Hobbyists (Business Wanna-Be's): How Do You Not Burn Out?

Decorating By clovely Updated 22 Apr 2009 , 2:54pm by loriana

clovely Posted 20 Apr 2009 , 11:00pm
post #1 of 30

I do not do this for a business - I'm in a state that does not allow baking from home. Such a bummer!! I really love doing the cakes that I do. I find it impossible to turn down a challenge or something cute or that gets my creative juices going. But I'm just covering my costs - AT BEST! I go in waves where I get bombarded with requests from friends of friends of friends.

I did a cake for a friend's daughter's birthday on Saturday. My friend is getting bombarded with calls and emails today asking for my number. I ran into one person from the party, a casual acquaintance of mine, who asked me to do her son's cake in a few weeks...I instantly got a cute idea talking to her so I'm all excited about it! But I've got myself pretty booked up the next few weeks and, again, this is not a business - so the rest of my life goes on hold, dh rolls his eyes, and I spend hours and hours in the kitchen to make someone else's child happy (who I hardly know).

Is there anyone in my shoes who's found a balance? How do you say no? If it were a business and I was feeling over-booked, I could just up the price. Legally, I can't do that . . . which is probably why I'm such an attractive baker - I'm CHEAP (at cost) because I legally have to be. But I'm a sucker for a cute theme or a fun idea. But I do wear myself out when it gets out of control. I feel like that's where I'm heading again.

SOMEBODY STOP ME!

Cynthia

29 replies
KitchenKat Posted 21 Apr 2009 , 1:00am
post #2 of 30
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so the rest of my life goes on hold, dh rolls his eyes, and I spend hours and hours in the kitchen to make someone else's child happy (who I hardly know).




It sounds to me like although you love doing cakes it has started affecting your family and your relationship with your dh and puts you under a lot of pressure. If you're doing this for free or at cost, is it worth it? If it is then great but if not, why are you still doing it? Is there any other way where you can continue doing what you love without having be under such pressure?

I've been on all sides of a fence - if the fence has 3 sides. Used to be part of our family-owned chain of bakeshops, then as a legal home-based business and now as a hobbyist. Obligation kept me in the first til my dh's job took us to another country. As for having my own business I knew I had to stop when dh started grumbling that he never brought work home whereas his wife was on perpetual overtime and my 4 boys constant refrain was "you're always working". Now I'm much happier doing the occasional cake for family and friends. I usually offer to give a cake for free on their special occasions but sometimes friends will want a cake and they always insist I sell it to them (I have nice friends icon_biggrin.gif ). I tell them to pay for or buy the ingredients and if they really want to compensate me for my time and effort, they can get me something from my wishlist. On it are items not necessarily cake related, with a wide price range like books or a necklace from the flea market, or a container for my icing tips. Other friends have offered something in exchange for the cake like making us dinner or giving me something they handmade too. For me it solves the problem of pricing, it saves my friends from the feeling like they're asking for a huge favor and it also saves them from feeling embarrassed to ask for a cake in the future. I don't feel taken advantage of at all. Making cakes makes me happy and I see this as a win-win situation for all of us.

Mind you I do this only for my friends; not friend of a friend, not anyone I don't have a close, personal relationship with. I only make cake for people I wouldn't hesitate to give a free cake to. So I can truly say I do this for the love of friends & family, for the love of cake and as a hobby. My friends know to warn me way in advance if they're gonna ask for cake so I can fit it into my sched. I never take on more than what I can leisurely and pleasantly handle. If it's a particularly busy week I just say sorry I can't do it and they understand.

Caking is my "me" time. It's my creative outlet. I'm glad I've found the balance between it and family time.

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I do not do this for a business - I'm in a state that does not allow baking from home........If it were a business and I was feeling over-booked, I could just up the price. Legally, I can't do that . . . which is probably why I'm such an attractive baker - I'm CHEAP (at cost) because I legally have to be.




One thing I'd like to point out, and I mean this in the nicest way possible, when you trade your cakes for money to people you're technically "in business". You're not supposed to accept payment at all. Legally you can't even charge at cost. (Where i live homebaking is okay so I'm not doing anything illegal by bartering my cakes, which in effect is what I'm doing.) It's been said many times but I'll say it again: undercharging hurts the industry and selling cakes illegally exposes you to a boatload of potential problems. 'Nuff said. It's tough but at the very least I would limit my cakes to close friends and family only and make them as gifts or favors.

