I often forget that we get to choose how we react to things.

Last Valentine’s Day when I was going to the  bakery I got stuck in our car elevator (I know, it is weird to have a car elevator) and freaked out on the phone with Andrew. The poor guy was on a plane about to take off and although he asked the flight attendant to let him off, they’d taxied out to the runway and were not about to do that.

Good thing too because after about 45 minutes the elevator rattled into action and I did not perish. The chance of perishing in a ventilated car elevator in a big city is slim to nil, and even if it wasn’t, losing my cool with Andrew wouldn’t have helped.

Anyway, this week I have been thinking about how I react to things after two situations that were arguably more daunting than the  car elevator incident but in which I kept my cool.

The first situation was a fortified-cupcake sales/exploratory meeting with a dietitian. Earlier in the  week we had a super meeting in which we even got an order for a trial run (!) but in the meeting yesterday, nothing was right about our product. Icing, paper liner, cost, size…all wrong.

“Not at this time” was the answer to the  question whether there would be any place for it in their menus and if you’d been there you would agree that this meant,”No, and never ever”.

The second situation was a phone call to a bakery owner in the  GTA who has a nut free bakery. As part of our fortified cupcake/manufacturing project, we want to convert the Yorkville store to nut free and figuring out just the supply chain is proving to be really hard.  So I was calling this bakery an hour from Toronto to see if she would have any thoughts on the nut free supply maze.

“I consider you competition and I don’t choose to help you”, she said, in a tone that implied I had just robbed her store.

Oy vey!

Weirdly, I felt completely calm and even serene in both  of these situations, so much so that I found myself thinking, “Why aren’t I upset or hurt?”. Eventually I realized that after long enough on a difficult project, you get immune to problems, rejection, people who are less than helpful – and this is actually a very good thing! And when something good happens – like when we had really NAILED the product or the Monday morning meeting, wow!! There is this euphoria that is really quite out of touch with reality.

So don’t give up. Things may not get any better for a very long time but eventually it is going to be easier to take :)




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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