I wasn’t planning on writing anything today, but sitting here at 8AM with a little dog on my feet, a snoozing boyfriend, a very delicious coffee in my brand new Pusheen mug and the sun creeping through the bathroom window, I suddenly felt inspired.
I’ve touched on this subject before in my YouTube video What Am I? but that was over a year ago and I want to update my thoughts on it as I’m now moving into the next phase of my life.
Just over a year ago I had been fired from my job of making food for a little deli. On paper it was the perfect job for me, I had full creative reign over the menu, the food was freshly prepared (by me) every day and people were giving me rave reviews. One lady came in and bought 10 (I kid you not) tubs of the Moroccan couscous salad I’d made that morning with fresh figs and pomegranate because she was stock piling for her week of work in London (yes my head went through the roof and I had to be air lifted home)! The gratification from the customers was enough to keep me going there, but behind the scenes was a different story. The owners bought a terrible amount of negative energy into the space with them and listening to all their problems in a tiny, ramshackle kitchen when you have an enormous list to fulfil was very draining every day. I found that over time, more and more was expected of me for less and less reward. When I first started, my creativity in the kitchen was welcomed like a breath of fresh air, but towards the end I felt it was taken advantage of. Hearing the owners take credit for my hard work to cooing customers while I was scrambling over boxes of stock to reach the tiny baby belling oven which I had to preform miracles in was a little disheartening. I’d become so emotionally involved in their lives that I felt I couldn’t just up and leave as I was the only cook working six days a week.
Eventually the universe stepped in and helped me in a way that I couldn’t understand at the time. A customer came into the shop and bought back a bag of oats that were labelled as out of date, the owner spiralled into one of his many fits of rage and sent the customer packing. If there had been a member of staff working in the shop front that day, they would’ve got the chop but as fait would have it, it was just me (slaving away in the kitchen, I might add). Now my bosses way of letting of steam was firing people, the staff turnover in that place was unreal, but I, foolishly, always thought I was safe because of how hard I work… and the fact that there was no one else to do my job…but when I heard myself being summoned for a chat, I knew it was my time. I was told I was being let go because I had booked holiday at an inconvenient time but really, it was that out of date bag of oats coming to haunt me.
I was given a weeks notice, which I politely declined. Cleaned the kitchen, finished my shift and never went back. For a long time I went over and over the details, feeling more and more angry as the days went on. I had saved enough money to have a month off before looking for another job so I took a bit of time out to work on what I wanted to do.
I applied for a couple of chefs jobs, but I knew deep down that I’m no chef, I’m a home cook (a bloody good one at that heheheheh). Cooking under pressure is not my jam, I want to enjoy what I’m making a love every step of the process from peeling an Onion to decorating the plates to serve. I want to sip a little of my favourite Whisky, light a couple of candles and mince about the kitchen to my favourite music.. a few of the things I hear are frowned upon in a professional kitchen… Or i want to bake a cake and take my time with the icing and decoration, not just firing them out as fast as possible.
This was all stuff I knew deep down, but how can you have the best of both worlds? Well, I’ll tell you the first step is knowing what you want. This is actually often the hardest part as we’re conditioned to feel like work is just something you have to do and the weekends/evenings are for having fun and enjoying your hobbies. So the idea that you could make money doing what lights up your soul is a little far fetched to most. The few who have achieved their dreams and absolutely love their jobs all have one thing in common, they all believed they could. Everything you want and everything you could ever dream of is possible, the universe has the keys to it, you just have to work out what it is and ask for it, like really ask for it. Often you already know what it is but haven’t put the pieces together yet. I remember years ago, when I was working a rubbish admin job, saying to my best friend “I’m over work, I just want to bake cakes all day”… well be careful what you wish for because flashing forward to right now, I’ve got six cakes that need icing before delivery eeeeek.
Knowing what I wanted but also living in central Brighton with extortionate rent to pay left me with no other option other than to get a job after my month of contemplation, so I could keep putting that damn near delicious food on the table. This is when I realised that it didn’t matter what job I took, because I knew my end game. So I took a job in a little Vegan/Veggie cafe as a Barrista/Waitress and I worked my little socks off until I had the nerve to approach the owner about wholesaling them my vegan cakes. Previous to the Deli I had trained as a baker for just over a year, in that time I had decided to go vegan so although I had to re-adjust my knowledge of baking regular cakes, the basics were still there. I had been perfecting my products since leaving the bakery and although it’s taken me two years, I finally have a fool-proof cake formula that would trick even the biggest egg connoisseur.
So I had taken a step back in my employment career to take a step forward in my business. I waited a little while after starting my wholesale business before going part time at the cafe, I knew I needed to be making at least half my wages in cakes and when I was at that point, I dropped down to three days a week. My other days were spent, baking, blogging and YouTube-ing! When I was confident in my skill, ability and time management I decided to approach a few other cafes with my goods which resulted in me adding a few more clients to my books! I had business cards made and left them in all the cafes I was supplying to which lead to inflated private orders for birthdays, weddings, engagement parties, even work do’s. Six months went by of me cramming everything in and I knew the time to leave the cafe was approaching. The summer holidays were on the horizon and kids = cake sales. This brings me to a few months ago when I decided to take the plunge, it was time to rip off the bandaid and go it alone.
Although it’s still very early days, my sales have been going up every month and although I’m not a millionaire (yet) I’m making ends meet doing EXACTLY what I asked for all those years ago. I haven’t found it unbearably stressful and most of the time, business comes to me. I cast a little hook out there with a Facebook post or email and I wait to see who bites. I know that whatever is supposed to happen with this business is exactly what will happen, I just have to work hard, trust and be grateful every day.
I feel so privileged to be able to say that I love my life, but I remain firmly grounded by remembering that I haven’t always. I used to feed into depressive slumps and firmly believed that I had to do the jobs I hated, the jobs that weren’t feeding my soul because “that’s life” well, thats not life and it’s not living. We simply aren’t here for long enough to just dip a toe in the pond of things we love, you need to fucking dive in, head first or what the hell is the point?!
Do one thing every day that makes you truly happy, even if it’s small or seems insignificant because when you’re vibrating on the right frequency for the universe to understand you, you’ll start attracting in more of the things you love.
So for now, that’s all I have to say. Peace out.
*drops microphone and backflips off stage eating a vegan cupcake, smoking a cigar*