As a business, you can't jack up your price just cos you're feeling overwhelmed. You would have to learn to say no. Doesn't matter if you do it as a hobby or have a swanky store, bottom line is sometimes we just have to turn cake away. "I'm sorry I can't take your order/request because we're fully booked/my schedule is just too filled up."

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But I do wear myself out when it gets out of control. I feel like that's where I'm heading again.

SOMEBODY STOP ME!




Awareness of the problem is the first step to recovery icon_biggrin.gif Only you can stop yourself, if you really want to.

indydebi Posted 21 Apr 2009 , 2:02am
post #3 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by clovely

I'm CHEAP (at cost) because I legally have to be.



Huh? That makes no sense. If you're not legal then you can only charge a little price? But if you're legal you can charge more? I'm confused..... icon_confused.gif

adven68 Posted 21 Apr 2009 , 2:32am
post #4 of 30

I agree with theCasualKitchen. Don't do any cakes that will stop you from being with your family. Nothing will come of it excet resentment from your DH, children, and then, eventually, yourself.


edited becasue what I wrote was already said...I read through too fast....sorry

clovely Posted 21 Apr 2009 , 1:47pm
post #5 of 30
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Originally Posted by indydebi

Quote:
Originally Posted by clovely

I'm CHEAP (at cost) because I legally have to be.


Huh? That makes no sense. If you're not legal then you can only charge a little price? But if you're legal you can charge more? I'm confused..... icon_confused.gif




"cheap (at cost)" meaning I keep track of what I spent to do it and that's what I tell them. I do it for fun and they can reimburse me. I've thought about making a list and having them go get the stuff for me but I'm too much of a control freak for that, I know it wouldn't be right.

I should reign it in and make my circle of friends smaller and more selective. It's when someone comes to me with a neat idea or something I'd like to try that I can't say no. I'm a sucker.

JenWhitlock Posted 21 Apr 2009 , 2:50pm
post #6 of 30

I know exactly how you feel.
I have a tough time saying no - but I'm getting much better at it!
(I was at a church retreat complaining to the priest that I need to find balance and he told me to learn to say NO - ok got the message icon_rolleyes.gif )
anyway here's where I'm at:

first of all, you are accepting money so you are already operating illegally. So am I - I'm working on a way around it, but not there yet. so, you should charge what you are worth - see the CC forum for the multitude of reasons why. this is what I do, and it limits my orders right off the bat.

next you should think about your schedule and your family - have a calendar with you when ever you take an order.
I will only take one a week. and after thinking about it long and hard I decided that I would only take cookie and cupcake orders. (I can budget my time better with small items, I can pick them up and put them down much easier). When my youngest goes to school, cake will be my job and I can work then. I have turned down a bunch of orders, which is so hard, but I am so relieved after. also, now I have time to make great cakes for my family (it used to be that my family always got lame cakes and customers got cool cakes icon_confused.gif )

good luck! it's a hard decision to make, but once you do you will feel so much better! (and enjoy your cakes more!)

clovely Posted 21 Apr 2009 , 2:57pm
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I just got another message from someone who was at the party I went to this weekend. I know she's looking for May and May's just too busy for me as it is so I'm telling this lady no. She said it was the best tasting cake she's ever had so I'll let her know I'm happy to give her the recipes I used (I got them from here) and she can have at it. Watch, she'll have some amazing cute theme or idea! Gotta be strong!

TexasSugar Posted 21 Apr 2009 , 8:18pm
post #8 of 30

In my opinion the number one reason for cake burn out: Pricing!

If you are spending hours in the kitchen away from your life, husband, kids making a cake for someone you don't even know that you are not making any money off the cake or your time, you will begin to resent that time away from your family and your life. I think it is a totally natural feeling.

TexasSugar Posted 21 Apr 2009 , 8:30pm
post #9 of 30
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Originally Posted by indydebi

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Originally Posted by clovely

I'm CHEAP (at cost) because I legally have to be.


Huh? That makes no sense. If you're not legal then you can only charge a little price? But if you're legal you can charge more? I'm confused..... icon_confused.gif




Okay I replied before I read all the replies, and I wanted to say something along these lines, but then didn't because I didn't want to get into the whole legal vs illegal issue. But since Indy opened that can or worms... icon_wink.gif

If you are receiving any money off a cake, even if it is a donation or just cost of supplies, you are doing cakes illegally. It doesn't change the fact that you are 'breaking the law' because you aren't making any additional money off it than what you put in to the cake or because you are making such a small amount. Even if you only got paid $1 you sold a cake.

