My Feelings on Closing a Business

Posted on May 22, 2014

When I started Keep It Sweet Desserts, and really up until just a couple of months ago, I never thought I’d choose to close down / leave the business for family reasons.  I imagined that I’d be able to hire enough people to do most of my work so that I’d have flexibility.  I also thought that the business was so important to me that I’d never want to let it go unless financially necessary.

Things didn’t work quite as planned.  Maybe if the baby were coming a few months earlier or a year later the timing might have inspired me to make everything work, but where I am in life and business right now that isn’t the case.  My mid-October due date just felt like a sign (hello holidays right around the corner!).  Matt and I are ready to start a family, we really waited until we wanted to have kids to start trying and so now that it is happening, I can’t imagine choosing to leave a baby home 24/7 while I work and manage holiday shifts. 

There are so many mixed emotions that come with the choice I have made.  Based on the relief I felt when Matt and I decided that this makes the most sense, I truly believe that we are doing the right thing.  However, that doesn’t mean it’s easy and that doesn’t mean I won’t miss it.  Owning your own business is trying.  It’s mentally exhausting, and when it comes to a bakery, physically exhausting.  The work is never done because there are always things you can do to grow and improve the business.  Want to hire someone?  You are now HR.  Want to engage with customers?  You are now social media manager.  Want to make sure your finances are in line?  Hello, accountant (okay, okay, Matt did most of this for me).  Dishwasher, baker, marketing manager, operations manager, customer service, delivery person… these are just a few of the titles I’ve held over the last two and a half years.

But you know what I am really going to miss?  The RUSH.  That high you get at the end of a long day of baking, packaging, and managing phone calls with customers.  Being surrounded by other food businesses, your own special club.  Feeling the drive of other entrepreneurs who all support one another.  An email that your cookies truly made someone’s day.  A post on Yelp that raves about your products, quality and service.  Taking a step back and seeing what you have built.  Creating a new recipe that you know people will love.  The ability to share something you love with other people AND make a living.  Knowing that the time, effort, and love that goes into every cookie is truly worth-it. 

Now when I test out a new cookie recipe for the blog, and it is a hit, I joke with Matt that “I should go into business.”  And while we laugh and smile a bit, a part of me is very sad to leave something like this behind.  For most of my life I felt a little lost in terms of what I wanted to do and who I wanted to be.  Keep It Sweet Desserts almost fell into my life as a calling.  It was the first time I truly felt proud of what I was doing every day.  Now, will I just be someone who “used to own a business?”

With all of that said, I’m realizing now that I’m also being blessed with time.  It didn’t hit me until a couple of weeks ago that I have the entire summer and some of fall to focus my energy wherever I want.  Originally I thought I’d find a job before the baby was born, but I quickly realized that is somewhat unrealistic.  Plus, while I’m fairly certain I want to work part-time, I can’t predict exactly when I’ll be ready for that.  Maybe it will be two months post-baby, maybe six.  So last week, around when I was finally starting to feel myself again, I realized how amazing this blessing of time really is.  I’m motivated, excited and anxious to get back in the kitchen to create more than I have in a long time.  I’m hoping to re-prioritize this blog like I did in the beginning, using it as a means to find my way.  I have a feeling that this time will take me somewhere perhaps unexpected, but definitely somewhere that I want to be.

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