Feeling Discouraged

Decorating By swtangel102 Updated 24 Apr 2014 , 3:38am by belladaisy

swtangel102 Posted 23 Apr 2014 , 11:35am
post #1 of 50

Hi everyone,

 

Looking to see if anyone has experienced or felt the same way I'm feeling now and how you overcame it (if you did). I've been making cakes for family and friends and sometimes their friends as well.  Many people tell me my cakes look amazing and that I have talent, but then I've noticed that many times after they get the cake I don't hear anything back.  (I mean I want to see if they liked it or not).  I just assume they didn't thats' why they haven't said anything, but my husband said not necessarily.  Sometimes no response is probably something good cause if it was bad, they would say something.  I dunno. I don't need lots of praises or anything like that, but just some sort of something to let me know whether they liked it or not or what they didn't like would help me to learn and improve.  I know my always tells me I can't make cakes that would fit everyone's taste, but I'm just feeling like I probably suck at this.  I don't want to give up cause I enjoy it, but at the same time, I feel like there's no point trying.  

49 replies
cazza1 Posted 23 Apr 2014 , 11:50am
post #2 of 50

Then just do it for yourself and forget about their praise.  I regularly take cakes in to work and I am lucky if I get 2 or 3 thank yous or comments out of about 12 people.  It used to really annoy me until I reminded myself that the only reason they were getting so much cake was because I did not want to eat it all myself.  That's not to say that they don't appreciate it.  They love my cakes and will tell anyone, if asked, that I make better cakes than anyone they know but they have got too used to getting them and forget to comment.  Poor manners, I know.

MsGF Posted 23 Apr 2014 , 1:11pm
post #3 of 50

I make and sell cakes, I have a small business and I also teach.

 

And this is a very common complaint.  When people pick up their cakes from me they love the way they look and they are very excited.  But very rarely do I ever hear back from them about how everyone liked it.   

 

I don't let it bother me because if there was something wrong with the cake I'm sure I would hear about it quickly.  So I figure no news is good news.  I have many repeat customers so they must be good.  My repeat customers are many of those who say nothing to me.

 

My Mother thinks they are rude, I do to a point.  It would be nice to hear back from people sometimes.  But I try to think about it this way, every time I purchase something new, if I liked it I don't necessarily call them back and let them know.  Like I bought a new car last year.  I didn't call or email them a week later and say, "Thanks so much for selling me my new car, I just love it."  LOL  

 

My students often complain to me about the lack of feed back.  I tell them if they hated it they would let you know in a hurry.  So don't take it personally.  It isn't a reflection on you or your cake.  People just think being kind isn't important.  People are very un-personal today, it's all about what we can do for them.  Not what they can do to help us grow.

 

All we can do is the best we can.  And if that isn't good enough for some, then they need not contact us anymore.  I believe in business today you have to be in it because you love it, and that passion will sustain you.  And when we do hear back from the odd delighted customer it will be what keeps us going and helps us through the difficult times.

 

So my advice is if you love caking then keep on doing it.  

 

Good luck, I hope this helped in some small way.

 

Cheers

 

MsGF

SugarJen Posted 23 Apr 2014 , 1:36pm
post #4 of 50

Well I think it depends on whether you're selling or giving them away. If you're selling your cakes, then I would have to agree with MsGF. When I buy a sandwich at the bakery, I don't call them to tell them how delicious it was. I paid for it. However, had that sandwich been free, I would have felt an obligation to thank them.

