Thoughts on starting and running a small business

Boring, Not Boring

Way back in January I resolved to post blogs more frequently, to worry less about having something important to say and to just write about whatever is going on at PGB.

That hasn’t gone so well. My writing has been spotty at best but I’m going to try again at that resolution.

What I’ve been thinking about lately is how I assumed before I opened PGB (7 years and counting) that one day I would find it boring. But that’s not been the case and there’s a few reasons for that.

The most obvious is that since it is my business, I can decide to go down a path and even if it doesn’t work out, trying an idea out is fascinating. When we opened I never imagined having such an array of custom boxes and bags, ongoing new Treats of the Week, the introduction of cakes or an edible printer that makes custom sugar toppers and can print onto cakes. Those are just the tip of the iceberg over 7 years so innovations definitely help keep entrepreneurship interesting.

Another reason is that having a business – even a cupcake business – provides such an interesting lens onto society. Over the last 7 years I’ve seen firsthand how people have become more comfortable with online shopping as our own online orders have increased. Over the past year there has been a real emphasis on marking days of social justice like International Women’s Day and this week’s Day of Pink…at a level that didn’t exist when we first opened. And although the environment occupies a big place in world discussions, ideas we’ve introduced like reusable containers and bags don’t seem to have caught on- no judgment there, just an observation.

The last reason is that I like the people I work with. I learned the hard way when I was in banking that the quickest way to make work unbearable is to have people around who are not nice. As a leader – including a business owner- it can be tempting to have people on the team who are hard to take but “do a great job”. But the stress this creates, over time, just wears you down; it might not lead to boredom exactly, but it would certainly not motivate me as a business owner to stay engaged.

 

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