I Said "no" And It Feels Great

Decorating By KitchenKat Updated 27 May 2011 , 6:15pm by Phlee330

KitchenKat Posted 18 May 2011 , 3:37pm
post #1 of 26

Just want to share a quick story...

I'm a former business owner but now I'm a hobby baker. I occasionally accept requests for cakes but only from a select circle of friends and acquaintances. I don't make a profit. I just do it for the love of cake and only if I have the time and the desire.

A friend begs and begs to order a "simple" cheesecake for the 28th of May. I'm busy but I give in. She initially wanted chocolate transfers ala Whimsical Bakehouse on the cake but that was impossible given my schedule. I suggested an edible image, provided she gave me a pdf file of the image exactly as she wants it to appear on the cake, and she agreed. I gave her my timeline which includes 1) I'm going to be traveling from the 20th-25th and 2) I need her graphic by May 15 so that I can put in the order before I leave.

Despite several reminders, I still haven't received her graphic and today I was stressing out over how I'm supposed to get the edible image order done in time. It dawned on me that I shouldn't be stressing over this. It's a favor and she knows it's a favor. She is taking my time and my efforts for granted. If she hasn't made it a priority why should it be my priority? I have a life and I wanna enjoy it, not be a slave to her schedule. (Is my resentment showing? LOL!)

Long story short, I sent her an email saying sorry, there is now not enough time for me to order the image in time for her cake. I feel liberated!

Saying no to friends and family is so much harder than turning down business orders. I'm glad that this time I learned how to say it.

I still haven't grown a full spine yet as I still gave her the option of having the cake, just not the image. (Bangs head on floor!)

25 replies
TexasSugar Posted 18 May 2011 , 3:47pm
post #2 of 26

Congrats! icon_smile.gif

quietude Posted 18 May 2011 , 3:53pm
post #3 of 26

Good for you!

Callmesugar Posted 18 May 2011 , 3:58pm
post #4 of 26

Good for you! Baby steps; I've learned that learning to say No starts small and grows with the good feelings (yes, good although the initial feeling is bad from saying No in the first place) of feeling liberated, not carrying extra stress and resentment, and from actually being able to ENJOY making these cakes. I, myself stress over so many cakes that sometimes I wonder if I've lost sight of why I started (And I haven't even done it that long LOL) icon_smile.gif
Good for you for empowering yourself!!

KitchenKat Posted 18 May 2011 , 4:14pm
post #5 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Callmesugar

Good for you! Baby steps; I've learned that learning to say No starts small and grows with the good feelings (yes, good although the initial feeling is bad from saying No in the first place) of feeling liberated, not carrying extra stress and resentment, and from actually being able to ENJOY making these cakes. I, myself stress over so many cakes that sometimes I wonder if I've lost sight of why I started (And I haven't even done it that long LOL) icon_smile.gif
Good for you for empowering yourself!!




This is exactly how i feel! When we moved to a new place for my dh's job, I took the opportunity to stop my cake business as I was approaching burnout. I'm blessed to have the luxury of making cakes for the fun of it, not because I need to to. I don't want to have the fun sucked out of that!

bakencake Posted 18 May 2011 , 4:17pm
post #6 of 26

Im thinking about printing your post and putting it somewhere where i can look at it all the time. I have the hardest time saying no. even thought i know people are not looking at me and saying what an awesome friend but more like cool now i know i can take advantage.

jenmat Posted 18 May 2011 , 4:32pm
post #7 of 26

Good for you! "No" is sometimes the best word in the English language. It took me a long time to realize that I was waaaay more worried about making people whom I barely know angry than making my own family suffer.

I have a business, so while I can't say NO to a lot of orders, I have given myself the permission to eliminate the guilt when I need to focus on my family.

MaryAnnPriest Posted 18 May 2011 , 4:43pm
post #8 of 26

Your post was inspiring!!! I had a 'friend' (if she was a true friend she wouldn't be taking me for granted!) of mine who is failing on her end in a similar situation. I read your post. Put my big girl pants on. Contacted her & told her I could no longer help her out with this project.

And.....I FEEL GREAT!

Thanks again for your post! icon_smile.gif

cakegirl1973 Posted 18 May 2011 , 4:59pm
post #9 of 26

Good for you! thumbs_up.gif

bakencake Posted 18 May 2011 , 6:44pm
post #10 of 26

Why are we like that? notice how some of us put total strangers above our needs or "friends" and that's with an "" , because we know better than to call them friends, ahead of our needs. Indydebbi once said something like 'we are too polite to say no' and that hit me. still trying to say no and having a hard time but when i read these posts it inspires me.

