Tuesday, March 15, 2011

What the world needs now...

On Friday afternoon I jumped onto Twitter and started seeing tweets about an earthquake hitting Japan. My heart sunk as I started seeing all the photos flow through the news & media. For the last few days I've been feeling so many mixed emotions - sadness, this sick feeling in my stomach, helplessness, thankfulness and wondering what I can do to help.  I'm sure you have all felt one or all of these emotions as well from seeing all those images of people that have had their lives just torn away from them, their whole world falling apart within minutes. It got me thinking that I'm just so thankful for my life. After a very difficult day of work on Sunday, I was extremely stressed out and frazzled.. but after I had a minute to sit down, I realised that all the those 'dilemmas' I encountered were simply insignificant to what the people in Japan are facing.

So in the next few weeks I ask you to join me, if you haven't already started, to have some compassion and send our love to those affected by the earthquakes & tsunami's. Let's not dwell on unimportant issues that we normally do. Don't get upset if someone put onions in your burger when you didn't ask for it, don't hold a grudge against someone that has made a mistake, don't feel angry because someone in front of you drives too slowly. Take this opportunity to be more compassionate and kind to those around us, smile more often and spread the love. Life's too short to be upset and angry over the smaller things. Embrace life and show the world what humanity is about.

- Green Tea filled with Red Bean paste topped with Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting ($4) -

Cupcake Central will be donating 100% proceeds of our limited edition "Pray for Japan" cupcakes to the Red Cross Japan & Pacific Disaster Appeal from 15th March - 22nd March 2011. We will have them instore the whole week or order online at www.cupcakecentral.com.au or call us on 03 9077 4542.

Cupake Central is also participating in Plan's From Cup to Crop Dining to Donate campaign instore this month to help fight hunger. So if you have $3 spare, add it to your bill as 100% of this will go directly to help feed a child for 10 days in Africa.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Why you can't give up!

Ahh a blog post at 8AM in the morning, yet I've already been awake for 4 hours. Yes that is how early I start my days. Back in the corporate world days I would always rock up to work at 9.01 am, never earlier because I used to press the snooze button 5 times. Nowdays I press the snooze button 2 times, I must train myself to be like Julia Gillard and wake up as soon as the alarm goes off.
Limited edition Cherry Cola cupcakes! We used real Coca Cola in the base to create a fluffy airy cocoa and cola base. We cut the cupcake up and layered the cola cake with vanilla with Cherry buttercream. I managed to get hold of an American product of the super concentrated cherry essence so it would taste just like a Cherry Cola. I'm crazy about the smell & taste of it. Although some people hate Cherry Cola we did have heaps of customers that came by the store early just to grab this cupcake, they disappeared quite quickly.

Having a business is like nurturing a baby (not that I'm a mother but it's just an analogy), you have to look after it almost 24/7, you need to learn things along the way to ensure you care for it properly, you have to invest the most time and energy you've ever spent on anything in your life - just so it will grow. Without the proper nourishment and love, it will die! "If it's not growing, then it's dying. There's no in between" - Tony Robbins

I've been a bit frazzled lately, the business has been growing dramatically and adjusting from the quiet holiday period to being 3 times as busy is a challenge. This has meant long hours, lots of physical work and stress. Yesterday I had some downtime and after a good sleep in (which is rare for me), my brain was fresh again and I started reflecting on the last 6 months. Yes our store has only been open for less than 6 months! I can't tell you how overwhelmed I felt. WE have grown so much and every day feels like we're growing so much more. 

For the entrepreneurs that are just starting their businesses, especially on their own, I know you might be feeling a little isolated, uncertain and perhaps even a bit lost. I certainly did for the first 6 months when I started my cupcake business online and baking from home. I would feel so terribly lonely, wondering if what I was doing was going anywhere. But that period where I spent most days by myself, when everyone else was at work, was one that was insightful times I've gone through and made me more resilient. I learnt things about myself that I had been distracting myself from when working. I was honest to myself and I felt extremely independent.

So my thoughts are, enjoy being on your own and I'm going to sound a little wanky now but go and 'find yourself'. And some other tips that may help..
- Stay true to your passion, build a business on true meaning and value to you. Everyone will try to give their 2 cents worth as they want to see you succeed but at the end of the day the only person that knows what will work for you, is yourself. So don't feel obliged to listen to everybody's advice, opinion and suggestion. 
- Share what you're doing with others. Passion and energy is contagious! If you're doing something awesome then share the news through social media networks. Don't bombard your friends with marketing crap though. If you hate it when you see stuff like "Order blah blah from us today! And tell your friends" 20 times a week, then don't do it yourself. It desensitises people and sooner or later they will become disinterested in what you're doing because it's not engaging enough.
- Know your bloody product! If you don't know what goes into your product then you shouldn't be selling it. Know it inside out so that you are confident about it. Nothing more offputting then someone trying to sell you a product when they don't know what they're selling.

Oh and here's a clip of Cupcake Central on Coxy's Big Break which aired in Melbourne on Channel 7, 27/2/2011. Go easy on me, I was quite nervous and I do cringe a little when I hear myself. Also fyi, the last line was a script and I said "croquembouche' as it leads onto the next segment where Mel creates a croquembouche tower!