Lessons from Flatbread Business - Practice Gratitude
Stories are inspirational regardless of success or failure
I had everything in hand to start my first community trial around my birthday in May - yes, my zodiac sign in Taurus - last year. The local community trial idea and two brilliant tips came from a Zoom conversation with an innovative and experienced entrepreneur friend. It took me a while to understand and then appreciate the power of start-up communities.
I believe the first click happened after that Zoom call with my entrepreneur friend, who gave life to a few start-ups. For the first time, my friend started to proudly share stories about his failures and this phrase stayed with me, "moments will come that you start questioning your own existence". That shared story is what I would definitely call a success story as it helped me see dark days as just a challenge, which means there should be a solution. This process in my head, most of the time, starts after a good cry or a long fast walk, but ultimately it happens.
I was and still am fully committed to the hard work during the thought days of running my own small business and building everything from nothing. However, listening to my entrepreneur friend and later to so many female passionate business owners and entrepreneurs on Holly Tucker podcasts, Conversation of Inspiration, became my drive to stay motivated.
The first local community of flatbread friends
This community of local friends of Bake2Explore was shaped before even the name was picked. Why I picked this name for my brand is another mini-story that I would like to share, maybe in another blog.
My birthday motivated me to connect with friends or those who participated in my virtual birthday party on Houseparty, which I had never heard of before last year. Or those who made me the happiest 41-year-old woman on her home alone birthday in lockdown via messages and comments under my Instagram post.
I started to make a shortlist from friends and friends of friends mainly in London and a few suburbs, diverse households with different lifestyles and cultural heritage and backgrounds. From the initial conversations with friends and friends of friends, the learning process on how to communicate started for me.
When 10 households confirmed from my much longer list of shortlisted people approved, I had to put together my first official invite to Bake2Explore community trial. The first draft - which I already spent a few good hours on - was sent to two friends, and they came back to me with a list of comments, some small things that they picked up and I did not. I needed to take a deep breath and count to 10 (maybe more) to move on from the stage of anger - I was angry with myself as to why I had not seen those points. Then I was too busy self-blaming to be able to read their comments and feedback more carefully so I could incorporate those I agreed with.
More importantly, I started to appreciate and practice gratitude, rather than blaming myself for not performing "good enough". I am grateful that this flatbread journey allows me to be a better listener for my precious Bake2Explore community. However, like any other aspect of mindfulness, for me, this is another constant lifetime practice.
I believe in educating people about food, so in every Bake2Explore journey, I include the story of the people, the culture and the heritage behind the flatbread recipe.