I'm trying to keep my business, my triplets, and my waistline under control. I excel at one of those, fail at another one of those, and one is a work in progress. Which is which is day dependant.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


As part of a project she is working on, a blogger I admire recently asked me to answer some questions about my career change. One of the questions was, "How do you measure success in your new profession?" I wish I could find my emailed reply but it has disappeared into the abyss. I'm fairly certain that it said a bunch of things about success for me being measured not only by money (although let's face it, paying the bills is fairly essential) but also about being a part of the milestones in my client's lives, making people happy, and being a good example to my children of a capable, happy working mother and wife.

Since I answered the question, I've had it rattling around in the back of my brain - because while all of those things are true, I'm not entirely convinced I gave her the whole answer. I started thinking about the people who I consider successful - the ones who I look to for inspiration and motivation. Where this gets a little hairy is in the reason WHY I think they are successful - meaning I admire some for being successful mothers, some for being successful business owners, some for being just generally clever and capable, and so on. Since the question asked about measuring success in my profession, I really had to focus my thinking on those who I admire for being successful in food and/or business and what I think makes them (and therefore might make me) successful.

Not surprisingly for a thinker like me, I eventually had a whole long (mental) list of things which I think define success for business owners. Money - of course. Profile. Having time time and means to be socially responsibe both as a person and as a business. Remaining in business through difficult economic times. Retaining and valuing staff...and so on and so forth. At the moment I have a few of those things already going for me, and I'm working on most of them every day. But does not having the big stuff exactly right mean that I'm not successful yet? Of course not. Or rather, HELL NO! Until I've got the "big stuff," I've come to realise that it's the ridiculously small things which are defining success for me at the moment.

Success is all about the ridiculously small things like....

- unlocking the door each morning and pausing for a second just to breathe in the shop smell, which for now is mixture of fresh paint and fresh baking.
- Being able to afford new uniforms for me, my staff, and my students ...and it's all got my corporate colours and logo all over the place. Logo and colours which I chose.
- Being able to type this at work while wearing my new coat, and looking down and seeing that it's got my name embroidered on it as well, and everyone knows it's only the most important people who get their name on their coat. :)
- Standing in my beautiful commercial kitchen and thinking, "Good lord. I DID THIS." and being just that little, tiny bit in total awe every single time I am in there.
- Smiling every time I look at the magnetic knife rack which is in the kitchen, because having one of those on the wall was always on my "someday, when I have a kitchen, it's going to have a ... in it" list.

...and on and on. Today, as every day, I am absolutely revelling in all the little things which mean that I am slowly but surely on the road to creating something which is much bigger than me. Of course, I have yet to pay back the loans, get a decent salary, or really test the nettle of this new premises...but for now, I'm calling it a success - if for no reason other than I'm sitting here in what is quite possibly the cutest chef coat you ever did see.

And as everyone knows, it's only the most successful people who get to wear cute chef coats. With pink buttons and all.

1 comment:

Kristin Gemma said...

I **heart** your new coat. Enjoy your success -- you've worked so hard for it and totally deserve it!