Coral3 Posted 18 May 2011 , 6:48pm
post #11 of 26

Good on you KitchenKat!

Speaking of 'friends'...does anyone else seem to have things like this happen way too often?

I don't sell cakes, and only make them for family. People know this. I get out of the blue phone calls; "Can I come round for coffee?...it's been ages, we MUST catch up!" from old friends I'm no longer in contact with. I say "Great! Come round, it'd be lovely to see you."

So they visit, and we're having coffee, chatting away catching up as you do...then they say something along the lines of "It's daughter's whatever-th birthday next week. She wants a little mermaid cake. I can't make it! What do you think I should doooo?" About that point I'm thinking "Hmmm...yeah, it was real NICE of you to want to catch up after all this time!"

They KNOW I only make cakes for family, and they're not direct enough to outright ASK me to make it, but I know full well they're hoping I'll offer! Makes me feel real loved, that's for sure. Ha.

bakencake Posted 18 May 2011 , 7:11pm
post #12 of 26

Coral3, this too has happened to me and it makes me feel like s#!!t.

My husband has this friend. Well, him and his wife live in a gated community, drive around in luxury cars and she walks around with fancy-pants purses. btw she's known to be really tight with her money, in fact her husband is the one that buys her her purses and all the fancy things they have, anyhow, one day she asked me to watch her kids because she had something to do. I said fine.

when she came back she told me she would love to take me out to eat as a thank you. well, i've watched her kids before and she never offered so i thought she was coming around. well, we went to lunch and all she talked about was how expensive cakes are for her daughters b-day. well i just agreed.

then she started saying that maybe she would just bake cupcakes and instead of having a b-day party she was just going to take them to her classroom. i told her it was a good idea.

then she waited till i got a little tipsy and brought it up all over again. she said she was thinking of maybe making her daughters cake. well, me being drunk i said that i would go and help her.

I sobered up the next day and cancelled on her. Haven't heard from her since. good riddance.

Coral3 Posted 18 May 2011 , 7:20pm
post #13 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by bakencake

Coral3, this too has happened to me and it makes me feel like s#!!t.

My husband has this friend. Well, him and his wife live in a gated community, drive around in luxury cars and she walks around with fancy-pants purses. btw she's known to be really tight with her money, in fact her husband is the one that buys her her purses and all the fancy things they have, anyhow, one day she asked me to watch her kids because she had something to do. I said fine.

when she came back she told me she would love to take me out to eat as a thank you. well, i've watched her kids before and she never offered so i thought she was coming around. well, we went to lunch and all she talked about was how expensive cakes are for her daughters b-day. well i just agreed.

then she started saying that maybe she would just bake cupcakes and instead of having a b-day party she was just going to take them to her classroom. i told her it was a good idea.

then she waited till i got a little tipsy and brought it up all over again. she said she was thinking of maybe making her daughters cake. well, me being drunk i said that i would go and help her.

I sobered up the next day and cancelled on her. Haven't heard from her since. good riddance.




Wow. She plied you with alcohol to try and get a cake!? icon_lol.gif

bakencake Posted 18 May 2011 , 7:42pm
post #14 of 26

lol! yeah, she knew my weakness. I was like you. I was happy to hear from somebody i haven't heard in a while and was happy to spend time and maybe connect with her. When i realize what her intentions were atfirst it made me feel bad about myself then i thought about it and feel good about not having her in my life

KitchenKat Posted 19 May 2011 , 1:29am
post #15 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Coral3

Quote:
Originally Posted by bakencake

Coral3, this too has happened to me and it makes me feel like s#!!t.

My husband has this friend. Well, him and his wife live in a gated community, drive around in luxury cars and she walks around with fancy-pants purses. btw she's known to be really tight with her money, in fact her husband is the one that buys her her purses and all the fancy things they have, anyhow, one day she asked me to watch her kids because she had something to do. I said fine.

when she came back she told me she would love to take me out to eat as a thank you. well, i've watched her kids before and she never offered so i thought she was coming around. well, we went to lunch and all she talked about was how expensive cakes are for her daughters b-day. well i just agreed.

then she started saying that maybe she would just bake cupcakes and instead of having a b-day party she was just going to take them to her classroom. i told her it was a good idea.

then she waited till i got a little tipsy and brought it up all over again. she said she was thinking of maybe making her daughters cake. well, me being drunk i said that i would go and help her.

