And so it has begun, Rise and Shine has launched. After three months of full-on preparations my website is live and so are my social media accounts. I’ve met many new amazing people and made contacts with new fantastic organisations. Oh, and, wait a minute, I’ve started teaching baking! Hip, hip, hooray!
The question I’ve been asked a lot lately is “how does it feel to be running a new business again.” Well…, I must confess I’ve been in two minds whether to blog about it or not. From the marketing point of view, I should put a brave smile on and crack on regardless of how I feel. After all, baking is what I love to do and I want to advertise my services in the most attractive way possible. What’s the problem then? Is there any problem at all?
Had someone told me a few months ago that I would be as nervous about starting a new venture as I was in 2002 when I launched my first one, I wouldn’t have believed it for a second! Surely, after 16 years of running my own playgroup, with all its challenges and all the ups and downs, I should know a thing or two, right? The answer is yes – on the practical and logistic side of things, I’ve learnt over the years that I’m capable of working really hard and when I have a vision, there is no stopping me. Ask my husband, “wife on a mission” mode is something he admires me for, but sometimes it also annoys him that I can’t sit still and that I expect everyone (read: him ?) to join in the action! He’s got every right to feel that way. We’ve learnt to take the mickey out of my constant urge to tick things off on my mental to-do-list.
However, jokes aside, when the to-do-list is accomplished, sweat and tears have dried up and you’ve patted yourself on the shoulder, a familiar process begins. All those feelings lurking somewhere in the darkest corners of your subconscious mind start coming up to the surface. The truth is that I’m incredibly anxious about Rise and Shine. It’s an explosive mixture of being super excited, proud and happy with being out way of my comfort zone, feeling afraid and full of self-doubt. I’ve been waking up at 4 am recently after dreaming of burnt cakes, being late for a class, not having the right ingredients or dealing with very disappointed clients. My mind is fully awake, unbelievably alert and it does its favourite thing in the world – it asks questions beginning with “What if…?” “What if the business doesn’t work? What if it takes longer to get it off the ground than you want it to? What if the whole idea is just wrong and nobody will want to bake with you?” The list goes on…
After years of working with young families, I know this internal dialogue pattern when your mind comes up with the blackest scenarios is common amongst so many people out there. I’m not the only one lying awake knowing I may as well get up because chances of going back to sleep are next to none. It’s exhausting. Most of the time, I’m perfectly capable of joining in the conversation with my mind and telling it that I actually know better and everything is going to be fine. I even say “thank you dear Mind for warning me of any possible obstacles I may encounter” but sometimes, especially at 4 am, with that unpleasant tight feeling in my stomach I have no energy left – I fail spectacularly and give in. It takes me a good few hours to recover from a night like that, calm down and start feeling relatively normal again. Over a decade ago when I was going through a difficult time, the recovery didn’t take a few hours though, it took a year. For some people it takes longer and it is an ongoing, reoccurring challenge for several years.
The last three months have reminded me that despite being a positive go-get-it type of person, when it comes to my fears, I don’t let much on. The reason I’ve decided to write my first blog about it is simple – I strongly believe in the therapeutic value of baking. Not writing about it when my classes focus on wellbeing would be the height of hypocrisy. Life is not a piece of cake. I hope that being open about my own difficulties will help raising awareness of how important it is to talk about our feelings and daily struggles and reach for help.
However I feel about Rise and Shine at the moment, I’m delighted that I’ve embarked on this new, exciting chapter. (Thank you dear Mind, be quiet now! You sound like a broken record again!?) I might have a wobble now and then but I promise to pour my heart and soul in Rise and Shine and do my very best to make it successful. See you in my class, baking our worries away!