Turning something old and tired into something fresh and impactful
What’s it like to be an existing business converting into a new business and essentially recreating what you’ve already started?
You can feel like it is a rebirth of something you’ve already done, along with ideas yet to become reality; ideas that you’ve always been thinking about.
Although you’ve done a lot of groundwork and have some experience already, in many ways it’s just like starting out. You need to ask the basic questions of anyone starting a new business:
- Where is the new location?
- Who’s your clientele going be
- What are your products going be?
- How are you going present them
- Will your local community embrace or accept them?
- Is it the norm, is it unique, is it completely left of field?
Creative ideas are often born from a driven purpose; something that is an expression of who you are and the community around you. For those of you who don’t know me, I’ve been self-employed in business for more than 10 years now, very happy and find it a comfortable place to be, but wanted something bigger than myself.
If you were given the opportunity to be able to do something with a greater impact, what would it be? It’s human nature to search for a deeper meaning in the things we do, and it’s something I’ve been thinking about for a long time; something within my capacity, in my strength and my experience I can use to help make the world a better place.
Sure, I make chocolate and I’m a pastry chef, and a chef feeding people is a good thing. But I wondered how I could make it greater and have a social impact on a bigger scale than just the privileged people that can afford the luxury of buying my products or attending my classes.
In 2018 we started a social enterprise I used to call it “the self-funded aid program.”
Clearly, I was still in my extra green stage, but there’s nothing wrong with that – if there’s something inside of you that wants to do something bigger with what you’re already doing (with food or beyond) – keep exploring that because you just don’t know where it’s going to go.
If your heart’s in the right place, people will see your good intentions and have a greater awareness that you’re trying to do something bigger than yourself and you’re in a position to be able to give, and will be more likely to get on board and see if they can collaborate with you.
With so much involved in the business and the new project, we finally found a new location in Sydney to settle and face the new challenges of getting quotes, getting tradespeople in, returning things that aren’t right, and re-adjusting.
It brings new strengths and new growth for yourself, the people around you and the project that you’re focused on. It can be energising, but it can also be tiring. The trick to overcoming the fatigue is to keep coming back to why you’re actually doing it.
Sometimes people don’t talk about the process, and while it’s always unique and different things will always be challenging to different people, but at the end of the day, short or long term, try not to be afraid of hard work and try to help everybody along the way because it makes a better, more cohesive environment for healthy growth and support.
Like many of you in this business, I wouldn’t be where I am today without the help of others in my network. I’ve been surprised and inspired by how much others in the industry have done and continue to do as the environment changes.
It’s definitely about paying it forward where and when you can.