I sobered up the next day and cancelled on her. Haven't heard from her since. good riddance.



Wow. She plied you with alcohol to try and get a cake!? icon_lol.gif




Lol indeed but i guess not so funny if it's happening to you.

In a similar way, I sometimes get the feeling I'm only invited to a party so they can get a free cake.

StacyN Posted 19 May 2011 , 1:48am
post #16 of 26

Wow that is so great! I wish I wasn't such a wimp and could say no once in a while! Congrats to you!!!

instant-gratificaketion Posted 19 May 2011 , 2:18am
post #17 of 26

That's awesome! Way to go! I operate (in life in general) by the phrase, "Poor planning/organization on your part does not constitute an emergency on mine!"

Having said that, I stress soooo much for other people...I try not to do it, thinking, "Why do I care if they don't?!?!" Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. I definitely need to print and post this where I can see it every day!

southerncross Posted 19 May 2011 , 2:34am
post #18 of 26

Bravo! It's always tough to say the first "no" and sometimes the response can get down right funny. I'm a hobby baker in a town with no bakery and am always flattered when someone requests that I make them a special cake but once I got a last minute call from from one of those ladies that are oh so common in small rural Southern towns (you know the kind...if I have to explain, you wouldn't understand and if you understood, I wouldn't need to explain)

She wanted the cake in 2 hours and when I said I couldn't possible have the time on such short notice, she straightened up, looked me right in the eye and said "Well, it would behove you to have some cakes in the freezer for just such occasions" then she turned and walked away!

StacyN Posted 19 May 2011 , 2:43am
post #19 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by sharondutton

"Well, it would behove you to have some cakes in the freezer for just such occasions" then she turned and walked away!




That is too hilarious! I know the type!

cabecakes Posted 19 May 2011 , 3:10am
post #20 of 26

It sure is amazing how many more "friends" I have since I started doing designer cakes.

You see, I only bake for friends and family as well. I have more "friends" then I know what to do with. I too have learned how to say no, after the stress started to become to much.

It is very liberating. I have enough stress in my life without adding to it for so called friends. It is true though about it making you feel bad, I've had people at work that have never talked to me before wanting me to make cakes for them (at little to no cost) but like I said, I only bake for friends and family. I won't bake for someone that is a poser in disquise.

indydebi Posted 19 May 2011 , 4:52am
post #21 of 26

what I want to applaud is not just your liberation at being able to say no, but the realization that "if it's not important to them, why am I making it important to me?" I believe THAT understanding is what has to come before the ability to say 'no'.

It's easy (so to speak) to tell someone 'no' but to honestly believe it is the right answer is sometimes tougher. I've seen threads where CCers felt bad because "If I dont' make the cake, the kid won't have a cake for their birthday." Not the baker's problem. mom screwed around and waited until the last minute or missed deadlines. SHE is the one who caused her little diva not to have a cake .... not the cake baker.

So understanding that role is what I applaud for you! It's the real building block of your liberation and independence!!! thumbs_up.gif

Phlee330 Posted 23 May 2011 , 12:45am
post #22 of 26

Ok, so now I feel relieved! I thought this was only happening to me. I have always made cakes for friends as gifts for birthdays or whatever, knowing how expensive cakes can be and this would give them a bigger budget for their party. The people I have always given cakes to have always been super supportive and wonderful.

Lately, however, many other not so close friends and friends of friends have been asking me to do cakes for them. My problem is, they actually expect to receive a $300 cake for the price of a COSTCO cake!

Really? I had one woman ask me to make her a 16" round custom carousel cake complete with fondant horses. When I told her $150 (dirt dirt dirt cheap) she about choked on it. I finally said no, I cannot do this cake for you and invited her to ask any bakery how much they would charge (she would be looking at at least $300!)

It dawned on me that because I am a hobby baker, not a professional bakery, they think they are going to get something for dirt cheap. There is no consideration for the hours of labor, baking time or expense I incur. They simply don't think!

I finally decided that I was losing my "joy" and the reason for it was the attitude that my work and time were not worth much to them. I decided that I would still undercut my cakes compared to local bakeries, but not by much. It simply is what it is. If you don't like my price, then you are welcome to go somewhere else (and still pay more) My time, labor and attention spent away from my family was still worth something to me.

I am now feeling liberated and free from the dread of another "friend" asking me to do a cake and being afraid to price it fairly. I mean fair is fair. I make you a cake that is the prized centerpiece of your special occasion (next to the person of honor of course) and you compensate me accordingly.

