Last Wednesday (14th May) I (Lauren) finally signed the lease for 31 Rowlands Road and completed on the unit the following day. After what seemed like a lifetime, Baked was in! The next chapter, of what I had been planning for the best part of a year, was about to start.
Cue fireworks and something like a scene from the turn of the millennium? Not quite, rather, cue me feeling massively overwhelmed and generally freaking out (behind a façade of calm and coolness to observers obviously).
I, like all other entrepreneurs I am sure, have a ‘marketing calendar’ that schedules all the major events Baked will promote, topics for blog posts, identifies routes for PR, that kind of thing. A big (think double-highlighted, arrow-pointed, even glitter-penned) event in this calendar was the signing of the lease/getting of the keys. Prior to completion, I had all these wonderful ideas about this blog post I would write that would be full of euphoria, excitement and anticipation at what was to come next.
I could lie and tell you that was exactly what happened, but to be quite honest, the emotions did not really live up to the expectation, or rather were not quite as I had imagined.
On getting the keys I was over the moon that Baked had entered the next stage of its journey – the idea was finally becoming a reality. But as my dad witnessed first-hand, I also felt pretty overcome by the plethora of tasks that lay ahead of me in delivering the plan I had spent so long putting together. A list that just spiralled and spiralled in my head (a list that anyone who knows me will know I had ready to go weeks ago and hence, rationally had little reason to panic).
What is a girl to do when she feels like this? Hide under her duvet watching Game of Thrones for the whole weekend? As much as that did sound like a tempting prospect, I knew it wouldn’t really make me feel any better and it would kinda be running away from the problem.
Rather (and by far the better way of addressing these feelings) I spent time with my family and friends talking through everything (kind of monologue-ing) and realising that nothing was/is insurmountable and it is all going to be fine. Their faith in me is more than enough to keep me going.
At risk of sounding a bit preachy, to anyone going through a similar adventure, or even just feeling slightly overwhelmed, the value of this type of support network cannot be underestimated, not for practical help per se but rather, as an emotional sounding board. A very understanding and patient sounding board. That instinctively knows when you just want to go to the pub and talk.
After a couple of days of grounding myself and reflecting on the past year (and some beer, under the guise of ‘celebrating’) I was ready to go. I realised very early on that setting up a business was not going to always be a magical unicorn filled journey where it is always sunny. There have been, and will continue to be, ups and downs – everyone goes through them. The main thing is to keep on going.
The fit out was to begin.