Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Help Wanted

I usually like to keep my game-face on, but thought I'd tell it straight instead: I think I'm stuck. Well, I kind of know I'm stuck. OKAY - I'm stuck!

My name is Eden and I am officially experiencing some kind of personal crisis at work. Now, when I say work I don't just mean my job. This is the thing with owning your own business; New Moon is my baby. It is part of me. In fact, I may be over-identifying with my business. Me and New Moon have been together since I was 19 years old. That is almost 16 years. I wouldn't say it's like marriage, it's more like a kid. The difference with a kid is that they are most certainly energetically their own being, whereas a business, without its own stubborn determination for separation and autonomy, seeps into the ego and identity.
When my business is doing well, I feel good. When my business is struggling, I don't sleep at night, and it becomes very difficult to think about anything other than how to solve the problem.
Here is a picture of where things are at:
When I was pregnant, my job was to get the business running like a well-oiled machine. I needed to do that in order to ensure a smooth maternity leave. It was a lot of work; I remember sitting at my desk cramming away at spreadsheets and systems just days before I gave birth. But I did it, and while I took a step away to have a baby, the business ran well. No major hiccups, we didn't go into debt, all was well.
Then I came back, pretty tired and shell-shocked, and resumed my seat at the desk. And twiddled my thumbs. Since then it's been an interesting journey; I've done lots of clean-up, worked with my staff, shredded lots of old paper, played with new recipes, tried to get more customers, but I still sit here day after day with this sinking feeling. How on earth do I grow my business? What does it require of me? How do I  take a small-medium business to bigger? But most importantly, what do I want?
This is where I'm stuck. And it feels a bit scary to admit that I don't know. I want the business to grow, I want to continue to build an awesome business with incredible people and incredible products - but where and how? I want to have fun, and I want to be creative, and I really, really don't want to compromise my ethics JUST to make money. This is the crux.
So I'm putting out a Want Ad. I want to find a mentor. I want to talk to someone who can say, "hey, this is what most entrepreneurs go through at this stage and this is how to get out of it".
As it stands, going to work and trying to "grow my business" is proving to be somewhat painful, because I am being incredibly hard on myself, and the pressure is too much.
I wanna be this guy over here, walking into the sky - except not a guy and perhaps wearing a killer dress instead of some boring suit. Oh yeah, I'd also be holding a cookie in each hand and have Cedar on my hip.

xo BB


Peter Marmorek said...

Well, Eden, I don't have any answers, but I certainly admire the problem.

I wrote a piece this week (http://uhclem.livejournal.com/196899.html)about sweat lodges, emerging out of my dissatisfaction over the junk food folks were bringing for the feast afterwards. In the first draft I contrasted those who bring Timbits, as opposed to New Moon cookies. I cut it, as I felt the guy who brings Timbits might be hurt.

All of which is a way of saying that I love and admire what you do, and hope that the evolution comes. Certainly I'd love to be able to buy New Moon crackers, biscuits, and such like.

On an unrelated food note, do you know Yotam Ottolenghi's recipes? If not, get a taste from http://db.tt/hHz3I79F



Ricki said...

Have you thought about (or ever worked with) a business coach? There seem to be coaches for every business and every philosophical standpoint these days (a friend of mine is working with a coach who only deals with holistic nutritionists who sell their products online--very specific, there!). I've been reading newsletters/watching videos from Nathalie Lussier (I have no affiliation with her--just find her stuff useful) and would suggest someone like that. And of course you are probably already friends with many other successful women in your field--they'd be great to talk to! I have long admired you and what you do, and you were instrumental in getting me started (back when I had a baking business--long gone now). I hope you figure it out and stick with it!

Andy said...

Don't know if this is still on your mind... if you still are looking for someone to talk to about life as a business-owner, my Dad has been one, and has grown, but not too much, and adapted his business as times changed... and he loves sharing his experience.

For what it's worth, I still love your cookies, all these years later :)