 

I do admit that getting praised for something you worked so hard on feels good. Especially detailed cakes that take you hours (sometimes days) to complete. But assuming you are running a business, then there isn't much you can do, and people don't really have an obligation to report back to you. If you are3e giving these cakes out for free, then I'd have to admit that it would be nice if these people reached out to you and thanked you and told you how the cake was. That would simply be a common courtesy that, like you, I would expect.Don't be discouraged, continue making cakes.

swtangel102 Posted 23 Apr 2014 , 2:51pm
post #5 of 50

Thank you everyone for your words of motivation.  I do sell some of my cakes.  Thanks MsGF, I agree.  Most of the people who pick up their cakes are super excited, but same thing, I don't hear from them and it would be nice just to hear anything.  Sigh...I guess it is true....no news is good news :)  I do truly love baking and decorating and I am always looking for ways to improve myself but lately with all this, it has been getting me down a bit.  I think mainly cause like Jen said, I spent a lot of time on them and I worked so hard on these recipes so was hoping to hear some feedback on them.   Thank you cazza1 for sharing your story...I would have assumed that there would be many thanks especially since you bring in so many cakes for them to try!

blunina Posted 23 Apr 2014 , 3:42pm
post #6 of 50

I know exactly how you feel...The problem is that many people who receive our cakes don't actually understand all the hard work we put into them. I know that when I'm not satisfied with something I make, often people around me tell me "Don't worry... It's only a cake". The problem is that it's not only a cake, it's something we have made, something into which we have put much care, passion, energy, even love. It's only natural to feel a bit insecure, even vulnerable...

I would never dream of saying to a painter "Don't worry... It's only a picture!!", but I suppose, painting is a form of art that has been around for thousands of years, whereas cake design is still often considered as some sort of a hobby that doesn't deserve that much credit.

Anyway, take pride in what you do. Always. You know your worth, and so do others, even if they forget to mention it. You love baking and decorating, so if ever you feel depressed, just remember the joy it gives you, and all the oohs and aahs that your cakes have been met with...

howsweet Posted 23 Apr 2014 , 4:09pm
post #7 of 50

AIf you're selling cake, then some people are going to respond after and some are not. No one is obligated to and it's not even a good gauge of how much they liked the cake if you don't hear from them. You may hear from them next year when they order again. Some people fully assume that you already know just how awesome your cake was and that you don't need to hear back from them.

If you're giving the cakes away, then it's bad manners not to get back and thank you.

If when you sell the cake, you're selling it for half what it should go for and you don't hear back, you're getting what you should expect from people who seek out others to work for nothing. You wouldn't hear back because they are much less likely to be grateful and appreciate what they got. They certainly aren't concerned about your feelings other than to stroke you in order to keep you doing stuff for them. So I guess if you hear back, you know they want to use you again and I do mean use you.

So not hearing back doesn't mean they didn't love the cake, which apparently they already told you when they picked it up. And hearing back doesn't necessarily mean anything good. I'd stop worrying about it.

howsweet Posted 23 Apr 2014 , 4:37pm
post #8 of 50

A[quote name="blunina" url="/t/773977/feeling-discouraged#post_7507135"]The problem is that many people who receive our cakes don't actually understand all the hard work we put into them. I know that when I'm not satisfied with something I make, often people around me tell me "Don't worry... It's only a cake". The problem is that it's not only a cake, it's something we have made, something into which we have put much care, passion, energy, even love. It's only natural to feel a bit insecure, even vulnerable... [COLOR=blue][B]I'm sorry, but why would it be natural to feel insecure?[/B][/COLOR] I would never dream of saying to a painter "Don't worry... It's only a picture!!", [COLOR=blue][B]You don't eat paintings[/B[/COLOR]] but I suppose, painting is a form of art that has been around for thousands of years, whereas cake design is still often considered as some sort of a hobby that doesn't deserve that much credit. [COLOR=blue][B]Probably because people don't tell the customer how much it's worth by charging enough. I honestly can't think of another reason.[/B][/COLOR] Anyway, take pride in what you do. Always. You know your worth, and so do others, even if they forget to mention it. You love baking and decorating, so if ever you feel depressed, just remember the joy it gives you, and all the oohs and aahs that your cakes have been met with... [/quote

enga Posted 23 Apr 2014 , 4:38pm
post #9 of 50

swtagle102, don't look at it that way. We live in the Give IT To Me Now generation, people are so busy sometimes they cant remember where they put their car keys, let alone remember to thank someone for their cakes. And yes, no news sometimes is good news I still doesn't take away from what your are feeling.

