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Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Cookiepreneurship 101- Are you a Baker or a Cookiepreneur?

I sold my first cupcake in the 6th grade and loved the feeling of earning money for myself.

It’s funny because as I got older, instead of trying to build my own business at an early age, I tried to play by the rules of society and do what I thought my parents expected of me.

I got a regular job, went to college, heck I even wanted to become an Attorney at some point and work for a big law firm somewhere, but somehow, on some level all of that felt wrong to me.

For the longest time, I have to admit I felt like a loser in the corporate world.  I knew I was bright, I tried my best to work well with others, but somehow, I just was not a fit.  I would either wind up getting bored or feeling restless within a couple of weeks.  If not ,I would find myself wanting to change the system around as soon as I learned it, I always thought I could teach my boss a thing or two about how they could make the system more efficient, sound familiar? 

I was bored out of my mind if my position did not entail mutli-tasking or doing something that was not tedious. I often got in trouble for speaking up “too much”.  One time I even had a boss tell me that he did not pay me to “think” he paid me to do as I was told, that should have clued me in.  

As I recall, even as I was working a regular 9-5 I was always trying different ventures on the side.  I would go to real-Estate Seminars, MLM campaigns, sold jewelry on the side, set up a catering business with my best friend at the time, you name it , I did it, looking back, I was always trying to get my own thing going on the side.   

I felt like a loser most of my adult life when I tried to work for others and never understood why. Thanks to one of the most successful copywriters of all time , I finally understood that I was not a failure or a weirdo when I watched him speak at the Attract Wealth Seminar in Austin Texas some years back. 

Remember those infomercials with the Blu-blocker sunglasses? 

Joe Sugarman, a seasoned businessman, BILLIONAIRE , President of the Blu-blocker Corporation and one of the most successful copywriters in American history was the one that opened my eyes to the fact that most Entrepreneurs don’t really easily fit in . We are a special breed of person that has many of the following characteristics.

*Creative – Thinks outside the box.

*Risk Taker- We often take risks most people are not even willing to consider.

*Confident – In spite of our flaws, we have an underlying confidence in ourselves.

*Become easily bored- Restless ;)

*Restless- Never quite satisfied, unquenchable thirst for growth and knowledge

*Perfectionist- Can tend to be a bit of a perfectionist.

*Generous- Generous on some level ( likes to share , give back or pay it forward)

* BOSS- I hate to admit this, but we do NOT like to take orders from others. Clearly most people do not, but for us it’s particularly painful.     

*Resilient- Bounces back like a rubber ball after each failure. Turns lemons into lemon cookies.

*Optimistic- In spite of a grim outlook, we tend to remain optimistic.

*Visionary- See opportunity where others do not.

*Unrelenting drive to succeed- You do NOT know the meaning of the word Failure.

Okay, so by now you get the idea right? Can you relate to this on any level?   

I have a sneaking suspicion that most of you who are reading this, can in fact relate to most, if not all of the aforementioned characteristics.  If not you may be asking yourself, well what’s the big deal? Why do I need to be like this in order to run a cookie business? After all, all it takes is a bit of talent as a baker and cookie designer/decorator… WRONG! I say, and I will tell you why.

You may in fact, have an amazing set of hands and be Sylvia Weinstock of cookies, and you already have the creativity part down, but if you do not start to develop some of these characteristics, particularly, optimism, resilience, and an unrelenting drive to succeed it will be very difficult for you to navigate the business of cookies, or most any other business.

Some people believe that you are born with these, I believe that they can be learned !

In order to survive and succeed in this business, at times you will have to be one tough cookie (pun intended), in order not to throw in the towel.  Running a small business, particularly while managing a family/household and working a full or other part time job requires an unwavering drive and focus that not everyone possesses.

This business may be sweet, but it is not for wimps.  This may sound harsh but I have learned that in order succeed in business you need to have the right mindset, otherwise you will be ready to throw in the towel the first time you burn 200 cookies or one of your cakes falls apart in transit.  I am here to make sure that does not happen to you (Not the cake and cookies, that, I’m afraid is inevitable, I mean the quitting part)       

Okay, so suppose, you feel this is just not you, or you don’t want to deal with the business end of this. Hey that’s fine, in that case either capitalize on your skills and go work for someone who will pay you a generous salary (That will be a future post about learning to price your cookies properly) or have your spouse, partner, friend or whomever else run the business end  for you. You can bake, be creative and leave everything else up to them.

So ladies, in short I will admit it, I am an unapologetic champion for female entrepreneurs everywhere. We are the champions of society, we do it all, with love, compassion, dedication, drive and fearlessness so kudos to you, my fellow Jean D’arc’s of Cookies! I celebrate you for being the few, fearless females out there, changing the world one cookie at a time. 

See you next week when we will start to discuss a bit of the mechanics of what makes for an amazing cookie business that stands out among the rest.

