Hustle, Hustle, and more Hustle

Time flies when you are busy running, baking and playing with kids.  That could best describe the month of January as I cannot believe is already over, I have noticed that life has both sped up and slowed down all at the same time.  Again, allow me to explain…

In an effort to be more productive I needed to go back and follow a schedule for the week with each day laid out, with tasks that I wanted to accomplish.  I found that during January I spent far too much time thinking about what I wanted to get done instead of actually doing things.  The biggest distraction?  Old movies that I have seen far too many times already, and quite frankly I didn’t need to see yet again.  There is something comfortable about an old favorite movie, it just makes you feel good.  We all like to be comfortable, but to live an extraordinary life you need to push beyond what is comfortable and really challenge yourself.

IMG_4297.pngI’ve done my best to place that mindset into my head for the month of February, as I have set for myself some Wildly Important Goals!  I created my own online baking company, as advertised below with a focus only on Valentine’s Day options, to be honest sales have been pretty much non existent to this point while I remain optimistic that as inch closer to February 14th sales will increase.  The website only featured options for the Holiday directly ahead, I have over 170 different Cookie Cutters (Thanks Amazon!) and wanted to offer options for the entire year.  I believe the biggest opportunity for sales growth will come from word of mouth, and one event will lead to three more, etc…

The biggest season in my old world, the restaurant business was Communion, Baptism season at the Keg (next to Christmas) all that is quickly approaching.  So I want to have pages dedicated to these cookies with wonderfully decorated cookies already laid out for potential customers to view, to plant the seed for future purchases.  I spent much of yesterday, and most of today dedicated to that task!  I have an old colleague that is having a baby shower this weekend and I am going to surprise her with some Baby Shower themed cookies, both for the website (pictures) and word of mouth advertising.

IMG_4303.jpgThe other half of the hustle, hustle, hustle equation is my triathlon training plan alongside the 100 Day running challenge.  So the month of January is in the rearview mirror and I successfully ran all 31 days, putting my total at over 200 kilometers for the month that comes with a great sense of accomplishment.  I have learned so much about myself, about how to be a more effective runner, how mental discipline plays into all this, and what drive and determination can accomplish.

The month of February comes with another 28 runs in which the run total will push past 50i n a row, it’s more base building where I am basically just running and increasing my cardiovascular base for the upcoming Ironman 70.3 race that I will be completing in this coming July.  In March we will start to transition into some specialty training as we get closer to race date and the weather warms up here in Canada.

I have also successfully incorporated strength training into my training plan and so far have really enjoyed the workouts and maybe a bit more so the results.  I can see the changes when I look into the mirror and I like what I see.  I was worried that this additional training would tire me out more so than the cardio workouts themselves, however so far that has not been the case.  My triathlon buddy is a big believer that strength training will help the overall swim, bike and run times out of the course this summer.  I cannot wait…

Well this post has been a bit of a ramble, kind of like where my head has been at recently.  Lot’s going on… and I didn’t even mention that I am going back to work part time starting this Saturday.  Hustle, hustle, and more hustle!

https://www.northwestbakery.com
North West Bakery is based in Barrie, Ontario serving Simcoe County and the Greater Toronto Area, all of our products are homemade with love.  We can hand deliver to your business, party or special event.  Visit https://www.NorthWestBakery.com for details!

 

Wildly Important Goals

How are you ever going to get somewhere if you don’t know where you are going?  ANother example, going for a drive without having a destination in mind.  Sure you might see some nice things along with way, and there is something to be said about going on instinct and feel and at times this can turn out to be the most awesome adventure.

My time away from a career and spending all this amazing time with my children has been like going on that long drive without a destination in mind, and yes I have seen and experienced some pretty amazing things over the past several months.  Time that I would not trade for anything, but now that we are a good month into 2018 I’ve started to feel the call back to work, being productive and being a little social as well.

IMG_4230.jpgMy exercise for the week in my men’s mental health group is creating a wildly important goal, and leads you through the process of getting it accomplished within a certain time frame.  We will be doing this exercise twice, the first time through as kind of a test run if you will to completely understand the process, and then again over a longer period of time.  I’ve decided to use the first run through for my side hustle as advertised below, my online bakery.

