Friday, October 22, 2010

Confessions, and then some

For a very long time I have wanted to launch a business. I have hundreds of ideas swirling in my head (not all of them good, mind you) and a huge desire to go out and be my own boss. Circumstances didn't allow for it until now. But more than that, I was in my own way.

I have big ideas. I have big vision. And that actually can really hinder the process when it is unrealistic to start big. It was so hard for me to imagine starting small. It never felt right. I never thought I would be satisfied to have only a piece of the vision realized, not always as perfect as I imagined.

Motherhood has taught me to let go of perfectionism. Mostly to keep my sanity (and that of my family's) but also because I don't want my daughters to grow up feeling that they aren't perfect enough for me. I grew up with a mother that is a perfectionist. And in many ways it was good because some of my strong qualities come from her- attention to detail, a desire to do something well, high expectations of myself. But what I have learned is that perfectionism is exhausting, pointless (because nothing will ever be perfect), and takes our focus away from the present.

When I worked for Starbucks, we talked about "one cup at a time". The idea was that there is purpose in focusing on serving one single cup of coffee and doing it well. That has really stuck with me and I like thinking about that when I sell one tasty marshmallow at the Baker's Market. My very first sale at my last market date was to a very nice couple. They said part of the reason they were buying from me is that I was the first person to speak to them. I was simply present.

My intention with my children and now with my new "baby", Kimberley's Kitchen, is to be present, accept what is right in front of me, and accept myself exactly as I am in this moment. It isn't easy. Believe me. But the pursuit of being present instead of perfect has allowed me to accept the small vision, the little successes. And it makes me a better businesswoman because I am genuinely thrilled to fill a small order that hopefully will bring some joy and delight to a family. One marshmallow at a time.

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