If you are comfortable doing cakes outside of the legal limits you really need to spend some time thinking about what you and your time is worth and charge accordingly. If you are going to get money while doing this illegally it doesn't mean you have to be the 'cheap baker'. I think that actually gets you more attention for baking cakes than other wise.

Take away the legal/illegal issues, do you really want to be the cheap baker that barely charges anything for her works of art? Or do you want to make what you are worth and feel a lot better doing the cakes?

adven68 Posted 21 Apr 2009 , 9:08pm
post #10 of 30
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Originally Posted by TexasSugar

If you are receiving any money off a cake, even if it is a donation or just cost of supplies, you are doing cakes illegally. It doesn't change the fact that you are 'breaking the law' because you




Not to stir the pot...I really don't want to stir this pot! But, if that holds true for cakes, is, let's say, my mom breaking the law if I buy her ingredients to make me a spinach pie that only she can make so delish?
Just curious where the line would be drawn...

TexasSugar Posted 21 Apr 2009 , 10:29pm
post #11 of 30

Let me just say I do cakes for family and friends, in one of those non home baker friendly states and get paid to do it. While I know it is illegal I'm not going to go through the steps of becoming legal to do the few cakes I do a year for those in my inner circle.

So do I care if you buy the supplies for momma to make you something. Nope not at all. My mom does that with me to make desserts for family functions.

I do not know where the 'people in charge' of the rules draw the line in the sand and since every state and county has different rules that line probably moves around depending where you are.

I said my comment the way I did because if for some reason the health department came knocking on the door, they aren't gonna turn and walk away just cause you aren't making any money off the cakes. Chances are no matter what you are making they are gonna be unhappy about cakes being sold from a non legal kitchen.

I don't think legal vs illegal or hobbyist vs business owner should factor into the price you charge for a cake.

auntmamie Posted 22 Apr 2009 , 12:19am
post #12 of 30

Ok, this is probably going to stir the pot. And I'm sorry if I am - not what I mean to do.

I am in a state that allows home baking, unlicensed, up to $125 a week. For now, I am sticking to those rules. That is the law, and I'm not about to go above that. However, I just found this out a few weeks ago, and until then, wouldn't sell cakes. Period. I didn't want to sell a cake illegally. I still have some guilt over not being licensed/inspected, but it's not a feasible option for me right now. And, I can't sell to anyone serving their cake at a licensed establishment (retaurant, hotel, country club, etc.)

I do have to say that my pricing is on the low end - $2 for BC, $3 for Fondant, with a la carte pricing. This is what is helping me get customers. I figure that when I get licensed, I will have a good customer base to go on.

For a while, I was either doing cakes for cost or free for friends, and I was getting extremely stressed, mostly over the "I gave you money, give me a CCC". Please, listen to what has been said above, and realize that the best way to stress yourself out of the baking world is to keep doing cakes for free. There are many ways to get legal - try looking at renting commercial space, or getting your home kitchen licensed, if that's an option.

Good luck!

Mizuki Posted 22 Apr 2009 , 12:43am
post #13 of 30
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Originally Posted by TexasSugar

In my opinion the number one reason for cake burn out: Pricing!

If you are spending hours in the kitchen away from your life, husband, kids making a cake for someone you don't even know that you are not making any money off the cake or your time, you will begin to resent that time away from your family and your life. I think it is a totally natural feeling.




Yes! This is it! This is perfectly on point.
I have been where you are and have quit. Yup...I gave it up and quit. I just couldn't take it anymore. I couldn't charge what I thought I should because I was terrified that I'd get caught, but in my state there is absolutely no friggin' way I could become legal without throwing my family under the bus. So, I sold for a while at a cheaper cost and burned myself out. People wanted "Ace of Cakes" for less $ than the grocery stores and I was doing it. thumbsdown.gif (Well.. no where near "Ace" quality, but non-cakers didn't really notice.... icon_rolleyes.gif) When you will do just about anything anyone wants and not charge for your time and talent, you'll get taken advantage of...big time.
I have since stopped selling and now donate to a local women's shelter and church. I still do the occasional cake for my hair stylist and babysitter....but that's about it.
If you can't be legal, I'd suggest you stop or only bake for a selective few. Not because I'm fighting the whole legal/non-legal fight, but because you aren't able to get what you need from the situation. You are depriving your family and yourself and it's just not worth it. Find places that you can donate cakes to feed your fix while you are looking for the legal pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. icon_wink.gif
Good luck! I wish you the best! thumbs_up.gif

