January blues


Prairie Girl Bakery Ltd. was incorporated on August 10, 2010 and in the decade since, I’ve never thought, “I think I’m done here”.
Until this Christmas.
As this holiday season wound down, I had a persistent thought, “This just isn’t fun anymore”.
I started to think about the best way to exit the business.
As I write this, it’s January 22nd and I feel entirely differently so I want to reflect on what’s changed and why I felt that way in the first place.
These are my thoughts as to why I ended up in a really negative mindset:
1. I was super tired but just kept going. One 3-day period in December involved a party at the house for long-time friends, a trip to Montreal with Andrew to attend a work event for him, and the PGB team party. I could barely stay awake at the PGB party and even snapped at the Christmas Elf we hired. OMG.
2. I over-planned the festivities with the family, including fancy menus and the perfect place to go for dinner. Too much.
3. A couple of nagging questions on my mind about the business plan for 2020 weren’t resolved before the holidays.
4. I drank more than is good for me, stopped exercising, ate poorly and as a result of these things, started tossing and turning at night. Although the holiday season is supposed to be when we loosen up and enjoy ourselves, after a couple of weeks, it’s not so good.

Looking back over the last few weeks, the things that definitely helped turn my attitude around were:
1. Well, the reverse of #4 above: took a break from drinking, went back to my usual healthy diet, started exercising again.
2. Booked 4 sessions with a therapist I haven’t seen for a couple of years but who knows me well. Talking to Julia always really helps me gain perspective.
3. With the fierce PGB finance team led by Carly, addressed head-on the PGB 2020 Plan issues that were keeping me up at night.
4. Talked things through with my trusted advisors- Andrew and Marilyn, the latter having pithy advice like, “You know, kiddo, even though you own Prairie Girl, it is still a JOB, and jobs are supposed to suck sometimes”. Thanks MDP, you always give it to me straight.
5. Started some projects that have big creative aspects because creative work energizes me.
6. Worked on my Rotman Commerce Women’s Initiative speech (coming up Saturday!) because sometimes in the process of advising and inspiring others, you can end up advising and inspiring yourself.

Anyway, that’s been my January experience and I wanted to share it because this blog is called, Reflections on Being an Entrepreneur, and one thing an entrepreneur has to do is manage her unruly mind.

Happy thought to end: January is nearly over…Valentine’s Day is coming!

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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