all fine and good for me to sit here and shrug and say that it all worked out so it was a smart move. But honestly? It was easier for me to make that decision and sacrifice because I didn’t have kids, a mortgage or any other commitments at that time. So the fact that I was no longer getting a guaranteed salary was not as important as it would have been if I had someone else depending on me or debt I had to repay each month.
My advice here is that while I wholeheartedly support people who are willing to take the risk and the plunge, don’t do it with abandonment if you have other people relying on you or debt to repay. Because if you do, you are setting yourself up with a lot of pressure. Too often I see people stress and make desperate decisions (like discounting to get an order, taking on more orders than they are capable of handling, or buying cheaper ingredients just to get by) because they need the money to support their families. So they do things they otherwise would not have done if they were of ‘sound’ financial mind and then they end up resenting it. It becomes a cycle that spirals you downwards. It is so hard to get out of it because it’s difficult to see into the future or save any money for tomorrow when all you are doing is putting out the fires of today.
It’s not always all or nothing; there is a middle ground. That can be finding a part time job or making sure you have discussed it with your other half and that you are able to support yourselves on one salary. Because, trust me, if you have to make drastic sacrifices even before you start, you will soon come to resent the very thing you fell in love with in the first place. Even if you are in that cycle now, sit down and work out how you can get out of it.
I am also here to tell you honestly that it is not all rainbow and unicorns. Most days I absolutely love what I do… other days? I hate it. I hate it like how I used to dread going into a corporate job. It drains me when I have to deal with industry politics and I can’t hide behind a boss… because – I am the boss! I really dislike have difficult conversations with people, be it customers or suppliers but sometimes I have to pick up the phone or write that email to confront them with a difficult situation.
On my darkest days, when I really almost feel like all this is way too much and that I would just love a 9-5 job so I could just come home and watch TV, I go look at job ads. Not because I really want a 9-5 job… but mainly to read it and remind myself why I left the corporate world in the first place. I usually feel much better once I do that… because it reminds me of all the things I don’t want in life. If that fails, I sometimes go to the city on a weekday morning and watch the hordes of people going to work. I watch them and listen to the pounding of their feet, they are all pretty much in the same outfits, all trudging to work and hardly anyone is smiling. And then I always remember why I am doing what I do.
Continue reading the next part in the series, Secret 2: The Money