get out of your head


With the Markham store’s opening just around the corner, I’ve been thinking a lot about details. At this point, details are all over the place: it seems hourly that someone thinks of another detail.
This detail fixation is great since so much is still in the hands of external parties like health inspectors, city officials, suppliers, tradespeople and the landlord all of whom can say that a missed detail means no-can-do on opening. But our current detail obsession wouldn’t work for every stage of the expansion.A year ago when I decided to expand PGB by opening more stores, it wasn’t the time to get into the weeds and answer thorny questions like,

How many is “more”?
Where will be the first store?
How will we find staff if it is out of the downtown core?
What are the website revisions we will need (lots of those!)?

To ask those questions of myself and wait to take action until I had all those questions (and more) answered would mean I would be – a year later- still thinking it all through.
At the beginning of a big project the best way to get the questions out and answered is to get some momentum going.
Not to sit alone at your desk and think about it.
The first step you take after you decide to do something big can be so small. For this project, last May I sent a note to my friend Lori who has opened two swish offices in the last few years:
“Hey. Do you know any commercial realtors?”
She did and I hired them and they started showing Carly and me possible spots around the GTA.
The good thing about getting some actual activity going that involves people outside your own company (or if you don’t have a business, outside your own head) is that it gives you something official-sounding to talk about. “I’m working with Avison Young to look at future locations” sounds way better than, “PGB might expand”. Mostly it is a mind game for yourself – the more you’re doing and talking, the more likely the idea will seem real to you and the easier it is to keep going. 

Once you sign a lease or hire someone to the team or make a deposit on a website design, things get real very fast – but in the grey area from “big idea” to “I am now legally bound”, it is good to feel productive. Feeling productive leads to thinking of more questions, finding the answers and gradually getting into those pesky details.

If you live in the GTA, we’ll announce our opening day in Markham very soon. Please come visit us, we’d really love to show you our newest store. 


About the author

Jean Blacklock

Jean opened the popular Prairie Girl Bakery in the financial district of Toronto in 2011. She owned and operated the business until it closed in 2021 as a result of the pandemic’s impact on downtown Toronto. Read more about her background in commerce, law, and entrepreneurship here.

By Jean Blacklock


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