March is the month where Spring officially begins…and new beginnings emerge! It is always an exciting time for me to reflect on the shorter days of winter, basketball season has closed and our busy season at The Redheads is lurking around the bend! The sun is rising earlier and setting later, more people are out and about, the shadows are staking their claim and even rainbows have been seen dancing! Movement is in the air and this year is one of the biggest steps I have made yet as I am moving our production from our Lake Leelanau location to Traverse City! (Don’t fret folks, the cafe isn’t going anywhere, in fact we will be extending the hours at our LL location:)
Getting through March also is exactly just that as far as business goes, getting through! Every year for the last 19 years (yes! 19 years), I have wondered how I was going to pull off paying the mortgage, along with the gas bill, and first and foremost~ payroll! I remember in the early years, wondering why it was so hard and if it was this hard to do business (especially in Leelanau) why was I doing it! I particularly remember one March about 2002 sitting on the edge of the stage with my head in my hands and my stomach in my throat. Christen decided to take off to NYC for a few months for a change of pace that winter and it was spring break and cleaning time. My Dad was sitting next to me while I gently wept. My Mother then stopped in to say hello and quietly held space for my mini breakdown. I just so desperately wanted the struggle to change. I didn’t understand after all my hard work and dedication, why it wasn’t getting easier.
In reflection now, I can be certain of two things about that time back in 2002 as well as today’s March, 2016. First of all, it was changing. At that point, my sister was in NYC, leaving me to run the show. That had never happened before. I hired two full time employees and a part timer (Michelle and Emily and Emily:) to help me with covering the hours that Christen and I used to fill all by ourselves. It was the first year I started to help Laurie and Jane coach Volleyball…and I made time to do it. I paid myself a minimal salary. I began to have freedoms even when I wasn’t always able to see it that way. Two, I know now that my own limits were playing a part in my struggles. As in, my own relationship to money and how I knew it to be in my life, certainly kept reinforcing what I knew. An though I loved the relationships I was building, loving the county I was living in, and creating a business I believed in, financially I still struggled.
I am now taking a wonderful Entrepreneur class that is helping me re direct my own intentions. I am also getting some really helpful analysis and projections help from other resources. I am taking action, not just asking why, but ready to trust that I am supported financially and the work we are doing at The Redheads really truly matters and we can make a living wage doing it. And that moment lead to this one, and every action I have taken in this business (and life, for that matter) has led me to the next. I want that for me and I want that for my staff. This next step of moving production is a part of that movement and I can’t wait to show you along the way the new kitchen we are building out and the potential for growth we have! (More details in next months blog:)
I sit here is Detroit writing this as I have had four significant sales meetings, and I am heading to Indianapolis tomorrow for another with Kroger. The Cafe is being run by Chef Fig, Jessica is handling day to day operations and such, Craig and Matt have production handled…all while I am on the road seeking to create more accounts to support this new production facility. My, oh my, has it changed. It has been a wonderful 19 years, even through the tears. I am grateful for all the challenges and opportunities for my own growth, along side the businesses. I am thrilled for the new beginnings, and to “March” into new territories. I am honored to be able to frame it all with new angles and perspectives. I am hopeful that I will remember that the journey has always been my goal.
Go get it. March into your “now”. Own it. Live it Sassy.
It is just plain more fun!