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About 2 years ago my wife started her business, which focuses on baking from home and workshops. First year was good, with lots of workshops after signing a series of them in a place she also worked in as a teacher. We didn't reach all our goals, but it was a good first year.
Second year (current) she focused on participating in a certain Farmers Market. It was a LOT of effort for little revenue (though people do recognize her more now and we always have small orders) and didn't leave her time to work on her business at all.
Now that the farmers market is over, I expected her to go back to work ON the business but she didn't. I sat down to talk to her and realized she's paralyzed by fears. She has not failed in anything that she did but she is afraid to try! I explained her how failure is really a learning opportunity and she heard the same in a recent Dave Ramsey Smart Conference, but she says she won't be able to handle rejection because she got so much of it earlier in her life. When I try to encourage her, she feels I'm pushing and so she is pushing back. I believe she has what it takes to make it but she doesn't agree to read or listen to positive materials.
I'm not sure how to proceed and I'll appreciate your thoughts on the matter.
I think she really needs to work it out with someone who is not her spouse. Feelings of inadequacy are common among entrepreneurs. There is something more than being afraid of failure at work here. I'd be happy to give her a free coaching session. Shoot me an email Allan@AllanDubon.com
If she had success in her first year, she can definitely recreate it in years to come, if not surpass them.
Does she have a website for this business?
Thank you very much for the offer! I will ask her if she'd be willing to try. Much appreciated!
the website is www.BakingSmiles4U.com, but it's not very updated since most of her traffic is out of her facebook page which you can reach from the website.
The site is beautiful, and the pictures of what your wife makes is making me consider moving to GA to be close enough to buy some!!
She has real talent there!
I think she has a business that can grow. She found out this past year what doesn't work, and it is time to pivot. I hope she is willing to meet with me.
Keep up the good work amigo.
Thank you :-)
Yes, she has talent in baking and teaching. In my mind she is appearing on TV in a morning show, running workshops, publishing small ebooks, all of it. She wants to open a small bakery. I'm good with that. But she needs to believe in herself. I'll talk to her.
I'm guessing she is stuck because she sees the same for next year and it's not what she wants. That doesn't mean she did anything wrong. From her website I think she has actually built out most of the pieces she needs, she just focused on one area that she thought would be the lowest barrier to entry, but it doesn't fit her personality. She is trainer/entertainer/future celebrity (she may not know it yet). With the training - all focus is on her. With the farmer's markets - people just walk by and are engaging more with the product and not her. I have some ideas for moving the focus to online courses for both the cooking and also teach this as a model for other home cooks to do the same. Others may love the farmers market approach. I'm sure she would like teaching others to do it more than doing it herself. I would like to echo Allan's offer of a free coaching call. Just email me at email@example.com . You can never have enough people supporting you.
Her goal is to have a place of her own. Realistically speaking, 5-8 years from now as we don't have the money to start debt free and we do have small kids. She loves baking and she is a great teacher/entertainer. I don't think she's ready for online courses yet. She prefers working with people in person. The problem is that she doesn't like 'working on her business'. She knows she needs to, but she finds it overwhelming
You have two choices - do the work or find someone to do it for you. Assuming she is stuck, think about what she needs done. I deal with this a lot. When I work with clients I try to take away the tasks that most people are stuck on and arrange for them to be done. Most people wouldn't think to build their own house, but they all think they have to build their own business. She wants to move into her business (house) knowing that the foundation is sturdy and everything works. She doesn't want to know how to be an electrician or a plumber. She just wants to use the end results.
I think the goal may be it's own obstacle. It is several years away and you have identified obstacles (money and children) as preventing you from getting there. How do you make this affordable, profitable, enjoyable and sustainable? You can realistically create the structure in a matter of weeks without breaking the bank. And you don't have to wait for the kids to be grown :)
Let me know if you would like to step through the details.
I'm happy to reach out to your wife and encourage her if you'd find that helpful. I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you very much, Jevonnah!
What does you wife mean by "doesn't like working on her business"? Does she mean the accounting? Marketing? Scheduling? Purchasing? If this is what she feels is overwhelming, these functions can be outsourced, this would allow her to concentrate on the functions she likes best. As Dan has stated many times, he doesn't like bookkeeping, so he has someone else do it for him. In your wife's case, assuming my guess is correct, I would suggest making a plan that would allow her to outsource those functions over time (i.e. 6 months to a year), this may help her feel less overwhelmed.
Hope this helps
Some of these we outsourced and some I took on myself. It's mainly the marketing piece - making a marketing plan, actively approaching leads to schedule workshops, etc. she is the front of the business. when we have a workshop, in a way we're selling her. I cannot do it for her and I don't think we can or should outsource it. Also the business is not yet generating enough to outsource everything. She knows she should do it but, as I said, she finds it overwhelming.
I tried sitting with her on a plan but it didn't work. I felt like i was dictating a plan and so she did not own it and did not follow up.