 

Manners are just not what they use to be. Not saying that everyone who does this has bad manners, some people are quite frankly too busy.

 

I know this might sound stupid (add this to all the other stupid things I've done :lol:) but when I make cakes, I look at them like they are my babies and I try to make them with love and care. Off topic, I was watching a Ron Ben Israel video and he said that he that he remembered every wedding cake he ever made which leads me to think that he felt the same way. I am a firm believer that your emotions are transferred into the food you prepare, some of the most horrible cakes I have done were made in anger. I love making cakes and watching their faces light up when they first see them, I get a rush from it and know that my job was accomplished. 

 

It's not bad to be emotional attached to your cakes, you just have to learn to let go. Like proud parents we have to let them go hoping that we did a good job making them and that they will be thoroughly enjoyed even if they don't remember to let us know how much they appreciated them, sigh.

 

I'm still waiting for my son in laws to thank me for my daughters that I gave them :roll: 

 

*sorry, didn't realize the thread moved along

howsweet Posted 23 Apr 2014 , 5:26pm
post #10 of 50

AI treat every cake like what it is: Something the customer has spent their hard earned dollars to have me make as spectacular, beautiful and perfect as I can. But they are not my babies and I don't think "love" is what I put into them. It's more like expertise, years of experience, diligence, hard work and determination. If a person starts investing all these emotions in making a cake and thinking of it like their "baby" then they are asking to get discouraged and feel insecure when they don't get as much praise as they wanted. I would say it's unhealthy to become emotionally attached to your cakes.

MimiFix Posted 23 Apr 2014 , 5:39pm
post #11 of 50

Quote:

Originally Posted by howsweet 

... it's unhealthy to become emotionally attached to your cakes.

 

I agree with howsweet. Especially if you are running a business.

-K8memphis Posted 23 Apr 2014 , 6:04pm
post #12 of 50

often the cake is all consuming as we breathe life into them--but to the client the cake is merely window trimming to their celebration --it's not the ultimate center of attention it's just an arrow on the dial pointing to the essence of the event--then they whip out a machete and eat it cannibaliciously i might add--

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

personally, i am more than satisfied with my work to the extent that i do not like to be around where my cakes are served because i get more attention than i am comfortable with--but i'm not content either--always room for improvement of course--

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

just know you are effing good and be secure in that -- you're damn good right? nobody can really give you that it comes from the inside out--

 

best baking n cakin' to yah

AZCouture Posted 23 Apr 2014 , 6:18pm
post #13 of 50

A

Original message sent by howsweet

I treat every cake like what it is: Something the customer has spent their hard earned dollars to have me make as spectacular, beautiful and perfect as I can. But they are not my babies and I don't think "love" is what I put into them. It's more like expertise, years of experience, diligence, hard work and determination. If a person starts investing all these emotions in making a cake and thinking of it like their "baby" then they are asking to get discouraged and feel insecure when they don't get as much praise as they wanted. I would say it's unhealthy to become emotionally attached to your cakes.

Absolutely...great observations! I get it though. I get how for some people it can be an uncomfortable leap from "likes on Facebook equal success" to real world "profit equals success, forget who thinks you're popular". Not that popularity isn't a form of success in it's own right, I believe it absolutely is when it makes someone happy and they get no monetary reward. Sure, if it makes them happy, then that's all good...rock on.

Ok back on track. So this is probably a good chunk of the reason for the rift between between "Betty Bakers" and the pros. The difference in definitions of success, and what motivates us to do what we do, and what rewards are considered defining success. I am...babbling aren't I?

Ok...so the differences. Betty Baker babies her cakes, loves them, tucks them in at night, and sheds a tear when they leave. Pro Persephone follows orders, adds some custom touches, photographs it, sends it on it's way. Who is the success?

Ohhhhhhh, this could get real deep, and there's some excellent players in the thread already.

