Monday, September 14, 2009

Throw rocks in puddles!

Peek-a-boo I see a cupcake. Cute little noodle boxes with clear windows, perfect for wedding bon bons.

I've always had an entrepreneurial spirit since a very young age. Both my parents worked hard at their own businesses for many years and although both have moved on from their own businesses now the lessons they've taught me, the success and failures I've experienced with them all have helped me to strengthen my entrepreneurial skills. My parents have been very supportive of what I'm doing. I know my Dad is a little bit worried about me leaving my IT career, after all I did spend many years studying hard to develop my knowledge and skills to create a successful career that will enable me to have a comfortable life. I understand that running your own business means that there will be many sleepless nights, stress and the risk of failure - perhaps Dad is trying to protect me from those things.

I don't want them to worry, I know what I make now is peanuts compared to having a stable IT Consultant job, I know that I could possibly be making $500 - $600 a day as a contractor but it's not what I want to do, not right now. We all know money is important, some might say it isn't as important as happiness but we can't deny the fact that it contributes to some of our happiness. We have bills to pay, mouths to feed. I know many of us wish to be millionaires, retire by 40, have holiday houses in Fiji and enjoy life. So my rational thinking is...well can we really become a millionaire by working for someone else? How many years will I need to work at a day job before I can say I'm a millionaire? Can I retire by the time I'm 43 by working as an IT Consultant? Long story short, I came to the conclusion that I need to own my own business to achieve financial freedom.

Having spoken to several entrepreneurs that have started their own businesses, starting a business means commitment, perseverance and positive attitude. Most did not see results, profits, successes until months and years down the track. It does not come overnight.

"In order to succeed, we must have long term focus" - this quote applies to anything, whether you are aiming to lose weight, to learn an new instrument, to finish a sudoku puzzle. If we don't have long term focus and only focus on what is happening now and give up after a failed try, then we will never succeed because we won't keep moving forward.

All the time and effort I'm spending on my business, I know I may not see the results monetarily right now but I believe if I have the passion and perseverance, it will come later. So my little bit of advice is for those wanting to start a business after coming out from a day job is, don't become too focused on making profit right now, don't think that for a small $30 order of cupcakes that you'll be spending 3 hours on is too small of a order to make - spend an extra hour on it, go that extra mile and make it really special for your customer, learn from that experience, be grateful they have chosen to do business with you. Focus on what you want to achieve, not the dollars, once you get that right you'll be on the road to financial freedom. (Yes I speak as though I'm already there but I really do believe this is true, I will read this post again in 5 years time to validate that this is true)

So why throw rocks in puddles?

I got this quote from a book "How to Make Money Out Of Thin Air" by Brian Sher. Yes I did initially get sucked into buying this book for its title but it did turn out to be a fantastic book. So the quote is really to describe taking action - big action so instead of throwing a pebble in a pond, throw a rock in a puddle to make a big impact. Taking action means you are creating energy which will give momentum and life to what you are doing. A quote from the book.."The most successful people know that to do nothing is worse than doing something, even if 'something' turns out to be the wrong thing." You need to take action to learn, to learn from successes and to learn from failures.

"You learn nothing from doing nothing"

So get outside of your comfort zone a little and say "yes" to the next new experience or opportunity that comes your way. Take action!!

My first attempt at a mini cake for a wedding cupcake tower, I previously thought that I completely fail at baking cakes, but I was amazed at how I pulled this off. After reading websites & forums on how to cover a cake with fondant, I prepared myself with the right tools and gave myself plenty of time to decorate it - no cake decorating classes at all! It was a mini cake though and was only about 18cms wide but still, a lot larger than a cupcake!

Anniversary Cupcakes.

Spiderman themed cupcakes for a little boy's birthday.


  1. Hey Sheryl,

    I am truly intrigued by your entrepreneurial spirit, and what you have written is truly inspiring (for me). It is definitely extraordinary for a IT Consultant to jump out to the industry to start making cupcakes, but IT Consulting is not the only way to make the mullah ($) :D In fact, cupcakes are more colorful and fun than the former occupation I must admit :)

    I have been thinking on and off about starting a business myself, especially now I am studying for my MBA, it makes me even want to do something for myself even more ~~~

    Your cupcakes are so lovely, and they are so pretty!!! I will be making an order when I visit Melbourne again ~~

    For now, good luck with your new business and I wish you all the luck and success for your business !

    Michael Loke

  2. hey sheryl,

    thanks for the inspiration! i m gonna stop doing nothing and will start throwing rocks into the puddles soon!!

    lovely cupcakes...

    cheers! monica

  3. Thanks Monica! and a belated thanks to you too Michael.

    Just keep at what you want to do. I would never have imagined I'd be doing what I'm doing now 8 months ago - which is baking at 8AM but loving it completely. I don't dread waking up on Monday mornings anymore and I feel so much happier. Hope you both find what makes you happy.