Friday, October 30, 2009

Risk with Rewards, A Lesson from Duff!

Hello All. I apologize that I was so busy last week, I did not have a chance to write about risk. So here I am.

I guess as fate puts it, risk has been associated with me all of my life. I have always taken well, uh calculated risks.

Risk is a major word in my vocabulary and I do pretty good at orchestrating it. I am a BIG Food Network fan and anyone who watches knows about Duff Goldman, Ace of Cakes, CEO of Charm City Cakes in Baltimore, MD. I was just reading a book by Food Network's Ace of Cakes star Duff Goldman, called "Ace of Cakes: Inside the World of Charm City Cakes."

One chapter or page in particular struck me when Duff describes leaving his job and starting his business Charm City Cakes for the first time,

"On March 3, 2002, I left my job and started decorating cakes full-time. In my apartment in downtown Baltimore. Health Department? Permit? Tax ID? Nope. If figured I would cross those bridges when I came to them (or, more appropriately, they came to me). There is nothing, I repeat, nothing that can yet you motivated to run a business like when I woke up on March 4 and realized I didn't have a paycheck anymore. Want to learn how to jump? Paint yourself into a corner. I won't say roll the dice, because I knew I had no choice but to succeed. Well, so far trusting my instincts had never felt so good."

I resonated so much with what Duff described because on September 1, 2006, I did the same thing. I quit a very secure, yet frustrating federal job/career to focus on my first art business full time, my interior design business, Design Scheme Interiors, LLC. I knew on September 2nd that I best get my butt moving and create demand for my business. And guess what? The reason why I could not write last week was because I had to prepare and give a big design presentation for one of four clients that I currently work with!

It gets to a point where failure is no option and you HAVE to make things work or you are just well... screwed.

Then in 2008, I went back to my love of art. I took some classes a while ago with a noted doll artist in the DC area. I loved it. However, growing Design Scheme Interiors got in the way and never went back to it. So my sister Sharon kept telling me to go back and start making dolls again. I was shy about it and did not think I had artistic skills. Finally, in late 2007, I began making a couple of dolls and showed them very reluctantly at a neighbor's holiday soiree. Man I was amazed, every last doll was snatched and sold!

I said ok. Maybe there is future in this, by the end of 2008, I had participated in one art exhibition at a gallery, wrote one article for Soft Dolls and Animals Magazine, sold several dolls at a local doll boutique and was featured in a Doll Collector's book. How is that for trusting your instincts.

Again, I had no idea. Risk is second nature for me and when I look back at my life, I noticed that I have always risked things. I made some stupid moves and some smart ones. But at the end, I always as Duff puts it- trust my instincts. I pray a lot, cry a lot but when times get tough, I always say keep moving.

I take risks everyday. Small goals. Like going to a place I never been before, talking to someone I normally do not talk to or this is the BIG one, attending an event by myself. So this chapter was easy for me.


theifswtich said...

inspiring.loved hearing about Duff - and you! Thank you.

Ginny said...

I enjoyed reading about the risks you have taken and the wonderful results. It definitely sounds like you have the right formula for turning risks into opportunity.