Arriva Posted 22 Apr 2009 , 12:57am
post #14 of 30

TexasSugar, I think you are right on the money -- no pun intended. My brother asked me to make a cake for him to give to one of his customers. I only charged him $20. He and his company and customer loved the cake. He asked for another a couple of weeks later and he voluntarily paid me $40. When he asked for another one, I went to great pains to do a "cake top size" FBCT of their logo. For one thing, that was only my second FBCT, and my first one to make the size of the 9x13 cake. I was exhausted and happy with the cake. He paid me $20. I was offended, but it was MY fault because that's what I charged him the first time !! My bad feelings are only because of the money, I was happy right up to the point when he handed me the money.

CakesByLJ Posted 22 Apr 2009 , 1:04am
post #15 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by clovely


Is there anyone in my shoes who's found a balance? SOMEBODY STOP ME!

Cynthia




Cynthia... Why do you feel that your cakes must be SOLD to be valuable? Believe me, they are priceless when you make them with the love you have of decorating, and love you are giving to the recipient.. You can always find a reason for baking and decorating cakes.. I never run out of reasons.. icon_smile.gif Just do the cakes you want to do.. family, close friends, gifts, pot lucks, not to mention the cake shows if you really want to challenge yourself. icon_smile.gif The very best payment of all is my Grandson telling everyone proudly that his Grammy is the best baker in the whole world.. Priceless thumbs_up.gif

KitchenKat Posted 22 Apr 2009 , 1:10am
post #16 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by TexasSugar

In my opinion the number one reason for cake burn out: Pricing!

If you are spending hours in the kitchen away from your life, husband, kids making a cake for someone you don't even know that you are not making any money off the cake or your time, you will begin to resent that time away from your family and your life. I think it is a totally natural feeling.




The more I think about this, the more agree. Though I made good money with my cakes and treats, and they were well priced, in the end the money just wasn't worth the stress and the time away from family.

indydebi Posted 22 Apr 2009 , 1:11am
post #17 of 30
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Originally Posted by CakesByLJ

The very best payment of all is my Grandson telling everyone proudly that his Grammy is the best baker in the whole world.. Priceless thumbs_up.gif [/i]




Happened just last week. Granddaughter's birthday is next month. My daughter said she was just going to buy a cheapo cake and be done with it. BUT ..... granddaughter told her "Tell Banna I've decided she's making a Jonas Brothers cake for me this year." (she's DECIDED! icon_lol.gificon_lol.gif )

Now I just gotta find out what the heck a Jonas Brother is! icon_eek.gif

And the BEST compliment is when her mommy's lemon cookies aren't good enough for Santa. SANTA only likes BANNA'S lemon cookies! She's actually afraid her presents won't be as good if there aren't any Banna's Lemon Cookies on the plate for The Big Guy! (heh heh heh heh! icon_twisted.gif )

Can't put a dollar value on that one! thumbs_up.gif

KitchenKat Posted 22 Apr 2009 , 1:25am
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CakesByLJ wrote:
The very best payment of all is my Grandson telling everyone proudly that his Grammy is the best baker in the whole world.. Priceless [/i]




Completely agree. That's exactly how I feel now that I'm no longer doing it for the money. All the love i put into a cake comes back to me tenfold!

icon_biggrin.gifthumbs_up.gif

rockysmommy Posted 22 Apr 2009 , 1:31am
post #19 of 30

icon_biggrin.gif This is just a hobby for me...do not sell my cakes. I don't feel that I am good enough to do that. I have friends who have offered to back me financially if I ever want to open a shop. I enjoy making the cakes right now for practice...and don't have a problem saying "No." Well...my grandchildren love Grammy's cake...so that is always a go...LOL!

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Lady_Phoenix Posted 22 Apr 2009 , 1:36am
post #20 of 30

I live in Indiana, where we are waiting on the passage of a law that would allow me to bake from home. I LOVE to bake, and decorate, so I do it for free. I have a chapter of Free Cakes for Kids, where my cakes are custom made for kids who would not be able to have one otherwise. I get referrals from the local schools, and bake for q local foster shelter. No money is exchanged, but the looks on the childs faces when they see THEIR cake makes me rich beyond measure! Burned out? Not me.

