Tuesday, December 21, 2010

So now that I'm living the dream...what's next?

It's almost Christmas and boy am I looking forward to it. Working 7 days a week (with some half days off now though) is exhausting and I've heard too many "You look tired" than I can bear. I've realised that when you have to wake up at 4am to bake, every minute of sleep counts so this means that putting on make-up is not a priority which probably leads to all the "You look tired" aka "You look like shite" comments.

So this Christmas will be extra rewarding as we'll have 2 weeks off, this means time to regenerate, become even more inspired, read up on some great books and plan for the future of Cupcake Central. There's a point in the business' life when it will start to feel like it's stagnating and things start to become routine. According to Tony Robbins "You're either growing or dying...there's no in between", with that in mind I started to feel as though the business, although it was steady was not growing in leaps and bounds. I'm a self taught business owner, learning from the mistakes of my parent's deceased businesses, advice from successful business owners, my own research through the internet and books and observing other highly successful businesses. There is only so much you're able to teach yourself.

- Gorgeous cupcake toppers for COACH stores in Melbourne for their VIP night -

So where to next? A month ago I was on Facebook (I'm a slight addict but social media was where my business ultimately started to flourish) and I came across an advertisement for The Young Entrepreneur Unconvention run by The Entourage. Normally I'm not susceptible to cheesy Internet ads but something drew me towards it and I clicked on it. It was exactly what I needed! Some inspiration from other entrepreneurs who had become successful doing what they wanted! I could only attend the event after lunchtime as I had to bake in the morning and I had managed to drag Tin along also. We were fortunate enough to listen to Andrew Morello (the 23 year old who won the Australian version of The Apprentice) and he was fantastic. Such enthusiasm, passion and a great hilarious personality. It was completely contagious. With a huge personality like that, no wonder he won The Apprentice. I just still can't believe how young he is! It made me realise that you're never too young to start chasing your dreams & success.

- Handpainted cherry blossom branches and cherry blossom petals made from fondant -

Another speaker at the Unconvention whom was incredibly inspiring was Creel Price. I was particularly inspired by his vision of what entrepreneurs were about because although my dream owning my cupcake bakery was what I started off with, I wasn't sure what else I really wanted by having this business. Creel mentioned that "Entrepreneurs are going to lead the way with changing the world and making a real difference". I've always wanted to make a difference to this world, to contribute positively to our society. It occurred to me that the reason why I'm so passionate about cupcakes is nothing to do with the the cupcake itself but what it represents 'happiness'. It brings such happiness and fun to people's faces. The amount of lovely comments I receive day in and day out about what I create makes me feel fulfilled.

But I want to do more... and sometimes it is about the money. The reason why entrepreneurs and business owners need to be so focused on money is because without it, your venture will ultimately fail. Even the charities and NFP organisations rely on funding because without it, it would be extremely difficult to create a lasting effect. My view on physical money has changed entirely since we opened our store. Jack Delosa, from The Entourage, put it quite well, 'With more money, you're able to have more influence to do good in this world'. Although I would probably love a Chanel bag as any other girl, material things don't interest me as much anymore which is weird in some ways. My focus has changed to investing the money I have to create more wealth to hopefully one day live the life I want to help inspire other women in business and also make a notable positive contribution to society.

I realised that Cupcake Central is just a stepping stone to creating a Company that is not only limited to cupcakes, but to other retail ventures. I want to create a story that shows that with determination, anything is possible, especially for women. When it comes to successful business owners, women only make up a small percentage but it's starting to grow and I believe that there is so much more potential for new businesswomen if they are given the support. A lovely customer the other day mentioned to me that I should get nominated for the Telstra Business Women's Award (he was on the panel of judges), it has secretly been a dream of mine since I was 20 and was so excited at the thought but I don't think I am ready yet. So my journey continues to create a story that will one day be inspiring.

- Our little box of Christmas babycakes. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! -

I hope everyone has the BEST Christmas EVER and an even more exciting 2011.
Love you all!

- Holly Red Velvet Babycakes -