AZCouture Posted 23 Apr 2014 , 6:19pm
post #14 of 50

AThat was me wondering out loud, not stating opinions or making judgements, for real. :)

AZCouture Posted 23 Apr 2014 , 6:27pm
post #15 of 50

AAnd who can successfully balance the two (I have a level of personal passion in it, it's definitely not boring work or something I feel chained to, it's enjoyable) but I have a healthy boundary between between taking care of business and remembering the cake is not mine, it's a saleable good. Anyways....

howsweet Posted 23 Apr 2014 , 6:40pm
post #16 of 50

AAnd unhealthy.

Original message sent by AZCouture

Absolutely...great observations! I get it though. I get how for some people it can be an uncomfortable leap from "likes on Facebook equal success" to real world "profit equals success, forget who thinks you're popular". Not that popularity isn't a form of success in it's own right, I believe it absolutely is when it makes someone happy and they get no monetary reward. Sure, if it makes them happy, then that's all good...rock on.

Ok back on track. So this is probably a good chunk of the reason for the rift between between "Betty Bakers" and the pros. The difference in definitions of success, and what motivates us to do what we do, and what rewards are considered defining success. I am...babbling aren't I?

Ok...so the differences. Betty Baker babies her cakes, loves them, tucks them in at night, and sheds a tear when they leave. Pro Persephone follows orders, adds some custom touches, photographs it, sends it on it's way. Who is the success?

Ohhhhhhh, this could get real deep, and there's some excellent players in the thread already.

Original message sent by AZCouture

That was me wondering out loud, not stating opinions or making judgements, for real. :)

Who's the winner? Well, probably my favorite cake of all time was one my mom made for me that was basically just a sheet cake with icing poured all over it. Because my mom made it for me and because she had to come home from work and would have probably have rather soaked in a hot tub and gone to bed (not that I thought all that through at the time). But it was love that made her bake me a cake.

But if it's going to be about a spectacular show piece that everyone oohs and ahhs over, all the love in the world isn't going to make that. If I have to have my face reconstructed after someone here smashes it in because I annoy them so much, I want the surgeon's expertise and talent to prevail and for him to dispassionately remove himself from the emotional issues of my situation or his own and concentrate on the work.

Sometimes I have a customer who is overly invested (emotionally) in a cake order and wants it to be so perfect because she's spending more than she should or sometimes a first birthday mom gets really intense. If I allow myself to get sucked into their emotional situation, the less I'm able to do the best cake possible for them. I have to keep all of that out of my head and stay "in the zone" of being creative and artistic. The same is true in the inverse.

Edited because I'm the worst typer in the world

enga Posted 23 Apr 2014 , 6:41pm
post #17 of 50

I posted right under blunina, took a call, came back, refreshed, and realized the thread had moved along. I was just responding (trying to be encouraging) to the OP.

AZCouture Posted 23 Apr 2014 , 6:49pm
post #18 of 50

AFirst birthday mom. Give me a frazzled bride any day over a first birthday mommy.

howsweet Posted 23 Apr 2014 , 6:53pm
post #19 of 50

AI do a couple of those a week. It helps that I remember how I was. I would probably been worse than most. :D

AZCouture Posted 23 Apr 2014 , 6:56pm
post #20 of 50

AAnd I would be lying if I said I didn't look forward to hearing how the cake was. I want BOTH. I want the monetary reward and the praise from the client AND...people who weren't the recipient of the cake. Who doesn't feel happy when others coo and crow over their creations ? But it's certainly not the driving force for me. Personally, I see "amazing!!" and suggestions to open a shop being tossed around way too much, and I think some people take that a little too seriously and start selling before they really have a product truly worth that praise. (Yes I know, what is one person's amazing is another's horrific wreck, and all shades in between) And when the only people that are still giving the encouragement are the same family and friends, NOT the customers....something is amiss

AZCouture Posted 23 Apr 2014 , 6:58pm
post #21 of 50

A

Original message sent by howsweet

I do a couple of those a week. It helps that I remember how I was. I would probably been worse than most. :D