CakesByLJ Posted 22 Apr 2009 , 1:41am
post #21 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lady_Phoenix

I live in Indiana, where we are waiting on the passage of a law that would allow me to bake from home. I LOVE to bake, and decorate, so I do it for free. I have a chapter of Free Cakes for Kids, where my cakes are custom made for kids who would not be able to have one otherwise. I get referrals from the local schools, and bake for q local foster shelter. No money is exchanged, but the looks on the childs faces when they see THEIR cake makes me rich beyond measure! Burned out? Not me.




That is a wonderful way to give back Lady_Phoenix~! thumbs_up.gif It's a win-win for both of you.. icon_smile.gif

indydebi Posted 22 Apr 2009 , 1:43am
post #22 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lady_Phoenix

I live in Indiana, where we are waiting on the passage of a law that would allow me to bake from home.



Not too sure ... the bill has been re-written and it appears you can bake or make jams/jellies from home if you sell in a flea/farmers market. It appears the "sell from home" has been deleted from the bill.

rockysmommy Posted 22 Apr 2009 , 1:49am
post #23 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lady_Phoenix

I live in Indiana, where we are waiting on the passage of a law that would allow me to bake from home. I LOVE to bake, and decorate, so I do it for free. I have a chapter of Free Cakes for Kids, where my cakes are custom made for kids who would not be able to have one otherwise. I get referrals from the local schools, and bake for q local foster shelter. No money is exchanged, but the looks on the childs faces when they see THEIR cake makes me rich beyond measure! Burned out? Not me.




God Bless You! thumbs_up.gif I need to find out if there is anything like that here that I can do...


icon_wink.gif

cricket0616 Posted 22 Apr 2009 , 1:54am
post #24 of 30

Thanks to all of you for the food for thought. I have been baking cakes for my family and friends for years. Recently I made a Sweet Sixteen cake for my best friends daughter's birthday as her present. Tonight I get a call from one of her friend's mom asking me to make her daughter's cake. Last week I bake cookies for my son's baseball game and had a Mom ask me to make her godchild's 1st birthday cake. Obviously, I am so flattered that someone would want me to make a cake and pay me. Plus it has been a dream to open a bakery one day. Unfortanately, my state does not allow in home bakeries, so I have been faced with the dilemia of saying "no" or doing this illegally. It is difficult situation. I don't want to do this where it consumes my life, but I really enjoy it. When my family is watching TV at night, I can't sit still. I bake. I don't know now if I want to open this pandora's box.

TexasSugar Posted 22 Apr 2009 , 2:57am
post #25 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by sugarnspice1981

I am in a state that allows home baking, unlicensed, up to $125 a week. For now, I am sticking to those rules. That is the law, and I'm not about to go above that....

I do have to say that my pricing is on the low end - $2 for BC, $3 for Fondant, with a la carte pricing. This is what is helping me get customers. I figure that when I get licensed, I will have a good customer base to go on.




I'm gonna borrow your post for an example. You just put in some numbers so I'm gonna use them to explain my point a little more.

You can treat the $125 in two ways. You can say I can't go above that in a week, so I'll give really low prices and be able to please several people in one week or I can give a nice price and only do one cake.

Lets just say all cakes in this example serve 30 people.

You can do 4 cakes at $30 ($1 per serving) for $120 total
Or do 3 cakes at $40 ($1.34 per serving) for $120
Or do 2 cakes at $60 ($2 per serving) for $120 total
Or do 1 cake at $120 ($4 per serving) for $120 total

If you only do $1 a serving you spending four times the amount of time and money making the 4 cakes at $120 total than you would on the one cake at $120.

Not only are you having to buy 4x the ingredients, but you are also running your oven 4 times as long, having to wash things 4 times as much, making 4 times the amount of icing, cooling, torting and icing 4 times, decorating 4 times.

Even if your area doesn't support $4 a serving, you can still do $2 servings and save yourself half the time.

And on a side note if you have plans of doing the business route, even if you focus on building a customer following now, you have to remember you are building a $2 customer base. So when you do get get license and ready to raise your prices, you will lose some and have a lot more question why the cost changes.

