You guys…how is it already April!? Where did March go!! The month just flew by.
Even though I may not have a lot to physically show for it, March was a very productive and busy month. I made some major headway on the new website (see below), I taught two cookie decorating classes in Charlotte, and I made lots and lots of Easter cookies.
March was also filled with a lot of emotional ups and downs. Not in the sense that something horrible or devastating happened, there were just a lot of moments of self-doubt. Every few days I would think to myself “what the heck am I doing? I have two degrees and I am essentially sitting at home doing nothing.”
My husband has been the one to remind me that I am not doing nothing. I am building a business! And even though it doesn’t feel like I am making much headway (financially), business don’t just start making money the instant they open the doors (heck, even Tesla is at risk of bankruptcy). It all takes time. And technically, my doors aren’t even open yet!
To help ward off these moments of total uncertainty and insecurity, I have made a few small changes in the way I think and the language I use. When someone asks me what I do, instead of saying, “Well, I am taking some time off to get settled here in Atlanta”, I tell them “I am working on starting an at home bakery that makes custom cookies and building my blog into a viable revenue stream.” I need to start owning that what I am doing is legitamate work and not just a hobby. Even though it sometimes feels like a hobby because I enjoy what I am doing (most of the time).
What has also helped me so much is seeing all the amazing things that you guys make! I absolutely love it when someone tags me a photo of their cookies or baked goods so I can see your work. 100% of the time I am so impressed by what you guys create. Trust me, even if you think your cookies don’t look good, I love them! I know how much work it takes to get comfortable holding a piping bag and flooding cookies perfectly. So, if you even make one of my recipes or replicate one of my cookies, I would love to see it. It helps remind me why I love doing this so much!
- Submit my cottage food license application – Done and done! This actually took more time that I thought it would. I had to wait until my LLC was finalized so that I could submit the application with my new business name. Then they threw a curve ball at me and send me some other paperwork to fill out and get notarized. They don’t mess around with this business.
- Create a new logo for the blog – I am happy to report that this is in the works and I have hired a designer to start working on this. I have created a secret Pinterest board with all sorts of inspiration, and while I won’t tell you much (because I want it to be a surprise), I will tell you that feeling I am going for is bright, fun, happy, clean, and simple. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that this designer has her work cut out for her because I am the worst and verbalizing what I am looking for.
- Reach out to three new bloggers – Unfortunately, I dropped the ball on this one. Sort of. While I didn’t reach out to other bloggers this month, I actually reached out to some companies, instead. This was totally stepping outside of my comfort zone (I am not a natural salesman), but I sent a couple emails to some companies that I love to ask if they wanted to work with me on a fun project (more on this, later). Shockingly, they all said yes! I am beyond excited and can’t wait to share this project with you guys!
- Develop a free downloadable guide on cookie decorating – Ack! I have no excuse except to say that I just didn’t do it. I don’t know what I am waiting for, I just need to do it! I really want to create a whole guide on using piping tips. I have thought about it a lot, but haven’t actually done a thing. I promise April is the month for this!
- Build up my email list – The whole purpose of goal #4 was to help with #5, so clearly there hasn’t been that much building of the email list. There has been some organic growth, but nothing astronomical. Again, April will be the month.
- Launch the new blog! – Considering it is already April, we know that this didn’t happen. You are still reading followtheruels.com not youwishiwouldtellyouthenewblogname.com. But I am taking steps in the right direction. I have purchased the URL and hired a designer/developer for the new site. So it’s in the works!
I guess I should always start off the new month’s goals with the goals I didn’t accomplish in the previous month.
- Launching the new blog is definitely at the top of the list.
- Getting my cottage food license is a close second. I feel like I have done everything I can do to get this ball rolling, now I am just waiting for the State to do their part.
- Send out PR packages for the new blog/cookie business. This is something that I have been scheming since the beginning and am so excited to do! But the first to goals will have to be met in order for me to actually accomplish this one.
- Learn more about SEO. I have been meaning to learn more about SEO since last year, but now I feel like I finally have time to sit down and study!
- Develop a free downloadable cookie decorating guide. I WILL cross this off the list this month. I promise!
Favorite Book: You are a Badass
Okay, I haven’t even finished the book yet but it is definitely my favorite book of the month. I started reading a library copy about 2 days before I had to return it. After I returned it, I used an Audible credit to download the audio version. I am seriously considering buying a paperback version just so I can highlight it and refer back constantly. I recommend this book to ANYONE and EVERYONE. Even if you are already a badass (spoiler alert: you are), this book will change your outlook on life, on yourself, on your body, on your relationships, etc. I want to buy 100 copies just so that I can give a copy to everyone I know.
Favorite Podcast: Goal Digger
I started listening to this a while ago, but I found myself listening to it more and more in March. It has definitely helped to learn from other women who have started their own businesses. I also love how honest Jenna is with the struggles she has. It helps to know that other people have struggled on their way to success and that it’s all a part of the process.
Favorite App/Website: Shipt
I have to give full credit to my mom friends for turning me on to this one. Shipt is a grocery delivery service that sounds like just the thing I have been looking for. As much as I love to cook and bake, grocery shopping isn’t my favorite. And I can never find the best time to go! If I go on Sundays, it feels like a chore that cuts into time with Billy. If I go during the week, it cuts into the time I could spend working. Now with Shipt, I don’t really have to worry about either of those! There is a small monthly fee, but I honestly feel like its worth it because I don’t wander around the store buying stuff I don’t need.
Favorite New Hobby: Wreath Making
I had so much fun making this Spring wreath, I think I may need to make one for every season! I have my eye on some succulents for Summer!
Favorite New Toy: Sous Vide Cooker
One of my wonderful friends gifted me this Sous Vide cooker for my birthday and I am so exicte d to play around with it. If you have never had sous vide steak, chicken, fish, etc. before, you are missing out. It makes the most wonderfully cooked meats and veggies. I have already started a Pinterest board filled with sous vide recipes. Now I just need to pick one!