And if you aren't acting as bubbly and manic with excitement over their precious spawns' completion of 365 consecutive days of oxygen inhalation, they can SMELL that disinterest, and won't trust you! Hahahaha.

howsweet Posted 23 Apr 2014 , 7:16pm
post #22 of 50

A

Original message sent by AZCouture

And I would be lying if I said I didn't look forward to hearing how the cake was. I want BOTH. I want the monetary reward and the praise from the client AND...people who weren't the recipient of the cake. Who doesn't feel happy when others coo and crow over their creations ? But it's certainly not the driving force for me. Personally, I see "amazing!!" and suggestions to open a shop being tossed around way too much, and I think some people take that a little too seriously and start selling before they really have a product truly worth that praise. (Yes I know, what is one person's amazing is another's horrific wreck, and all shades in between) And when the only people that are still giving the encouragement are the same family and friends, NOT the customers....something is amiss

Definitely! And I don't mean to imply that I don't love it when they gush over the cake. And I admit that it's a little weird if they don't. And there[I] is[/I] the rare person doesn't. I just figure they have other stuff going on. You never know who has to go take photos of their husband rendezvousing with an other woman on the way home with the cake - hahaha! :D

Original message sent by AZCouture

And if you aren't acting as bubbly and manic with excitement over their precious spawns' completion of 365 consecutive days of oxygen inhalation, they can SMELL that disinterest, and won't trust you! Hahahaha.

Hahaha! I do try to coax some bubbliness out of myself if I'm delivering the cake. Usually the delivery is timed during the nap. Not intentionally - I don't say, please make sure and have that baby sleeping when i come hahahaha! It just seems to often work out that way a with the timing.

MBalaska Posted 23 Apr 2014 , 8:01pm
post #23 of 50

Quote:

Originally Posted by swtangel102 
 

Hi everyone,

 

Looking to see if anyone has experienced or felt the same way I'm feeling now and how you overcame it (if you did). I've been making cakes for family and friends and sometimes their friends as well.  Many people tell me my cakes look amazing and that I have talent, but then I've noticed that many times after they get the cake I don't hear anything back.  (I mean I want to see if they liked it or not).  I just assume they didn't thats' why they haven't said anything, but my husband said not necessarily.  Sometimes no response is probably something good cause if it was bad, they would say something.  I dunno. I don't need lots of praises or anything like that, but just some sort of something to let me know whether they liked it or not or what they didn't like would help me to learn and improve.  I know my always tells me I can't make cakes that would fit everyone's taste, but I'm just feeling like I probably suck at this.  I don't want to give up cause I enjoy it, but at the same time, I feel like there's no point trying.  

 

 

OK.......I've read just only this - your original post swtangel102-  Before I read on, and I will read all the answers later, One small question?

 

Just what exactly are you feeling discouraged about???

 

"There's no point in trying" trying  what exactly?  What are you trying to accomplish? 

kimmisue2009 Posted 23 Apr 2014 , 8:20pm
post #24 of 50

What’s lost in a lot of today’s society is an understanding of intrinsic value. Everything is based on “likes” and “saves” and “thumbs up” and whathaveyou. A person must find what drives and motivates them and build their foundation thusly. The world is a fickle place. People are fickle. And a following on any particular forum is NOT a barometer of anyone’s worth. If you look around enough, no matter what your hair-brained viewpoint is, you can find a following of sheeple to agree with you.

AZCouture Posted 23 Apr 2014 , 8:23pm
post #25 of 50

AAnd if you feel like you suck at it (your words, not mine), then take some classes and improve your skills. I consider myself to be fairly good at decorating and designing, but I'm certainly not done improving, or learning. There's always something I want to do better, or learn to do at all. There's no finish line, or point where someone is as good as it gets. Maybe there are some people like that, but not me. I think maybe Mike McCarrey and Alexandria Pellegrino (Cake Opera) are at the top of their respective games, but I bet if you asked them...they'd say they have room for improvement.