And please don't feel like I'm picking at your $2 a serving because I don't mean to, since that is what I am charging my family. I just wanted to give you a little food for thought. icon_smile.gif

Over my years on cake message boards, between this one and another one I've been on cake boards for over 6 years, I have seen numerous awesome cake decorators get burned out and quit because of pricing issues. This burn out is not limited to home bakers doing it for family and friends either. I have seen ladies that had shops, close up shop and move on just because they did not enjoy doing outrageous cakes designs at Walmart prices.

lardbutt Posted 22 Apr 2009 , 4:31am
post #26 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi


And the BEST compliment is when her mommy's lemon cookies aren't good enough for Santa. SANTA only likes BANNA'S lemon cookies! She's actually afraid her presents won't be as good if there aren't any Banna's Lemon Cookies on the plate for The Big Guy! (heh heh heh heh! icon_twisted.gif )




Haha! Are you SURE you daughter isn't the one who insits the big guy needs YOUR lemon ccokies? She just may have pulled one over on ya!

indydebi Posted 22 Apr 2009 , 12:25pm
post #27 of 30

Texas, that is an excellent illustration! thumbs_up.gif

Messy, my daughter makes the lemon cookies all the time for her family. But at Christmas, granddaughter insists on Banna's cookies! Daughter laughs about how "my lemons are good enough for 'em all year long but not good enough for Santa!"

We've joked about me doing a commercial showing an average christmas morning with other kids ... and showing my granddaughter's christmas loot stacked to the ceiling ... with a caption of "We leave Banna's Cookies for OUR santa!" icon_lol.gificon_lol.gif

lardbutt Posted 22 Apr 2009 , 12:29pm
post #28 of 30
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Originally Posted by indydebi

Texas, that is an excellent illustration! thumbs_up.gif

Messy, my daughter makes the lemon cookies all the time for her family. But at Christmas, granddaughter insists on Banna's cookies! Daughter laughs about how "my lemons are good enough for 'em all year long but not good enough for Santa!"

We've joked about me doing a commercial showing an average christmas morning with other kids ... and showing my granddaughter's christmas loot stacked to the ceiling ... with a caption of "We leave Banna's Cookies for OUR santa!" icon_lol.gificon_lol.gif



That is such a great idea for a commercial!

Lady_Phoenix Posted 22 Apr 2009 , 2:06pm
post #29 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lady_Phoenix

I live in Indiana, where we are waiting on the passage of a law that would allow me to bake from home.


Not too sure ... the bill has been re-written and it appears you can bake or make jams/jellies from home if you sell in a flea/farmers market. It appears the "sell from home" has been deleted from the bill.




Oh now THAT sucks!!! Oh well, just means more cakes for kids! icon_lol.gif

loriana Posted 22 Apr 2009 , 2:54pm
post #30 of 30

Hey Cynthia!

I just wanted to encourage you too! I won't comment on the payment topic since it is really explosive on CC, but I thought I would say something about burn-out...

I teach Wilton method classes and see lots of enthusiastic students come through and start to burnout by, say Class 3 when their "cousins of a sister-in-law heard about so-and-so and how great her cakes were.. and could she make my daughter's birthday cakes?"... icon_confused.gif

So... just to encourage you on what you already know in your own heart:

1) Make each a labor of love, never compromising on quality because of a busy day or week. Only take on what you can do well.

2) Only take on what you can do without throwing off your personal life-balance. Listen to your DH and close family if they say you seem tired, run-down, irritable, etc... people see things you don't see yourself.

3) only do cakes for those that are close to you until burnout passes.

4) work through it. As you fine-tune your processes in your own kitchen, it becomes easier. You will get faster and faster at making buttercream, royal icing, assembling flowers, etc...

5) Practicing saying "no" without feeling bad. "No" doesnt have to be "No". You know? icon_wink.gif It can be "I'm so sorry, I'd love to but...."

6) Time yourself on steps. Write it down somewhere and when someone asks you to do a certain cake, add up the time it will take to accomplish it. Check with yourself if you are willing to commit to the amount of time it will take, including cleanup.

This should help. Just try to re-establish the balance between having fun, learning and building your portfolio and doing a labor of love for the joy of it.

Balance:
Love of "caking"
Building your skills and portfolio
Your other life with DH and family
Sleep and work

It's a fomula we never all get quite right. That in itself is a trial! icon_rolleyes.gif

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