I had a very brief meeting with Michelle from The Business of Baking at ProBlogger 2015 at an SEO Roundtable Talk and I have to say that although our meeting was brief, I thought she was an extremely lovely woman, we shared a couple of laughs and am so glad to be able to interview her today.
Tell us a little bit about your blog (or business)
The Business of Baking is a site for bakers and decorators who are interested in making a living from their edible art. Some people read it to be inspired, others for the practical and doable advice it contains – but all of us are untied by our shared love of creating beautiful sweet things that people enjoy eating. I started writing the blog after ten years of owning my own custom cake business. A few years ago the industry really exploded with a whole lot more cake and food TV shows as well as loads more way to learn online. As a result, the number of people wanting to go into business with those new found skills has increased enormously and I could see a need for business information to get out there in a wider way.
What do you love most about your blog (or business)?
I started writing it with the intention of it inspiring and educating other people to follow their passions into business, and it’s doing exactly that. What I did not expect was that the readers of the blog would in turn inspire and educate me as a writer and teacher and yet they do that every single day. That shared support and knowledge is motivating for all of us.
What’s the hardest lesson you’ve learned?
I didn’t really understand that some people don’t want to put in the effort to succeed, no matter how much the information is there to help them do it. I thought if I provide the information in a way that’s easy to understand, doable and accessible, everyone will be willing to put in the effort to get things done. The expression, “You can lead a horse to water but not make him drink,” sums it up. There will always be people who – for many, many reasons – can’t or won’t take the help which is provided. That’s totally okay but it took me a while to learn not to be frustrated by it, especially when I know they have the talent and potential there. Being in business isn’t for everyone.
What’s the one piece of golden piece of advice you could offer other women?
That saying no is one of the most precious gifts you can give yourself. I mean this in two ways – firstly saying no to the things we simply do not want to do. As women we are natural people pleasers so we tend to take on too much and stretch ourselves far too thin. Secondly, saying no to things like customers being rude or unreasonable, or being treated poorly by others. Often we don’t stand in our own strength, so I’d like all of us to be able to say, “No, that’s not okay,” a bit more often.
Do you believe women can have it all? Why or why not?
I think the concept of work/life balance is bullshit – a crazy unattainable ideal that women use to beat themselves up about. First I think we need to decide for ourselves what “all” actually is, and then go about getting it, one by one. I think we can have it all, just maybe not all at the same time and maybe not to the same level of completeness. At different stages of your life and career your ‘all’ is different. When my kids were small I wanted different things than I want now. For me, life is about adventures and change and differing priorities – if I had it all, truth is I’d probably be laying on the couch in an exhausted coma.
Top time-management tip?
If you work from home, treat it as a job with an actual start and end time and a lunch hour. I get WAY more done that way and my time with my family is just that, time with my family so I don’t feel like I work 24/7 even though my office is only a few steps away.
What makes you happy?
Sunshine – that which comes from the sky and that which comes from within. Oh, and good cookies.
If I were prime minister of Australia for a day, I’d…
Fly First Class on the longest international flight Qantas offers. It won’t be my only chance to do that, but the only chance to do it without having to wait in a queue to board. One day isn’t long enough to enact any lasting change so at least this way I’ll enjoy myself!
Describe yourself in five words.
Driven, Tall, Motivating, Emotional, Wordy
Fave app: Calm – it’s a meditation app that I need to use more often!
Last person/page I followed on social media: Elspeth McLean, an incredible dot painting artist
Three things in my bag I can’t live without: Tissues, nail file, and way way way too many pens
Last book I read: Fiction: I read about 2-3 novels a week. Too many to list! Non-Fiction: Rising Strong by Brene Brown
Quote I love: “If you always do what you always did, you’ll always get what you’ll always got.” – that quote reminds me to find solutions instead of look to assign blame or get stuck in a rut.
Follow Michelle over at her blog www.thebizofbaking.com