What does it mean to be brave?
Although I was running my business as a side business/hobby for a couple of years, July 1st 2010 marks the day I officially started doing it full time. Over the last 8 years the business has evolved so much (and still continues to do so) and if you had asked 2010 Sharon where she thought the business would be in 2018, I am willing to bet my past self would never in a million years predict where I am today.
I had plans and dreams for where I wanted the business to be but over the years my life, my interests and the industry changed and so my business plans did too.
The business has morphed from wanting to create cool cakes -> small classes -> international teaching -> online tutorials -> business classes -> books –> products -> online courses … so who knows what will happen in the next few years?
Sometimes when people hear my story they tell me, ‘you’re so brave’ and to be honest, that used to make me feel uncomfortable. I guess it’s because when I think of the word ‘brave’ I think of people who jump into burning buildings to save lives, people who bungee jump off a cliff, people who step up for injustice… not someone who chose to quit her job because the idea of not following her dream was unthinkable.
The fact is that I just knew deep down that I didn’t want to be unhappy or unsatisfied. I didn’t want to spend the rest of my life in an office job where we spent the days playing ‘politics’ and having ‘meetings’ instead of getting any actual work done. I had the power to make those changes happen for me, so why wouldn’t I do it?
Whenever I am faced with big decisions, I always imagine myself 10, 20, 30 years into the future and I ask myself if future me would regret not doing it. You know, most decisions in life are not quite as dramatic and permanent as we’d like to believe. If this whole cake thing didn’t work out, I could have gone back and reapplied for a corporate job. If I decided tomorrow I don’t want to do this cake thing anymore, I could STILL go back and get a corporate job.
So if decisions aren’t as permanent as they feel, don’t we owe it to ourselves to give every opportunity a try?
2 years ago, when I really got into training my own dog, I wanted to learn as much as I could about dog training and the psychology behind it. I was always interested as a kid but the information was not as available as it is today. I remember feeling like no matter how much I read, watched or practised, I still felt like I knew nothing at all. It just felt so overwhelming almost to a point where I thought, what’s the point of trying to learn this? I will never be able to get to the point where some people who have had 30 years in the industry are.
It’s not that I had plans to be a professional trainer, it was more that I just felt like there was no ‘finish line’ in sight and I could never be ‘good enough’ so why bother trying so hard?
But again, just like how I felt with cake, the idea of just giving up or stopping was unthinkable. I just wanted to know more and gain more experience – and it made me happy. I finally found another passion that was not ‘work’. So, I signed up to volunteer at my local dog training club and earlier this year and started attending a certified course.
Learning a new trick so I can I halps! 💪🏻
Posted by Rufus on Thursday, June 7, 2018
Today, I still feel like I don’t even know 10% of what is out there on dog training. But I know for sure I know more than the Sharon of 2 years ago did.
I’m getting better! 🐶🐶 🏂
Posted by Rufus on Friday, June 15, 2018
So, over the years, I have come to realise that being ‘brave’ does not have to be a big, insane, selfless act. It can and usually is about all the small things. To me
Being brave is the willingness to do something about what you believe in even if it is unconventional.
Belief that if I gave this cake thing a go – it will work.
Willingness to try even when everyone around you is questioning your decision.
Acceptance that the worst that could happen is not even close to the catastrophe of what I imagine in my head.
Knowing that I won’t look back and regret not doing it.
Not being afraid to fail and accepting that even if I did, you could try again.
Willingness to admit when things are not working and learning to try new things.
Willingness to say yes to new opportunities.
Determination to find creative solutions for roadblocks.
If I have learnt anything about running a business, it’s this: In life, like with anything, you only get better when you try and practise. Being a cake decorator and business owner is no different. The willingness to try and do something unconventional is the difference between someone who finds happiness and someone who is still wishing.
So if you are reading this and feeling inspired, you now just have to be brave enough to take a small step forward – you can do it.
Psst… it hasn’t been officially announced yet but my online course Introduction to Cake Structure and Carving is open for early bird enrolment for just a few days after this post goes live… and general enrolment after that! Follow the link in the sidebar or click here for details…