Exhaustion is Killing Your Home Bakery

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I’ve never been one to shy away from saying hard things, so for my inaugural blog post, I thought I’d address the elephant in the room.

The one that home bakers hold like a badge of accomplishment.

The one thing I did well, and consistently, for 7 years of business.

Exhaustion. Sleepless nights. Dead on your feet.

See, I’ve always been a night person, so staying up a few extra hours to get orders done has never been a problem for me. It allowed me to maintain a sense of normalcy in my life, get to do all the things, while still building a business.

That’s what I told myself.

BUT HERE’S THE THING.

It’s not sustainable.

If I could tell me 31 year old self ANYTHING, anything at all, it would be to make better choices. I was young, ah youth, when I started this gig. And the fact is, that while I was certainly getting stuff done late at night, I was too tired to make anything but cookies.

I was making orders.

But I wasn’t making a life.

I couldn’t see anything but the next order. Because I was tired.

Look, I get it. You want to be SuperMom, or SuperWife, or hold down a 9 to 5, and still build a home bakery.

And KUDOS TO YOU GIRLFRIEND. You are doing hard things, and I am SO PROUD OF YOU!!!

But here’s the deal. Your Hard Thing is going to require making Hard Choices and even the giving up of Good Things. For a little while. Because you just can’t do it all. Let me say it again for everyone in the cheap seats. YOU CAN’T DO IT ALL.

I heard Rachel Hollis talking about her schedule recently on one of her podcasts, and she said she goes all out, balls to the wall HARDCORE all day (no doubt for many hours) so that she can do NOTHING. Literally NOTHING on her nights and weekends. She is present with her kids and family but she does not do ANYTHING that requires any level of energy commitment on her weekends because she has given all of her energy to her business and kids during the week.

She gives up FUN THINGS on the weekend (taking the kids to the waterpark, or a last-minute dinner with friends) because she is recharging. She has given her business her all during the week, and she knows she can’t do that day in and day out without refilling her fuel tank. Her family eats turkey sandwiches on weekends so that she doesn’t have to cook.

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Because look here mama. You are building a motherfreaking empire. This is not some half-done paid hobby. You are building a business that will give you what you dream of. And you cannot do that exhausted.

You cannot make the hard choices while dead on your feet.

You cannot be brave enough to double your prices tired.

You cannot be strong enough to say “no” when that last minute order comes in but you KNOW KNOW KNOW you need to do your accounting because one of the top reasons for businesses failing is running out of money.

You cannot decide to start a blog, or join an exclusive MasterMind, or go to a networking meeting, or create a marketing plan, or start a website when you cannot even string sentences together.

You cannot work smart. You can’t even work hard when you are that tired.

Because the only way to win at this thing is to not give up. And girls who ruin their health because they don’t take the time to set sustainable business practices are going to give up.

You may think you’re SuperWoman, but you’re not. You can’t do this forever.

So start making some smart choices. I don’t know your business, and I don’t know your life, but I do know how to make money, so I’m going to tell you what I know.

I know when to hire experts. I stay in my lane.

I know what to say no to.

I know that charging twice as much with half the orders coming in equals the same amount of money for half the work.

I know that I need to diversify.

I know that I need to make choices for next week, next month, and next year TODAY and that this next order is not my only focus.

So let’s stop glorifying this “exhausted home baker” thing. Let’s all make a commitment to hold each other accountable to the boring stuff like eating right, getting enough sleep, and doing the damn hard work that doesn’t always get lots of likes on Instagram (I’m looking at you, Accounting) but ensure that we will STILL BE HERE, making pretty products, in five years.

Let’s not be so tired.