I’ve always been an advocate for chasing your dream and doing what you love and are passionate about.
But today when I walked past the lobby of a large publishing company it reminded me of some of my earlier dreams. I started university as a journalism student and my ultimate dream at that time was to work in a fashion magazine. I’m not particularly fashionable, but I just loved the idea of photo shoots, trialing new products, styling and all the fun things the staff used to be able to do.
Of course that never happened. I assure you I did try quite hard to get into that industry. I wrote many letters, offered my services for free and even tried to work and build my own online magazine. At the end of the day I think it boiled down to my lack of aggressiveness and ability to ‘play the industry game’.
Then I got into the telco industry. As I got to know more about mobile phones and the technology within it, I started to think that perhaps this was my calling. There were so many possibilities and for the first time, I started to think that climbing the corporate ladder was not so bad after all. But after some time, the same lack of ability to play the corporate game happened again. I remember days when I used to think if all it took to get ahead was the ability to toot your own horn, rub the right people up the right way and feeling no remorse about pushing everyone else out of your way…
So how do you know which dream is the right one to chase?
I can’t say I have never had bad days or bad experiences within the cake industry. I’ve had lots! But at the end of the day, I’ve since realised it not about the actual job or the industry. It’s about the big picture. Michelle Green and I talk about this endlessly to anyone who will listen as well as to the students who attend The Business of Baking Workshops.
It’s about why you are really doing all this… Why you are staying up until 3am making sugar roses, or spending your Saturdays doing deliveries instead of brunching with your friends? Dig deep and you will find that the answer is more than ‘because I love making cakes’. And that, that is your big picture – your dream. And remembering that dream when things get difficult or when things are not all rainbow and sprinkles, that will help you see past all the bad things and enable you to continue to love what you do.
For me, it was the ability to be my own boss and the freedom that comes with it. Finally, for the first time, I no longer had to play that corporate game and could run the business the way I wanted to and surround myself only with the people I wanted to work with. I could get ahead based on my own talent and skills rather than just rubbing the right people up the right way. It was liberating! So when I find myself faced with difficult days (because there are many of those too!), I always remind myself why I am doing all this in the first place.
Michelle and I are going on tour to with The Business of Baking in 2015! We will be heading to Melbourne, Perth, and Sydney. For more information and dates, visit The Business of Baking on Tour. We hope to see you on tour and help you to create a successful and sustainable business 🙂