The past week I have been using Facebook and Instagram to advertise, and the business has gotten some great exposure.  One of the ads has more Instagram likes than I have ever gotten before, but this has not yet translated into any orders.  The site only has Valentine’s Day cookies for sale, as this is the next holiday I am looking to capitalize on but there are many other special days throughout the year, and countless baby and bridal showers, birthdays, special events, you name it…  I would very much like my website to reflect all the cookies (with photographic evidence) that I can make.  When I counted I actually have about 180 different shape cutters to use.

IMG_4223.jpgI honestly believe that some Valentine’s Day orders will be coming, and us men are notorious for waiting until the last minute to take care of things, I would like to be ready for repeat and referral business after Valentine’s Day has come and gone with products ready for the rest of the year.  I believe that one sale leads to two more, and then five and so on, I really do and I want to be ready for WHEN that happens.

I am sending out my first package through the mail today to see if the product survives, I have packed them safe and secure and now it’s on the post office shoulder not to destroy my work’s of art.  Years in the comic book business should help with this!  But over the next four weeks I will be baking and decorating a portfolio of cookies, and I really look forward to it!  A month from now I will have an awesome website, my decorating skills will have improved ten times over and I will be ready to turn my side hustle into a full blown business.  I cannot wait… well two more minutes anyways before the timer in the oven goes off.  Hmmmm, delicious!

https://www.northwestbakery.com
North West Bakery is based in Barrie, Ontario serving Simcoe County and the Greater Toronto Area, all of our products are homemade with love.  We can hand deliver to your business, party or special event.  Visit https://www.NorthWestBakery.com for details!

 

The Art of Patience

I have none. Well when it comes to having to wait around for something. I am a busy guy with a lot of things that I would like to accomplish over the course of the day. My example today being at the 400 Flea Market to have the screen replaced on my iPhone 7 Plus which I’ve destroyed three times because well it’s just too big. I had to switch to a regular 7 and have had no issues since then.

Replacing the screen I’ve done before and was told 30 to 40 minutes. Fine no problems. We walked around the flea market looking for the car vinyl booth, which no longer exists.. 😢

Had some less than stellar cinnamon rolls and coffee while we waited. We sat there and chatted about various topics and after an hour we headed back over to the booth to pick up the phone. I was told that is would be another 30 minutes before it was ready… and this really irritates me for some reason. And I don’t really know why. Why am I letting this dumb little inconvenience ruin a perfectly good morning and afternoon.

As I was sitting there I was losing my desire to go out for a run when I got home. And it pushes back the timetable on the rest of the day, but is it really a big deal? Of course not, even as I type this I can feel the tension leaving my neck and shoulders. And the day will get back on track and proceed as normal I am sure soon enough.

But the why still remains. It will be something that I will need to work on as I can let most things just roll off my shoulders and carry on. Deep breath Edward it’s not that important.

I hope everyone else is having a great day.

The Push Up Challenge & 24 Hour Fast

One of the trendy things to do in some of the Facebook groups that I am in has been a pushup challenge, one guy is working his way up to 100 pushups in a row.  A few others have gotten on board with doing them in public places and getting there family members involved.  So I decided to join in on the fun!

The kids really enjoyed climbing on Dad’s back and going for a ride, and I think I will continue this each time that I am doing push ups.  The extra weight will certainly help in the development of the chest, shoulders and biceps…

While it’s great getting in all this exercise, and running I will openly admit that my diet sucks.  Somewhere in the back of my mind it’s okay to eat whatever I want, whenever I want as I am burning off most of those calories throughout my training.  However I have recently started to notice that while my breakfast would be a three egg omelette filled with peppers and onions, a small slice of banana bread, orange juice and coffee.  Lunch would be a turkey sandwich with turkey bacon, lettuce, tomato, onion and marble cheese, it was dinner time when I would struggle with.  Lots of chicken wings, homemade and baked in the oven, I am one of Domino’s best customers and have racked up several free pizzas over the past few months.  And I openely admit to having both a sweet and salty tooth, with bags of chips and cheesies or dollar store chocolate bars being my favorite.

My latest indulgent is the “extra” Sugar Cookies that I have been baking and decorating, as I have been making some orders and some promotional cookies to photograph and I have a hard time unloading them on the kids and putting them in the food waste bin as I hate wasting food.  What is a guy to do?  My freezer is already filling up with extra treats the kids couldn’t quite eat…

So today I decided to have a day of fasting, after my morning coffee and the two extra sugar cookies (breakfast of champions indeed) that I would drink nothing but water until 8pm tonight when I am sure that I will eat an entire pizza…

https://www.northwestbakery.com
North West Bakery is based in Barrie, Ontario serving Simcoe County and the Greater Toronto Area, all of our products are homemade with love.  We can hand deliver to your business, party or special event.  Visit https://www.NorthWestBakery.com for details!

