Friday, June 18, 2010

Is following your dream enough to make a business successful?

It's been a couple of weeks and I feel like an engine going full steam ahead. In between all the orders, I've been organising a lot of meetings, planning, brainstorming and reading. After all the excitement died down a little, reality settled in and hit me...this is a huge step I'm taking. This is no longer going to be just an online bake-at-home business. There is more risk involved and more specifically, financial risk. I'm not so naive as to think that a business will survive simply on my 'dream', a dream simply put will not bring your business into the green. This is reality and is going to require me to think like an entrepreneur.

So what is an entrepreneur exactly? Is it a person that comes up with ideas and is a risk taker? Or someone that goes against the odds and takes action? My latest favourite book is "The E-Myth Revisited" by Michael E. Gerber. I've had it for about two months now but it wasn't until last night that I started reading it properly and once I started it, I was consumed in the words. Everything applied to me, how I felt, how I envisioned the business would need to be run and it answered some of my questions. I finally put the book down at 2AM as I had an early morning cupcake delivery and I can't wait to finish it.

The "E-Myth", as quoted from the book, means "the entrepreneurial myth: the myth that most people who start small businesses are entrepreneurs" and "the fatal assumption that an individual who understands the technical work of a business can successfully run a business that does that technical work". Technical work in my business means 'baking cupcakes'. Yes I know how to bake a cupcake and from what I hear my customers say, I do it well. But becoming a successful business owner relies on a lot more than just the technical work, otherwise we would all be business owners.

I know that I cannot bake cupcakes forever if I want the business to grow. My dream has grown as my business has grown. I want to run a successful business. My favourite quote from the book thus far is "The purpose of going into business is to get free of a job so you can create jobs for other people". When I read that line, a bell inside of me went "ding!". Sure I do have a passion for baking, but after baking 1000 cupcakes at a time, even your passion can't make you keep wanting to bake. I have never been a person that is a fan of tedious, monotonous tasks. What keeps me going is the opportunity to better myself, to learn, to grow. It's probably why I kept changing jobs every 16 months in my previous career. For me to feel alive, I had to feel like I was learning and creating new experiences for myself.

So back to the question, what is an entrepreneur? It's probably a loaded question that can be likened to "What is love?" There are many interpretations of it so everyone's answer will differ. What I do know is that I have the entrepreneurial personality as I dream, I wonder, I live in the future and I see opportunities and have taken some action. But wait... don't get me wrong. Being a entrepreneur does not automatically mean that you're successfully in running a business or company.

There are things I know I can do extremely well and there are things I completely know I suck at. When it comes to figures, dollar signs, budgeting...let's just say that I'm not completely enthusiastic about it. In fact, I loathe it. My brain likes to turn to mush when it comes to getting all the figures correct and analysing numbers. I mean, I could probably do it, if I put my mind to it, but I just don't like it. Well that's where I've been fortunate for my business partner (and boyfriend). Yes I know what you're thinking.. however! We do complement each other very well and where my skills fall short, I have found that he's quite strong in. We both have been able to create amazing ideas together and although up until this stage I was able to build most of the business up on my own, the next step is where I have needed to put up my hand and yell "I need help!" and that's where my prince cupcake charming has come in. There is no way I could do this on my own. It's just not possible for me to be able to oversee every aspect of this project. So I am so grateful that I have someone by my side that also shares the same vision, passion and beliefs.

As I've said before, I blog to express my thoughts, feelings and experiences. Some of it may sound like rubbish to you and some may assist in giving you a different perspective. I just want to stress that I am not a business guru, I am just a beginner and my blogging is to hopefully give people an insight to how I have got to where I am now..simply by starting with an idea, a dream. There is no doubt going to be many mistakes I will make along the way but each mistake is going to make me grow.

So that's all from me now. I'll keep you all posted as things start to progress. At the moment we're still in the design phase so there's not much to see in the shop but I'll start putting up photos soon enough.