Five days after my last post, I signed a lease for a new store in Markham. The realtor said that the negotiation period was extremely quick. In my last post I’d complained how long it was taking. It’s not news that I am impatient but interesting that Ali would describe that particular deal as fast. I need to  remember this because pace was also mentioned in a conversation with a person who has built out plenty of chains in the foodservice industry. He said that a big reason for businesses to go under is expanding too quickly without noting the lessons learned from each new store opening.

For example, the Markham store will be PGB’s first suburban store. We have 3 downtown stores and although we can speculate all we want about Markham’s potential, I learned when we opened the Yorkville store that even a distance of city blocks can change everything. So it was good to be reminded of that: my decision to “add more stores” doesn’t need to be achieved in 2019. Better to see how it goes and then look at Mississauga – or wherever else.

On an unrelated topic, the word “intention” has come up for me this fall in two very different ways. It first came up when I listened to a podcast by Tony Robbins in which he mentioned that we can change the experience of an event or situation by thinking in advance about our intention for it.**

For example, if we are going to dinner with a close friend, there are endless topics we could discuss and questions we could ask and maybe that is exactly what we want to do…but if a couple of minutes of reflection result on our real desired intention to be ” lots of laughs and Christmas cheer”, then there may be some topics we decide to hold until the New Year. Thinking about in advance tends to make that approach more likely to happen.

When I remember to do this, it seems to me it works.  An attitude I’ve often had going into events – business and social – is that I’m responsible for everyone having a ‘good or productive time’. But when I’ve decided in advance that my desired intention is to relax, listen and see where things go, it has been interesting to say the least. Try it!

On the next post I will write about the other way in which “intention” has been an often-used word for me in 2018.

**to my BFF Marilyn and others who are just not into personal introspection, you can stop reading here! 



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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