January 12, 2011

Accountability: Practice Makes Perfect

Hi guys...  This is one of those more-for-me-than-you blogs.  :) 
Remember this blog?

More specifically... Remember this part? 
"And I know it's easy to say & do now while I have no job but I really don't think much will change regardless. It's having the awareness (which I didn't make time for before) and living purposefully with what you discover. I know when the money runs out, and my feelings 'stop being polite & start getting real,' I'll REALLY have to practice this balance. But I trust myself and this self-awareness, I do."

Well, it's officially Real World time because the money, like a cheap floozy in a red dress, has run out.  More importantly, it's officially ACCOUNTABILITY time.  All of that yapping about balance, about living without fear and worry... I've been thrown in the fire and now you get to watch.  Almost as much trainwreck fun as Jersey Shore, I'd imagine!  Just kidding... no trainwreck here.  We're doin' this!!!

I feel I should explain where I'm at right now because my professional life could go one of two ways.  And I believe both paths could potentially get that question of 'What!?'

The Legitimate Job Path: I have been interviewing with some companies that would offer me a decent, livable salary & for the first time in years I'd get to be a grown up which would feel REALLY good. 

Positives:  Financial stability- OF COURSE.  Standing on my own two feet ALONE.  For various reasons, this is VERY important to me.  I'm not above accepting help.  I've done it in the past and I'm sure I'll do it in the future.  As a person that LOVES to give, I know that people help you because they're invested in the belief of your success.  I am well aware it is the ONLY reason I am incorporated, I have my Health & Sanitation Certificate, Business License, Liability Insurance, etc, etc, etc...   It's humbling and I hate it because I'd rather be on the other end it... But I know how to accept help.

But I also know that accepting help takes trust.  You have to believe in the intentions, the heart and the commitment of that giver and in that partnership.  And that's really hard for me because I know how it feels to be resented after accepting that help and it's a truly awful feeling.  And while I won't touch that backstory with a ten foot pole, I will just say it will feel really good for my self esteem to be on my own two feet financially.  And more imporantly, get back to what I love to do-- being the giver.

Also, on my wall I have a list of things I'm bringing into my life because I LOVE these things in my life:  dance, acting & comedy, travel, yoga, singing, etc.  To have a stable job would allow me the opportunity and financial capability to see these things come to fruition.  AND, what I would truly be excited about, that it would also allow me the time, energy and resources to finish up my business plan.  It would be sooo nice to work on it in peace, without panic of time or financial issues because ultimately a storefront is the end goal.  It's what I REALLY want.  MandiCakes is about creating an experience for people not just to whore out my goods.  Most of the time.  ;)

The negatives:  I'm still not my own boss.  Is this me just being fearful?  Once again putting my real love on the backburner?  I have all of these friends that believe in me, that have helped me with licenses, etc... and what to show for it?  There is a little pressure to show something of accomplishment to them... It's been like 12,000 years already!!!  I've been talking about this business, even making attempts at this business since the aliens built the pyramids!!!  I think when MandiCakes opens I'll spend the first day locked in the dry storage closet, bawling my eyes out sniveling, "It happened.  It really happened!"  And working a 9-5, building someone else's business, isn't exactly awe-inspiring.  Been there, done that.  Am I just afraid to really go for it?

The MandiCakes-As-Wholesaler-As-Caterer Path

Again, so much help, so many people believe in me.  I've got brownies at Al's Chicken House in L.A., I've got my Etsy shop.  I'd really love to take stuff into Trader Joe's & Whole Foods, local cafes & coffeeshops, etc. now that I have my license.

Positives:  I feel like opportunities keep presenting themselves in this path.  I'd be my own boss and business. Mandicakes name would be out there which is helpful come investor shopping time.  I'd be feeding people & brightening their days now as opposed to two years from now when there's a storefront.

Negatives:  Wholesaling, catering, etc... is a TOUGH life.  It's very hard to make money when you don't have a factory & a kitchen of 30.  How do I pay my bills in the interim? There is sooo much to be done that requires even more capital. I feel like an @$$hole saying that.  Labels, ink, various sizes & shapes of boxes (which I'm totally out of), bags for brownies, kitchen rental space, bulk parchment, computer, computer software, sheet pans, chicago business phone line, logos, marketing materials, brochures, flyers, stamps,buying bulk chocolate (which I'm also totally out of) and other ingredients... Everything in bulk is cheaper & more cost effective and buying everything in bulk is as expensive as hell.   QuickBooks equipment, How-to-freakin-use-Quickbooks classes, hourly rates at the commercial kitchen, monthly storage bills at the commercial kitchen, etc... It's an extensive list that unless you're the one with the business, people don't think about.  I feel like it would be a lot of scraping to get by and I wouldn't have the energy or the time to work on my business plan.  I'm not a gal that can work on it 15 minutes here & there... It requires hours of research & chunks of serious time, etc.

(Deborah from Kentucky says, "Mandi, you don't have a job right now.  Why aren't you working on your business plan now, dumb@$$?"  Because Deborah, it doesn't put cash in my pocket immediately & I do need to pay my bills- like yesterday.  Also, I don't work too well from home, too many distractions so I used to go to coffeeshops & was super productive on it.  Since then, however, the computer I've been using has a cracked screen so I can't travel to coffeeshops with it).

So here's what I'm doing, if you're all still with me here.  I'm putting out resumes everyday, going to my interviews.  In my downtime, I work on MandiCakes as a wholesale/catering business.  I have no idea which is going to pay off... I have a feeling they're both going to happen at the same time I'm going to have to Sophie's Choice- it.  I have zero idea what that decision will be.

I have a project on Kickstarter.com to raise funds.  If I reach that goal mid-February, I can get professional marketing materials made & sample the he-double-hockey hell out of Chicago.  Really give the wholesale route a go... Also, I got word from Kickstarter that Time Out Chicago is doing a story on Kickstarter & wants to feature my project along with a couple others.  That could be huge.  That could be nothing.  Maybe they pull the story?  I have NO IDEA.  Hence the accountability with YOU FINE PEOPLE to remind me to keep my balance.  :)

Or read this blog as a reminder that this all works out and I just need to calm down.  :)

So there is some definite confusion in my life right now.  Rent will be interesting this month, that I know.  But here we go... This is living... Choosing balance and peace admist the chaos.  Let's do this sh*t.  ;)

Gotta go, folks... this mover & shaker has a business buddy meeting with Veronica and then I'm gonna GET OUT OF MY HEAD and get crackin'!!! 

Love & the right now,


Juliette said...

what about temping? is that viable?

Major hospitals often have their own internal temp agencies and they usually pay decently. Sometimes even shift work at hospitals and call centers can work in your favor time- and money-wise. I have a cousin who works Tue-Thur nights at a govt. defense contractor call center and is qualified as FT.

I think the feature in Time Out would be great exposure and yeah, I kind of want you to push for #2, but I know it's hard, hence the temp idea...?

MandiCrocker said...

Juliette, that's a great idea. I think Dr. Beth mentioned it to me, too, a while back.

After a multitude of happenings today, you're right. I'm just gonna go for it. I was sooo in my head when I wrote this. People believe in me. I can do this and do it well. I'm pursuing option number two. :)