Being yourself as a day-to-day practice
A very needed wakeup call
I was in a meeting with a marketer to figure out how I can make Bake2Explore's customer journey, more smooth and pleasant, with her support. She was supposed to go through an in-depth review of my website and social media accounts to come up with some recommendations and a mini proposal including practical steps and solutions. One of her first suggestions was to create a closer and more authentic relationship with the customer, change the tone and narrative to let Leila’s (the founder’s) voice be heard and speak directly to the customers. Especially considering the fact that the brand I created and the whole business was born out of my own passion. Which is all about reconnecting with myself, my cultural roots and culinary identity as well as my local community, and my new home.
Am I, my brand?
That simple recommendation challenged me for a couple of days with a big question mark in my head, how I can make that relationship more authentic and be my full self. I deeply believed that I am my brand, but how to stand out and claim it was a different story. Something that I never ever was expected to do during my whole professional career. Even at a personal level, I lived most of my life as a perfectionist woman who was more worried about being seen ‘perfect’ and doing everything ‘perfectly’. I am sure there are so many female leaders out there, who totally relate to this.
Be fully myself, be authentic
From day zero my whole intention was to share all the passion and stories behind every single Bake2Explore experience that I carefully curated and wanted to offer you. However, finding the right tone and language to communicate with you, which would be professional and at the same time enable me to be fully myself, be authentic did not happen overnight. I would say, it was a meaningful exercise and a day-to-day practice. My monthly blog posts, where I share bits and pieces of this journey and my vulnerable moments with you, my social media posts, as well as all the personal touches to your Bake2Explore experiences are just a few examples of ways I discovered so far.
As you can imagine, it is not always the easiest thing to open up and talk with my vulnerable side, in a complete opposite practice that I have been taught as best ‘professional practice’.
Yet, what gives me the courage I need to carry on with this approach, is all your support, heart-warming feedback, and inspiration which comes from you. I am grateful for every single moment of this mindful business journey.
I feel like it’s not just me, as Bake2Explore grows, so does my baking family, which is all of you. You have so much input into the progression of my brand and for that, I will always be thankful. I learn from you, my customers, and followers everyday so if I can give a little back with my open and honest posts, maybe you’ll learn a little about this journey too.
I am very excited for the future, to see what we create together, where we explore next and how we show the world the importance of culture and baking together.