Oh my gosh and goodness, it is that time of year again. The time of year where I find some breathing space to write and try to apologise and explain where the heck I have been for the past 6 months.
Well, let me tell you, I have not being sitting idle! As usual the spring and summer have been busy and I have been working full on for the last 6 months.
‘But, Vicky’ I hear you cry, ‘You’ve worked for English Heritage for 5 years. Shouldn’t you know by now that you are super busy then and get more organised?’
And then I hang my head in shame, say yes I did know that, and apologise profusely for being so disorganised.
I started this cake business just two years ago and am constantly learning. I never imagined I would be as busy as I have been (and for that I am so so thankful to anyone who has ever order a cake from me) and I had no experience on running a business, let alone managing it alongside a job.
I’ve had 6 months of chaos, some wonderful, some not so much. But what exactly have I learned?
1. You can’t do everything
Oh but I think I can. I think I can fit in that extra cake, or use that technique for the first time ever and expect it to work perfectly, or do 5 wedding cakes in 4 weeks. (Oh, wait I did do that!) It’s taken me 6 months but I have finally realised that I can say ‘no’ and I can be selfish and take time off. It is allowed!
2. Quality over Quantity
Yeah, I do know that already but this links back to number 1 and thinking I can do everything. It’s better for me to take on less work and put my heart and soul into it. That’s how I make something I am truly proud of.
3. Rest time is important
I love making cakes and it started out as a hobby and sometimes I still feel like it is. But as I am doing it more often I have realised it is a business and sometimes that means I need to take a break from it. Like with any other job, I can give myself holidays!
4. Patience is a virtue
Not my patience. I am not a patient person; I need to do something right and I need to do it right now. I mean the patience of the people around me. My mum, who puts up with my little idiosyncrasies…Who am I kidding, they are strops and tantrums and fits of hysteria. But she deals with it in her calm, practical, no nonsense way. And my boyfriend who shows unwavering understanding when I am super busy or when we make time to watch a film and I fall asleep after about 5 minutes. I am surrounded by good.
5. It’s never ok to put yourself down
As a baker, I can be quite needy. I put my heart and soul into what I make and get (overly) emotionally attached; I just want the customer to love the cake, and always want to be better. That’s fine. But, and this is my toughest lesson, it’s never ok to be mean to yourself, and it’s never ok to get so upset about a cake that a customer has to assure you that it’s all going to be ok because it’s probably not going to kill anyone…
So shall I see you in a year and see if I have taken my own advice?!
I must say I have missed the writing and sharing part of this job and I hope you will stick around while I get myself organised… But not totally organised because where’s the fun in that?!