The job title of Chief Fairy comes with many perks and super powers, as you can imagine. I can magic cakes out of thin air, appearing in the kitchen in the morning mysteriously, whilst everyone has been soundly asleep. I can create entire sculptures made out of Belgian chocolate….look, it’s true!
I can also say yes. I have always been a bit of a “say yes first and figure it out later” kind of person. Without this I doubt I would have gone from working in a countryside French Patisserie to training polo ponies, learning Mandarin in China for a year, taking an office job with a daily 2 hours commute (each way), but a job that also made it happened for my flying phobic husband to join the rest of our family to a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Bermuda…..
It’s not just me saying it. Richard Branson famously said “If someone offers you an amazing opportunity and you are not sure you can do it, say yes. Then learn how to do it later”. I totally agree.
There are so many reasons why saying yes is so,so, soooo good; 9 of which are highlighted here.
But back to the point of Pudding Fairy and my tribulations, building my own artisan business up from scratch. Here are 5 wonderful things that happened last year, just because I said yes without overthinking it:
- The one with the cake decorating class request – One of our friends once gave me a contact name at an exclusive venue in West Sussex, suggesting I might want to show them the cakes I was creating as it might be of interest to them. When I met the lady in question, she loved the cake collection and asked lots of questions about my techniques, style….It was very encourageing for a young business owner like me. She was also really interested in me deliverying bespoke experiences and corporate team building workshops to their guests, across all of their group’s venues. I said “Yes, of course I can do this” immediately. The first class I organised was nerve racking but the clients loved it. Soon my confidence and creativity starting to grow. I have designed a small collection of seasonal, super fun and interactive patisserie and chocolate related workshops for all levels and abilities. I make sure those can be easily set up at pretty much any event venue, office or kitchen. I have also found out that I love sharing my passion with people through those events. It’s made my days more exciting. I now count the days towards a class or workshop. So a big resounding yes!
- The one with me meeting a prospective bride to be without having a phone conversation first – this one is a typical example of turning a slightly negative event into a really good business success step forward. I normally always talk to brides to be before meeting up with them so I can prepare ideas, costing, hand drawn cake sketches….on this occasion, as the introduction was through an agent and the bride lived on a different continent, I didn’t. I didn’t get the job (so much for saying yes you think…). I wasn’t prepared enough. I didn’t have enough background information to be prepared. It was totally my mistake. But because I said yes and didn’t nail it, I learnt and made 2 key changes: I now never meet someone without having a conversation first. I have also grown a collection of design ideas and specialist magazines, online inspiration and more into a big “cake inspiration bible” I take with me everywhere with great success. Yes!
- The one with the Twitter conversation – I love Twitter. It’s a top platform for meeting people with similar interest to yours, for growing your local business network and sharing point of views. One day, I started chatting with another chocolate addict like me (Twitter handle @Saatchi), as we were both looking at a new Godiva chocolate challenge competition. Through this we gradually got to know each other. We ended up meeting at the UK Pastry Open (and AMAZING event where I watched the best patissiers and chocolatiers compete for spaces in the UK Pastry Team for the World Chocolate Championing that take place in my own city of Lyon every other year. watching them inspired me so much to work towards a higher level). We met again when a friend of her, Sarah Barber, opened the first dessert restaurant in Central London at Hotel Café Royal, to sample her delicious treats shortly after the launch. No doubt we will meet up again soon for a catch up at a pastry heaven place somewhere. Yes, yes, oh Yes!
- The one with BakeOff:Creme de la Creme – When the word started going round about a spin-off from Great British Bake Off for proffessional teams, I had only just recently reconverted into my new artisan cake maker path. The whole thing seemed a big, huge stretch for me. I mean, to go out there and compete against the best pastry chefs and chocolatiers in the UK? Wow. Nevertheless, my cousin, his pastry chef and I applied. We thought “qui ne tente rien n’a rien”. For a start we might not make the cut. But we did. And yes it was a challenge, a stretch way beyond what I was expecting from a technical point of view. But I met incredible people and pastry chefs. I learnt more doing this than in a year practicing on my own. And it’s helped me grow my confidence more than I could have dreamt. Some of the chocolate and bespoke cake commissions I have created since for customers’ weddings and celebrations, I would have never attempted them prior to taking part in Creme de la Creme. Would I do it again? Yes!
- The one about the whole Pudding Fairy adventure – although I wasn’t sure I was ready when I left my corporate job to set up Pudding Fairy, I decided to say yes to my instinct. I thought if it doesn’t work I can always go find a job again, but I might not have the chance to try it again later. Whilst the business is still in growing phase and not supporting a full time salary yet, the shoot of success are here, I can see them. My lifestyle is a galaxy away from before, with its ups and its challenges and small sacrifices, and all in all i wouldn’t go back for the world. I love what I do. Yes I do.
So there. Saying yes. A business skill slash super power with considerable impact. And you know the best bit? You can have that super power too. Go on, you know you want to say yes to it.
I’d love to know if ou have also tried to say yes more in your job, work environment or in your personal life even. What has it done for you? Has it worked? Share your stories below in a comment.