wickeddelish Posted 23 Apr 2014 , 8:41pm
post #26 of 50

AIf I may jump in, Iiterally just started charging for cakes and making a business out of it a few weeks ago but I've been making them for family and friends for years. Lately I was feeling how you do, like I want to scream at them "TELL ME IF IT WAS GOOD OR BAD! I'M NEW AT SELLING AND THIS FEEDBACK IS SO IMPORTANT RIGHT NOW!" But then I sat back and realized that I know my cakes are good, but I also know not every person who tastes one will love it. Such is life. I've never gotten a complaint to date, which is maybe why I decided go for it with the business. And you know people and they'll absolutely tell you if something is wrong with it. Just keep going. If someone doesn't like something about it, take that oppurtunity to learn for the next time. I've learned more than I ever thought in the past few weeks. And thank goodness this site exists to get, what appears to be, very honest feedback about anything and everything. Good luck!

MimiFix Posted 23 Apr 2014 , 8:49pm
post #27 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by MBalaska 
 

Just what exactly are you feeling discouraged about???

 

"There's no point in trying" trying  what exactly?  What are you trying to accomplish? 

 

MB, now that you've opened Pandora's box... Whew, the emotional level of responses has surprised me. (Where is the cake disaster? I found it curious that this thread was started in the Cake Disasters forum.) I see a split between those who are primarily connected to cake through a long-term business, and those who might be connected through emotional expression. And then there are those who just love to bake!

howsweet Posted 23 Apr 2014 , 9:02pm
post #28 of 50

A

Original message sent by wickeddelish

If I may jump in, Iiterally just started charging for cakes and making a business out of it a few weeks ago but I've been making them for family and friends for years. Lately I was feeling how you do, like I want to scream at them "TELL ME IF IT WAS GOOD OR BAD! I'M NEW AT SELLING AND THIS FEEDBACK IS SO IMPORTANT RIGHT NOW!" But then I sat back and realized that I know my cakes are good, but I also know not every person who tastes one will love it. Such is life. I've never gotten a complaint to date, which is maybe why I decided go for it with the business. And you know people and they'll absolutely tell you if something is wrong with it. Just keep going. If someone doesn't like something about it, take that oppurtunity to learn for the next time. I've learned more than I ever thought in the past few weeks. And thank goodness this site exists to get, what appears to be, very honest feedback about anything and everything. Good luck!

Well put :)

MBalaska Posted 23 Apr 2014 , 9:59pm
post #29 of 50

♦ So essentially. no progress yet and this is the same problem? ♦

 

http://cakecentral.com/t/769786/cheap-better

 

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4/7/14 at 5:10am Thread Starter

 

Okay...so I only started cake decorating awhile ago and did lots of research on cake pricing.  Up to this day I still have trouble with pricing.  If there's anything I learned, is not to charge cheap cause 1) not fair to yourself and 2) not fair to other people in this profession.  So even though my prices seem fair to me (many still find it pricey) which is fine cause I know there are those who are willing to pay that price.  There's another homemaker in my area that always tries to outdo me (which is fine, but annoying as well).  We post on these mommy forums and local mommies come to us for cakes and I assume many have asked the two of us and compared prices.  I think the other mommy knows roughly what I charge so she would always put in caps AFFORDABLE PRICES after my posts. I've seen her work and its not bad, but I can't imagine her making much.  Now I know diff people have diff mentalities.  There are those who think I start off cheap to get my name out there.  But will it not be difficult to raise prices later on since you're already known as the cheap cake lady?  And I can't imagine her getting paid enough for her time. Can someone help me understand?  Am I missing something? Doing something wrong?  My husband always tells me, well if people go to her then those people are not customers for you.  Seems like everyone just wants cheap cake but not really appreciating the art  and hard work behind it.  

morganchampagne Posted 23 Apr 2014 , 10:29pm
post #30 of 50

AConsider people not coming after you with torches and pitchforks a success. Collect your check and go on about your business. Trust me if they didn't like it they'd run you down for every single dime back. Work on praising yourself

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