A year ago, I decided to start a small business. Since then, it’s gone from microscopic to small, despite what people seem to gather on social media. “It looks like business is BOOMING,” remarked a friend recently. “Booming” isn’t exactly the right word. It’s more of a geriatric jog. Fine, crawl.
Why such a slow incline?
It’s complicated. Owning your own business and then scaling it so that you can generate a livable wage, hire employees, meet demands, purchase all the necessary licenses (trust me, there are tons) and insurance policies (oops), invest in heavy-duty equipment to improve efficiency, etc.–it’s not just complicated, it’s F-ING difficult. Sometimes I don’t even want to get out of bed. And then when I linger in my safety net of pillows and a down comforter, I come up with even crazier ideas, like starting a catering and personal cheffing business in addition to the bread business. It’s like deciding you want two more kids when you can barely afford to keep one alive.
Or maybe I’m not giving myself enough credit. Because the truth is, I haven’t really fully invested myself into the biz, despite what my bank account might reflect. Savings today, gone tomorrow. Lesson learned.
The last few days I’ve woken up in a panic. As reported by my boyfriend, I was clawing the air and grinding my teeth like a threatened rabid animal. It’s a sexy way to start the day, I assure you. Then yesterday, I was informed that my semi-consistent freelance writing gig would be ending. Night terror-foreshadowing. How did I forget that my contract was up? I was just a temporary seat-filler, but I managed to really let my ass sink comfortably into the cushion.
And if you are only getting caught up on my life now: Yes, I have a bunch of side-jobs. The random spurts of income help me finance my business and importantly, pay my rent. So back to what I was saying about investing myself fully in my business – it’s complicated.
Once in a heated discussion, a former business associate told me that I’m not “a real business owner,” and that what I was doing was “child’s play.” With my ego wounded and confidence impaled, I started to believe him. And yesterday, when I learned that one of my financial lifelines had withered away, his words echoed yet again.
But you know, if there’s anything I’ve learned in 32 years of being alive, there’s always a Chinese proverb to humble us into acknowledging our humanity. And so it goes: “千里之行﹐始於足下,” or, “a thousand-mile journey begins with one single step.” I woke up today, reminded by the support of some dear friends that the road is long but I still have legs to get me on my way. For that, I’m thankful. Because of that, I continue.
Gluten-Free Blueberry "Smoothie" Protein Pancakes (Paleo/Vegetarian)
Makes about four pancakes
Even though I'm not Paleo nor am I deathly allergic to gluten, I just want to give myself a little break from wheat and dairy as I don't always feel my best when I consume too much of either. I've taken the concept of a blueberry banana smoothie and turned it into a more "nourishing" breakfast or brunch dish: Pancakes!
3/4 cup oats
2 Tbs ground flax seeds
1/2 cup egg white
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 pinch of salt
Combine all ingredients in a blender. Then heat skillet over medium heat. Melt 1 tablespoon coconut oil (or regular oil) until heated. Pour about 1/2 cup of batter straight from the blender into the pan. Cook each side about 2 minutes until brown. Then flip to cook for another 2 minutes. Serve with maple syrup and fresh fruit.