Business is hard…

Who knew?!

Ok, so of course I knew that it would be hard, but I don’t think anything can prepare you for taking on your own business. No matter how many people tell you its going to be hard work, you never truly will know the extent of it until you do it. It doesn’t matter how many lists you write, or people you speak to, its an almost certainty that you will have forgotten something or something will go wrong.

I have jumped feet first into business, acted first and thought later. This approach is one which tends to be my ‘go to’ for most big decisions in life and that may bring criticism my way for having little patience, but I think now more than ever it is vital I stay true to myself.

One of the most important things to remember is that its OK….it’s OK to make a mistake, it’s OK to have a cry, it’s OK to feel overwhelmed because at the end of the day, I did it. I had the courage to take the leap into the unknown world of business.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not going to be Lord Sugars new business partner any time soon, and I still have A LOT to learn, but would I be learning it if I was still sat at home talking about it?…probably not.

My business is my baby and the reality is, I suddenly have this thing that needs all of my energy and attention and although I know the end goal, there is no set way to reach it. Like every other person nurturing something which can only survive if you give it the means to do so, I am driven, devoted and passionate but I too am tried, and I make mistakes…because I am human and that’s OK.

It has taken me a while to realise I need to start taking my own advice. And when people come to me for guidance, I always try to be objective, see it from all points of view and help them reach a balanced, informed decision. However, my parting piece of advice is always ‘Do what feels right for you at the time’. And I believe the same applies to business, of course there needs to be logic and lists and professional advice…but why does anyone start a business in the first place…? I know why I started;-
– Sometimes you get it right, sometimes you get it wrong, sometimes you turn your brand new tea urn on with the instructions and drip tray inside and then wonder what that funny smell is…but as long as you remember why you’re doing it, why you started, what drives you, the mistakes don’t matter, it’s what you learn from them, no matter how big or small a lesson it is.

At the end of the day, when I power down, whether that be the coffee machine, my laptop or just my little brain, I love the feeling I get from knowing why I started and most importantly…that I’m doing it my way.



My little oasis

Wow, what a whirlwind it’s been.

On December the 9th 2016 in the Jam Cafe in Nottingham I told a virtual stranger I had seen a small quaint little cafe to rent in the back of an art shop and that it would be my absolute dream to one day make that my reality.  I waffled on, true to form, about my ‘free-from’ cafe dream, and how I had been cooking and baking for my beloved pops when he had to change his diet to one free from dairy and refined sugar due to health complications – I wanted to create a place where people with dietary requirements could come with friends and family knowing they have a choice of suitable snacks and treats to enjoy. Knowing this was but a dream, I thought little more of it, until…

4 months later, the stranger and I were walking through sherwood in Nottingham, better acquainted by then, and I said ‘there’s that cafe I told you about, shall we see what’s happened to it?’….the answer, not a lot, no one had taken on the space, and the owners of A Room Full Of Butterflies, where the cafe is located, were still looking for the perfect occupant.

After being given the guided tour I left with what I thought was a pipe dream in my mind. But realistically, how could I afford to leave work and open a cafe? I knew I loved baking, meeting new people and making people happy but had no idea about business or how to run one.

The stranger convinced me to contact the owner and ask if I could open just 2 days a week and look to increasing my days if it were successful, and the rest, they say, is history. The location, situation, premises, everything was perfect, it seemed an opportunity I had to take a risk on. Of course I had doubts, how much would it cost? Could I juggle a new business, being a teaching assistant and teaching fitness classes? Could I do it on my own? How do you even use a coffee machine?…but the doubts were outweighed by my love, passion and enthusiasm to make it happen.

So, on June 24th 2017 my pops, the man who inspired it all cut the ribbon and declared For Goodness Bake officially open. IMG_0212It hasn’t been without its hiccups, delaying the opening date due to the coffee machine not being delivered, removing things from walls and taking half the wall with it, painting until 3am and then getting up for work the next day…but I can honestly say, for every tear drop, injury, set back and curse uttered, it has been totally worth it and I would do it all again tomorrow.

I am overwhelmed with emotion as I sit writing this post, I am so lucky to have friends and family who have dedicated hours of their time, masses of their energy, monetary funds and a whole lot of love to getting my business off the ground – words are not enough but from the bottom of my heart I thank you, for all you have done and for the support I know I will continue to receive.

And to the stranger from that rainy December night, who shall remain anonymous, without whom I would never have had the confidence to take the first step into making my dream a reality, who believed in me and gave me the confidence to believe in myself, and for that I shall be eternally grateful.