This Time 4 Years Ago…

This time 4 years ago, I had just finished my very last day at an office job and said goodbye to a steady pay check. It was a day of sadness, fear and uncertainty. But at the same time I was also feeling elated, free and excited… how confusing right?

My very first paid order in 2007!
My very first paid order in 2007!

I was technically unemployed and had just launched myself head first into this crazy world of cake decorating. A lot has changed with my plans for the business as well as the industry in the last 4 years. Some of the things I wanted to achieve I managed to do, while others got swept under the rug and never saw the light of the day. The industry itself has changed dramatically and while there are some scary things happening, there are also some wonderful things emerging.

A picture from my very first blog post back in 2007.
A picture from my very first blog post back in 2007.

Really, where has the time gone? Every year that passes brings with it lots of accomplishments, milestones, changes and lessons learnt. I am so grateful to those around me that continue to support me (that’s you!) and to those I continue to learn from. Here are 4 things off the top of my head that really stand out when I think about my last 4 years…

1. Always keep in mind the bigger picture. Michelle and I preach about this non-stop on our Business of Baking Tour and that is because it is basically the epitome of why you are doing what you are doing! If you don’t have a bigger picture you are like a dog running around chasing its own tail while the others are focused and chasing the little yellow ball – don’t be THAT dog.

2. You never really leave high school. You know in the movies when the teenager comes home upset and the parent spouts out the age old cliche “it’ll get better, there is more to the world than high school” or something along those lines. I’ve come to learn that it does not really get better when we all grow up. There are still grown ups that are or even become mean girls. Those that don’t even seem to try but become uber popular and successful. Those that seem invincible – they do all the wrong things yet never pay the price and of course those who care about others selflessly and continue in their quest to make the world a better place.

My very first student in 2009!
My very first student in 2009!

3. It’s really a small, small world. Be nice to each other and don’t screw someone over in your race to get to the top. Seriously, they will step on you on your way down and not many people will be around to help pick you back up. The industry today has changed so much and it’s now all about the rat race to get to the top. To do it better, bigger, crazier, more creatively than everyone else. Stay out of everyone’s business, stay humble and stay true to yourself.

4. It’s all about value. How much value you can provide and how other people and your customers perceive that value. This is another thing I always talk strongly about on the Business of Baking Tour. Value goes beyond price cutting. Please don’t cut your prices in a race to ‘win’. You will never, ever win in the long term by competing on price. You’ll only end up screwing yourself over, destroying your brand, annoying your competitors and slowly driving in the stake that is killing the industry.

In Vancouver many, many years ago :)
In Vancouver many, many years ago 🙂

So, have a slice of virtual cake with me and celebrate. Here’s to 4 years… we have made it this far! And especially if you have been on this journey with me from the beginning, thanks for sticking around 🙂 I can’t wait to continue to share many more years of crazy cake journeys with you.

20 thoughts on “This Time 4 Years Ago…

  1. Thank you for sharing, I am seriously working on leaving the day job to concentrate on my business which is also my goal, so I always like to read about fellow bakers who have taken the plunge.your advice is how I like to work, I don’t compete on price, I like to add value to everything I do and I stay true to what I do and what I’m about.
    I don’t make massive cakes, that customers can’t afford, I create cakes that cusromers can afford and will love.

  2. Inspiring Sharon! You have such great ideas and the cakes you make are stunning. I hope I reach such capabilities. Practice, practice…….

  3. Thank you so much Sharon for sharing not only this post but all your posts. I fortunate enough to see one of your demos. I love your work and your book. You are an inspiration to people like me.

  4. Congrats Sharon! I’m so proud and happy for you! I remember when you just made the plunge to take this up full time but look at you now. Yes, there were and will be hard times but I think that they are nothing compared to the many brilliant opportunities you’ve had (and will have – I’m sure).

    1. Thank you Phuoc for being there every step of the way. I remember you always commenting even from my very first posts before I even knew you. Then I was lucky enough to meet you and now also lucky enough to call you a friend 🙂

  5. Well said n well done! This was & has been my dream. Wanted to go into this field 9 yrs back. But due to some circumstances i had to pull it off. Your post has given me the confidence to pursue my dream

  6. Lovely post. I just quit my day job in marketing last December and it was in part due to a “mean girl” boss. The feelings you describe are exactly what I’m going through. Congratulations Sharon you deserve all the successes you have achieved so far and I love your work.

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