 

The Side Hustle

In the effort to stay at home with my now four year old son I have started to feel the need for some extra income. I recently applied for and got a job back in the culinary industry to bring in a few extra dollars on the weekend when I am kid free. Ideally not what I was looking for but it’s one of this foot in the door and a chance to prove yourself moving forward. A classic case of walking before you can run, and after thinking about it now for a few days it’s absolutely perfect.

However it will only slow the bleeding that has been my bank account the last few months, ideally I want to bring that down to a trickle and eventually start to fill up the federal reserves again. Man I am big on the metaphors today! In comes the Side Hustle! I originally heard this term thrown around in some of the men’s mental health groups I have joined, and more recently on commercials for Uber. #sidehustle

Some friends and I had talked about starting a baking company late last year and this January I finally decided to take the bull by the horn and go all in. It first started with the 6 quart MixMaster mixer I ordered for a screaming deal on Amazon. And then it was Wix.com to set up a website, and finally VistaPrint to get some business cards, car magnets, t-shirts and a large banner which I’ve yet to hang outside my house. Tomorrow’s project for sure.

The Facebook page is up, the Instagram account is active and I’ve even started to boost posts on Facebook which has actually helped bring some more visibility to the site. No orders yet, but as men aren’t we notorious for waiting until the last minute? I have received a few orders already and this morning I went about my normal routine of taking the kids to school, and then making an order for a friend that was willing to help me test out the ability to send these delicious cookies through the mail and see what the end result would be.

I was very happy with the results of my efforts as you can see here…

… however when I went to pack them up the icing had not quite hardened all the way and several of them were squished. I did manage to save four of them but will have to redo the other eight, several of which are sitting at the bottom of my stomach as part of afternoon snack.

There has been a learning curve involved with his business venture for sure and at this point I am just hoping to sell enough cookies to cover off my investment and then make a few dollars. If it can be turned into a profitable enough venture to allow me to stay at home full time then I will consider that a Hugh WIN, however there is a lot of work and a lot of cookies between now and then.

If you have a few moments I invite you to look at the site as advertised below. Not looking for orders but rather feedback, ease of navigation, products you would like to see kind of idea. Swim lessons are wrapping up and then it is off the the 25th run in a row. Now that’s Hustle!

https://www.northwestbakery.com North West Bakery is based in Barrie, Ontario serving Simcoe County and the Greater Toronto Area, all of our products are homemade with love.  We can hand deliver to your business, party or special event.  Visit https://www.NorthWestBakery.com for details!

Celebrating a BIG Win(s)!

So yesterday was a very interesting day for me, a bit of the continuation of the emotional roller coaster but in a good fun, let’s build towards something kind of day and NOT one with a huge drop back into negativity or despair.  Allow me to explain…

I woke up not feeling the best, I could feel the negative cycle that had plagued me in my past start to take hold, and it would have been just so easy to feed that cycle and the next thing I would have known, THE NOTHING would have it’s claws deep into me again and I could have lost another week doing nothing…

I recognized the start of this cycle and I reach out for help yesterday through some friends and leaned into the support circle I have created for myself and instantly felt the love and the accountability that I need to keep me on the straight and narrow.  To not slip back into back habits of my previous lifestyle.  I worked out, I went for a run and my mood and attitude immediately changed.  WIN!

I shared this experience in my group call last night, reading some pages from my journals of that past to give some insight to just how bad the negative cycles in my life would effect me.  It was a very moving experience for me to open up and share some of my darkest periods of my life.  I know that the others could relate to what I went through as we ALL have points in our lives when we feel incredibly low.  I am fortunate to have the support to quickly life me up from this.  WIN!

After my call, I had the chance to talk with both of my older children before bed and to share with both of them what I had been going through the last couple of days.  We talked about life, about how it can affect you, and ways to navigate those feelings so they don’t take hold of you and trap you into that negative cycle.  This 45 minutes was the BEST part of my day and showed me some tremendous growth on my part, to not only break my own cycle of negativity but to ALSO share that knowledge with my daughters.

This was the biggest WIN of all!