All day long as I chopped carrots in the commercial kitchen so that I could turn them into delicious spciy pickles, the song that I remember from Sesame Street was playing over and over in my mind. Some days it is a positive feeling, like today. It feels good to break with what is expected or what I have always done and do something that is more of a passion than a career path.
But then there are the dark days, when I wonder what the hell I am doing. That was yesterday. While I sat at my breakfast bar trying out the pineapple jam I made the evening before I decided to catch up on some reading on my ipad while I drank my tea and ate my toast. I stumbled upon this article titled '3 Reasons Not to Start a Food Biz'. I should have shut it down right there. But as the saying goes, Curiosity Killed The Cat. It didn't quite kill me but it sure was a punch in the gut on a Monday morning.
If you don't feel like reading it, I will summarize in my own words:
- It is a horrible time to enter the artisan food market
- the market is over saturated
- margins suck on preserves
- farmers markets are expensive to participate in
- major retailers aren't interested in you
- your current job is easier
After repeatedly bashing my head on the table for several minutes after reading that article, I decided that the best course of action was to walk away from it and come back to it in a couple of hours and see if I could pull something positive out of it.
The first time I went back to it, I clicked through to another article listed at the bottom of this article which had tips for startups and pulled the positive that there is still room for people making good basic jams. I can make good basic jams. So yah - positive. But that nagging awful feeling still stuck with me.
So again today, I re-read the article and this time after a day in the kitchen, even with an aching back, sore feet and a whack of dishes still to be washed, I found a positive even more encouraging than the 'basic jam' positive from yesterday.
What was that positive you ask? Well let me tell you :). It was that this article focuses on people who want to take the road most travelled. But there are other "out of the box" routes that I don't think have been explored in the same over saturated way. This made me smile. This made me feel good about chopping carrots for 5 hours and having orange fingers.
So remember - when something comes up that takes the wind out of your sails, it is up to you to change direction or paddle for an hour or two until you come upon a different wind that will take you where you need to go.