It happens to the best of us. The Us I am speaking of are entrepreneurs. That said, I think this story applies to most people, not just the crazy business owners of the world.
So here's how it goes...
I realized this week that I don't like my job anymore. Gasp.
No, I am not putting the cookie biz up for sale. I love my business, love my cookies, love my staff, love everything - except my job.
On my way up to work this week I realized that I have an office job now. I sit at my desk. I send and answer emails, make phone calls, send faxes, order cardboard boxes and chocolate chips, and swear at my printer. It has been a slow progression to this point, but was solidified after I lost ALL MY STAFF at the end of August. No, I am not a slave driver, and yes, it is a whole other story that I will share very soon.
When I had the crazy staff turnover this summer, I lost both my office manager and production manager. These were the two roles that held down the fort of the business and allowed me to have the freedom to do what I wanted (mostly) within my position of New Moon's Chief. Funnily enough, I remember there being a lot of desk and computer time back then too where I was just wasting time and puttering and stressing about sales and growth and how the heck was I going to take next steps, and what were they anyway? But back then I had people taking care of all of my daily operations so I didn't think too much about things. I thought I was coasting.
Then all those people quit in one fell swoop within a month period, and there I was starting from scratch again. I had to cover all the tasks that both those managers were doing, plus train a whole new staff, plus I had a five month-old baby. It was an act of magic, and now that I'm through it I can honestly say it was one of the best things that has ever happened for my business.
But - I am still sitting at that desk.
Stationary, except for when one of the bakers needs my guidance, or I have to taste test something, or point out a dust bunny.
This was never the career that I wanted. I made a distinct choice to commit to my business so that it could be a vehicle for my creativity and self-growth.
There is a small story in this beautiful book called The Book of Embraces by Eduardo Galeano about a hamster that is caged its whole life and when the cage is finally opened, it huddles in the back for fear of freedom.
That is why I sit at my desk. That is why I have elaborate and stubborn ideas in my mind about how "no one could possibly do this task" because only I could decode the magic of filling a box with cookies, or pasting UPS stickers properly, or taking an order from that finnicky customer.
These are lies. Tricks. Things I convince myself of instead of pushing the envelopes within myself that have been glued shut for way too long.
If you are an entrepreneur and happen to be reading this, I highly recommend reading a book called The E-Myth which is all about this conundrum that we get ourselves into: the brave and fearless entrepreneur who ends up being a technician in their business.
I don't want to be a technician anymore. No, I want to feel the blood flowing again, the creative juice in my veins, and my heart pumping with excitement. That is what being an entrepreneur is all about.
Would you like to know what career I want?
I want to be the Ambassador for my business. I want to travel with it, make connections, and keep building a network with other inspiring entrepreneurs.
I want to write books: a cookbook, a book about starting and running your own business, and a memoir about postpartum depression and my cracking open into motherhood.
I want to pick up my guitar again and sing.
I want to keep growing my business and creating great jobs for people. Did you hear Canada Post is cutting 8000 jobs? It is a privilege to own a business and to be an employer, and I will keep on doing it.
So no, I am not a baker. Not a cookie packer. Not an order picker or a delivery person. I am not the office manager or the production manager. I'm also not the graphic designer (yeah, my designer should ban me from Illustrator). I'm not the lady behind the scenes.
I'm the face of my business and the leader of my life.
How's that epiphany for a Wednesday night?