It’s three days after Christmas and I can finally say that I have had some days off. Before this year I had heard of people owning a business, being self employed but had never thought about the implications. This time last year my business was still in its infancy stage, not even registered, but with jars of chutneys and jams already accumulating in the garage, and a hope that someone somewhere would want to buy my preserves.
Fast forward a year and now I have a vast quantity of all sorted preserves in the garage, not to mention the amount of Spicy Pineapple Chutney I have been forced to make because demand over the last three months has exceeded any expectations I might have had. Winning the three stars in the Great Taste Awards has really pushed my little company forward by quite a margin, the Golden Fork is just icing on the cake or chutney on the cheese which might be a more appropriate saying.
The life of a preserves creator, maker and seller is most definitely full on, but with the coming of Christmas it turns into one which a few years ago I would have sneered it. Working virtually everyday, including weekends without even a sniff of a day off. During a 70 (seventy), yes you read that right, 70 day stretch, I had two days off and even those days only one I could really call my own without me having to do something to do with the business. But, with putting that much commitment into my work, it has put me a in good position hence why I am now sitting here typing after a lovely three days off with family and friends and a few more to come.
One of the market traders commented that if ‘you don’t make any money during the lead up to Christmas, you are in the wrong job’. A very profound comment but one that stuck with me throughout my two and a half months of solid working. I also have another wedged in my head but that is from a famous Kevin Costner film from the 80’s .. ‘if you build it t[he]y will come’. Okay, hands up, I have changed one word, but it shows my mentality to make this work. That, and the vast amounts of money I have put into it. ‘Put your money where your mouth is’, having heard this throughout my life, I can categorically say I finally have.
So what now, where am I going after this great year, well January starts the Great Taste-athon, when early entries are opened to those who are members of the Guild of Fine Foods. Having been so far successful with one out of one, I am going to enter three and see where that gets me. My expectations are exactly what they were last year, none. I don’t expect anything in life, put the hard work in and results might appear but equally don’t be disheartened if they don’t appear on your guidelines. Everyone has a different agenda and it is all about marrying the two up rather than forcing the issue.
My goals next year are to get more of my products into retail, drive more sells through the website, get regular time on markets and give myself at least one day off a week. This last objective is one that sits with me the most. Like most business owners, having a day off is probably the hardest thing to do during the week but without that day off, my health could be affected. I could completely burn myself out and thus lose my appetite to work. After the madness of Christmas, a little me time will go a long way.
So, here’s to the last few days of 2019, the passing of another decade and looking forward to the future. I raise a glass to all those who have helped me get this far and look forward to the new opportunities life will offer me.
Happy New Year!