What Starting My Own Cookie Company Taught Me About Facing Challenges
We often see blog posts or articles that boil down the big challenges of life into a single maxim or a digestible metaphor. Hey, we will take anything that will help us manage the chaos that is our modern lives. And I adore these bits of advice, because they take the really big things and make them small and, well, understandable.
But for me, in my own experience — it's the opposite. It's the big things that make the small things easier.
And the truth is, everything I know about cookies, I learned from life.
Starting my own wellness company was a huge task.
Is a huge task.
But it's given me the knowledge I need to take on the small challenges. Here are five big lessons I incorporate into each and every day as I drive my business and mission:
1. Balance is necessary and simultaneous.
It's all a long-term game — you need both play-time and work-time. At Sweet Loren's we love inspiring people to find balance in their own lives — being active and relaxing; eating clean and treating yourself; pushing your own limits and knowing when to ask for help; working long hours and making sure you take a vacation. Success is not about giving things up. The key is matching drive and courage with health and stability, and from there, happiness as you create a thriving business that's fit for longevity. Balance is simultaneous and, like anything you want to become good at, you need to practice it every day.
2. Focus, Focus, Focus.
From practicing balance, I've learned a lot from my hobbies outside of work. Yoga is a big part of my life and it's a beautiful and transferable way to exercise focus. Starting a business inevitably asks the entrepreneur to wear several hats, which can be daunting, exhausting, and downright crazy, all at the same time. If you're able to focus and complete the task at hand, then you can move on to the next problem to solve, and soon, you'll be getting the job done. Try to be in the moment as opposed to getting overwhelmed by the weight of the day, or the big idea you're going after.
3. Endorphins are your best friend.
A yoga class, river run, spinning, cross-fit, or even trapeze can mold focus, harness balance, and clear your mind. For me, a daily workout has been a defining feature of not just managing a wellness business, but any business at all. Being physically active keeps you as an individual healthy and ready for your day. It changes your view on the outside world, boosts energy, makes you feel good, and organically shows you how to incorporate food — good, whole, nutrient dense foods — as fuel. Plus, carrying 50 pound bags of flour around a kitchen isn't always so easy and, believe it or not, taste-testing can take a toll, so having a healthy metabolism and being strong is not just a nice-to-have, it's a must!
4. Wonder at everything.
Creating a business has been spiritual for me as an entrepreneur. Having questions about our place in the universe isn't something that has to live outside of your business either. In fact, it can drive your business. For Sweet Loren's, having a mission to make the world better — through whole, natural ingredients and treats that people feel good about eating — drives us to become the best version of ourselves, and help others find theirs. It's about enjoyment and wonder of the everyday miracles. Feeling grateful to just be on this journey of following my dream makes me enjoy the ride, while having a goal to reach towards.
5. Find the solution.
At the age of 22, I overcame Hodgkins Lymphoma. And I knew that life would never be the same again — and I was right. At the time, I had no idea that that sameness would dissipate into a magical, joyful, wholly different world than before I had cancer. Going through tough times can prove to you your own strength and also shine a light on your own vulnerability. Finding the solution to challenges and expanding the way you think about problems can make life better, more meaningful, and even more fun. And both sides of the coin, fortitude and temporality, are excellent motivators. You could even say, that like in the first lesson — they balance each other out.