Callmesugar Posted 26 May 2011 , 6:09am
post #23 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by KitchenKat

Lol indeed but i guess not so funny if it's happening to you.

In a similar way, I sometimes get the feeling I'm only invited to a party so they can get a free cake."




I COMPLETELY feel like that these days! And I have a huge family too so now it's always seems that I have to bring a cake to dinner and honestly, I don't really mind usually, except that these cakes are expensive and (my mother is the worst for it) the guest list always gets bigger and bigger and BIGGER so I feel like I have to make a bigger cake.

I know I don't have to/shouldn't, but I don't want to feel bad for not making enough. I also don't like how they all assume I want to make a cake to practice my skill (sometimes, yes-true because i am just starting) but also sometimes I have plans. Or don't feel like dishing out x number of dollars for another free cake icon_sad.gif I know I know, you don't even have to say it...

And where do you draw the line on free cakes when you have a large extended family? I have so many aunts, cousins, etc, who do you say no to?
Kinks to work out icon_smile.gif

Woops. That was a bit of a rant. Must be bedtime!

Coral3 Posted 26 May 2011 , 6:21am
post #24 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Callmesugar

Quote:
Originally Posted by KitchenKat

"Lol indeed but i guess not so funny if it's happening to you.

In a similar way, I sometimes get the feeling I'm only invited to a party so they can get a free cake."



I COMPLETELY feel like that these days! And I have a huge family too so now it's always seems that I have to bring a cake to dinner and honestly, I don't really mind usually, except that these cakes are expensive and (my mother is the worst for it) the guest list always gets bigger and bigger and BIGGER so I feel like I have to make a bigger cake.

I know I don't have to/shouldn't, but I don't want to feel bad for not making enough. I also don't like how they all assume I want to make a cake to practice my skill (sometimes, yes-true because i am just starting) but also sometimes I have plans. Or don't feel like dishing out x number of dollars for another free cake icon_sad.gif I know I know, you don't even have to say it...

And where do you draw the line on free cakes when you have a large extended family? I have so many aunts, cousins, etc, who do you say no to?
Kinks to work out icon_smile.gif

Woops. That was a bit of a rant. Must be bedtime!




I have a largish family too...I only make cakes for my (and my husband's) parents & grandparents, our siblings & their spouses, our nieces & nephews. I don't make for my (or my husband's) cousins, aunties & uncles. I don't make free cakes for friends at all. Gotta draw the line somewhere!

KodiSnip Posted 26 May 2011 , 2:37pm
post #25 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Callmesugar



COMPLETELY feel like that these days! And I have a huge family too so now it's always seems that I have to bring a cake to dinner and honestly, I don't really mind usually, except that these cakes are expensive and (my mother is the worst for it) the guest list always gets bigger and bigger and BIGGER so I feel like I have to make a bigger cake...

And where do you draw the line on free cakes when you have a large extended family? I have so many aunts, cousins, etc, who do you say no to?




I laughed - This is so MY FAMILY! I have a huge one family and its my nieces who are the worst - they ask me to bring the cake all the time. If its a planned special event, they get the decorations. if its last minute (which most of the time it is!), I whip out my 13x9 regular pan and they get a cake brought in it with a simple top border. If its way too late like the day before, I simply tell them to order from a grocery store. Its why grocery stores have plenty of iced cakes in their display cases icon_smile.gif

I don't want to stress over making a cake - that's when I make the most mistakes or things don't go right with the decorating and I already have enough gray hair. I sure as heck don't want to stress over someone else's timeline, so for my sanity I say no. If they don't think its important why would it be to me?

Just had a friend ask me YESTERDAY if I could make her a 3 tier heart wedding cake for Memorial Day. Uh... NO.

Phlee330 Posted 27 May 2011 , 6:15pm
post #26 of 26

Callmesugar@ SO funny..."practice my skills" I had a "friend" recently ask me to do a fully custom carved cookie monster cake complete with fondant chefs hat and apron, holding a "cookie sheet" full of home baked chocolate chip cookies because she wanted me to "practice my skills"....when I told her I was going to cut her a deal and do it for half off @$100, she agreed initially, then canceled the cake a week later without so much as a reason......Found out later she thought it was too expensive! This after all the hours of research and designing the darn thing. I am relieved that I am not doing her cake though...this was one of the main examples of why I decided that my prices were going to be on par with most bakeries. I don't mind undercutting bakeries a little, but gone are the days of free cakes to anyone except select people...period.

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