Two years ago this past Friday, I took the plunge and quit my job after 4 years of service.
I admit that it was mostly because I was ready to start my bakery. But is was also...just a little...about me being unable to continue to work for a boss that was well...let's just say she provided the extra motivation to leave.
When I gave my notice, she asked me "Why are you leaving? What are you going to do?" To which I said "Kiss My Bundt. I mean, I'm going to open a bakery called Kiss My Bundt."
At that time, I was a senior regional director for a children's and community-based nonprofit organization. I was doing the work I had always dreamed of--working at the grassroots and the grasstops. I was bridging the gap between people in neighborhoods and the institutons that serve us (or are supposed to serve us). I was in the business of buiding relationships for social change.
Somewhere along the way, a new dream emerged. The dream of opening a bakery.
Some people thought I was absolutely insane. These people couldn't understand how I could "waste" (their words) "all that education" including the Masters Degree from USC. Most people thought it was "awesome". But everyone was worried. Over 75% of restauraunts fail within the first year.
It's amazing to me that I took the plunge (normally I'm very risk averse). I actually quit my job, gave up a regular income, financial security, and most importantly, I gave up my health insurance.
I was talking with the wife of a well known French chef (hint hint) who's ver well known in her own right. She told me that pursuing a career in the food industry meant that she's never been poorer, but she's also never been happier.
And I can totally relate.
Since I opened my bakery, I've been able to support many charities, my bakery has been featured in countless blogs, the LA Times, LA Weekly, 944 Magazine, Angelino Magazine, as well as KTLA, FOX LA, and NBC's Today Show. I even wrote a cookbook published by an amazing publisher who get's my passion for what I do at Kiss My Bundt.
AND...I've got the best customers in Los Angeles!
Most importantly, I've continued to do the relationship building that is so central to community organizing. I've just done it under the guise of a baker.
Are you doing the work that makes you happy? If not, when will you begin?
Best Kisses, Wishes, and Dishes,