People ask me ‘Why don’t you do cake orders anymore?’. Here’s why…
I fell out of love with cake decorating.
In fact…I wanted to quit. (and almost did…)
It reached a point where I didn’t even want to touch fondant and the thought of decorating a batch of cupcakes for someone, just filled me with absolute dread.
I was dictated by what my customers wanted and I never had the chance to be creative anymore. I missed the original freedom and creative challenges that really excited me in the beginning as a hobbyist.
Yet, despite wanting to quit my business, I couldn’t bring myself to let it go.
Part of me really didn’t want to lose my identity as the ‘cupcake lady’ (yeah, kinda egotistical, I know…). I was good at cake decorating and I wanted to still be known for my work.
But it just wasn’t fulfilling that part of me anymore. I didn’t know what the right answer was.
Que: being totally unmotivated and apathetic in my personal and business life, plus feeling like I had let myself down.
The big question that filled my brain at almost every waking moment was, ‘I don’t know what to do, should I quit my business?’
Are you feeling similar emotions right now? Or are you questioning yourself and why you started your business?
I feel you.
I wish I could tell you that quitting your business was an easy ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer – but it isn’t that straight forward. Instead, let me offer you some guidance – something I didn’t have when I was struggling with my own decision.
Here’s what you need to ask yourself:
- What was your big ‘why’ or purpose for opening your cake business in the first place? Is this still relevant now? Are you still passionate about your purpose?
- Can you financially afford to close your business?
- Imagine your life without your business; would you miss it? Would you feel relieved? Do you feel regret for not accomplishing more?
I would really advise you to put alot of thought and consideration into the answers of these questions, as it will give you some of the clarity you need to move forward.
If you’ve answered those questions and thought ‘yes it’s a struggle, but I don’t want to give this up’, then here is some advice for moving forward and finding that spark again:
Take time off
Business can be SO exhausting and it’s easy to suffer from burnout if we aren’t careful. If you can afford to, temporarily step away from your business for some self-care and develop a plan to move forward (this could be weeks or months). You can’t operate empty, you need to refill your cup.
Re-think your ‘why’
Having a purpose is what keeps you going in your business. If you need to, rethink your ‘why’ and your big long term goals. It’s natural for these to change and pivot as your business grows. Your ‘why’ should be something you’re passionate about!
Connect with fellow biz owners
Connect with fellow business owners and discover how they have worked through their own challenges and pivoted in their own business. Remember: you aren’t alone.
Decide what you can outsource in your business. Don’t feel obligated to do EVERYTHING – it’s an easy way to burnout and build resentment. Outsource to others so you can focus on your special zone of genius. Maybe that means hiring a Virtual Assistant to help with your admin or perhaps outsourcing your baking.
Be open to alternate opportunities
Don’t be afraid to consider completely reinventing your business direction and find something that actually works better for you! Maybe you decide to niche down and only focus on creating wedding cakes or you decide to reduce the number of orders you take each week.
Perhaps you love cake decorating but aren’t keen on the business side of things, so maybe you decide you’d like to be employed by a bakery or work for another cake decorator.
Your business, your rules!
But hey – maybe you’ve asked yourself all these questions and you’ve decided that it’s a ‘no’. You see yourself breathing easier and living life with more freedom without a business, and ultimately, you know it’s time to move on.
Oftentimes we associate ‘quitting’ with ‘failure’, which can bring on feelings like shame, guilt and hopelessness. This can mean that we tend to hold onto our business longer than we should, so we can avoid facing that internal emotional fallout.
So in case you need to hear this, I want you to know that it’s ok if you don’t want to be in business anymore.
There is nothing shameful or wrong for wanting to move forward with your life, from something that’s no longer benefiting you.
Never look at “quitting” as a defeat (because it’s not). What you’re actually doing is pivoting into a new direction in your life, which is SO exciting! Life is full of stepping stones that can lead you to so many new opportunities full of potential.
You’ve helped so many people celebrate their important milestones and life accomplishments. You’ve created so many happy memories for your customers! Be hugely proud of what you’ve accomplished!
I honestly wish I had this kind of guidance or these questions to ask myself at this low point in my business life.
So for months, I continued to wrestle with this internal battle of ‘should I quit?’…fretting over what to do (believe me, it was exhausting).
One day, I randomly received a comment on one of my old Instagram posts that read, ‘Wow, your cakes are amazing! How do I make cakes like yours? Any tips??’.
BOOM. The penny dropped. ‘What if I could teach cake decorating?’
It was the pivot I needed in my business. I was relieved and exhilarated! This idea ignited my fiery passion once more and I haven’t looked back since.
Seeing cakers start my class by saying ‘Oh my goodness, I’ll never create that,’ and then walking away with an amazing design they’re proud of, is the absolute *best* feeling.
I feel so incredibly lucky to help other cake decorators realise their full creative potential and it’s something I wouldn’t trade anything for in the world!
Maybe there will come a time when I’m ready to move on from cakes and ‘pivoting’ my business will mean its closure…and you know what? I’m content with that thought.
I’ve had some amazing moments in this industry and there are so many other avenues to explore in life as well.
Here’s to growth and realising when you need to pivot in life to spark your passion again!