How To Bake A Business Plan

 

Cupcake City, here I (want) to come!

I could eat 'em all, but I'd rather everyone else did.

I’m finding it’s a lot of fun to sit in front of my computer and work on my business plan. It’s the first step to my next step in life.

I’ve heard the stories about people who suddenly decide to change gears without a plan. They seamlessly move from a life doing one thing to something totally different, and claim to do so without any previous experience or plan of action. I often wonder if there’s not something else at work there, besides a lack of coherent thought. Like maybe a big hidden wad of Benjamins to tide them over if things don’t work out. Or perhaps a forty-hour spouse with a “real” job who provides such niceties as health insurance, mortgage payments and groceries, so they can live the dream.

Don’t get me wrong. I love a good overnight success story. Thing is, “overnight” doesn’t mean the same thing to everyone. Overnight can mean anything from a standard day of twenty-four hours to a decade or more. What you don’t always hear about are the sleepless nights, difficult decisions, financial losses and personal hardships that come with that success. I’ve been fortunate enough to interview a number of restaurant owners, bakers, chefs and food entrepreneurs who have shared their stories for my food column. I try to ask every one of them the same question:

“Why do you do this? It’s a tough life in a good economy. So why this and why now?”

The answers are almost always the same:

“Because I knew it was time to move up, not just move on.”

“Because it was time to work for myself first, then for other people, not the other way around.”

“Because it is a challenge. Disciplining yourself for a twelve to eighteen-hour day is a lot harder than working the standard nine-to-five for someone else.”

It’s been an education listening to what others have said. I’m taking it in, making notes and moving ahead.

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