Again, if you have any general questions please feel free to email me at or leave your questions in the comment section. 

I would love to hear from you, Let me know when you first discovered that you were a Cookiepreneur?

Always remember, If you can see it, you can be it! Never give up, NEVER!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

The Journey Begins

Finally, I have been chomping at the bit for over a year now to get this blog started.  Those of you who already know me , are well aware that I have been excited about this project for quite a while.

At long last , I am able to dedicate the necessary time and energy to, hopefully make this a place that you can come to that is filled with information about a. How you can get your cookie business off the ground or b. how you can take what you already have to the next level.

Okay so listen up ladies, before we begin, I have to be honest with you, and I want you to know exactly what you can expect from this blog.  I value your time , and I want you to get the most out of this. I also want you to know a bit about me as a person .  I don’t know about you, but I like to know who I am listening to and why I should listen. I don’t take anything for granted. 

My intention as I stated before is to share a wealth of information with you about how to grow your business. Now that  means different things to different people.  In other words, some of you may think the information I will provide is all about the mechanics of how to start a small business from home, but that's not what this blog is all about.  Sure, there will be some of that  but let me tell you exactlly  how I intend to help you grow  or start your business.

Before we begin this journey together, I want you to know a little about my story.  I will not bore you with the long protracted version of woe is me, because it’s not, but I can tell you this.

My  Dark Night

Before I started baking and decorating cookies for a living, which quite frankly, I would have never imagined,doing a few years ago, I went through what many call MY personal Dark Night of the Soul.

I am going to throw around some figures here, not to brag about what I had,  but so that you can fully comprehend the magnitude of what I went through, and how far I fell. 

Within the a period of a single year I found myself in a position where I was forced to sell my interests in a very lucrative Mortgage Business that I co-founded . My five figure monthly  income vanished, overnight.   My husband of 8 years left me for another woman.  I was left with a three year old child, a $4500 dollar per month mortgage payment, a $1100 per month car payment, three properties and two elderly parents. One an ailing mother ( Alzheimer’s) that died soon thereafter and the string of unfortunate events continued for two years, until they finally culminated in me losing everything except my son and my sanity. It was a period of three years that I do not wish on even the most evil person on earth.

The Decision 

As I  look back on as the greatest period of Creative Destruction I have sustained, there was an immense amount of growth for me both spiritual and as an Entrepreneur.  I am the kind of person who has never accepted defeat and therefore I decided that if this was happening to me, I was going to give it a purpose, and use it to serve me, and others In the future.

It's not what life throws at you, it's how you handle it that counts and determines your destiny.

The Comeback

From an early age, 16 or so, I have  been fascinated by the subjects of Psychology and Personal Development. I always loved people like Tony Robbins, Dr. Wayne Dyer and Louise L. Hay. I read their books, and studied them. I  wondered how these people had turned their lives around so dramatically after such devastating failures, setbacks and horrible circumstances

Over the years I had taken many Psychology courses both in college and invested thousands upon thousands of dollars in books, seminars and have an extensive education in Personal Development, Entrepreneurship, Influence  NLP and like subjects in addition to attending Business School for a year where I completed coursework in  Leadership Theory, Economics, International Business, Marketing and other subjects relevant to Entrepreneurship .   

It had been a few years since I had not done any heavy  work on the Personal Development related subjects, and somehow when I took an inventory of everything that happened to me, I decided that it was time for me to dive back in and search within , to uncover what was going on inside of me, rather than continue to look outside for those answers.   

I have read about countless successful entrepreneurs that have been financially devastated only to rise from the ashes once again.  I wanted to learn for myself, how I could apply all of these theories so that I could handle all of this without losing my mind,  and not just survive it, but learn from it , grow stronger and share what I have learned with others.

As you all now know, I did make it through that period of time in my life, and reinvented myself as a Baker/Cookie decorator.  I am not yet a mogul by societal standards, but I can now support my household on my own if need be.

I can tell you that my first year I invested about $800. That’s all I had to start with , no more.
My second year I think I made about $250, the third I made about $12,000, the fourth $74,000 and projections are for over 100K for year number 5 in spite of a recent setback.

That kind of money is certainly not a fortune to some, but for someone who is looking to build a business  produces extra income without having to leave their home too much ( Except when you have to rent out a commercial kitchen for large orders) that’s not too bad, in fact it’s about 30-40K more money than most middle class Americans bring home if not more.

It's enough , if using it as a second household income to send your kid to private school, or pay for your child's college tuition ( At least part of it depending on where they go) .

 I am here to teach you how to become independent and build real businesses.  I am an open book and if you are going to listen to what I have to say, then you should know that you are hearing someone who knows what they are talking about, and someone who is going to be able to teach you to do the same thing
and hopefully exceed those numbers.

There are far too many phonies out there lying about how they made 50K their first year working from home, honestly, I have never seen that happen in this business and it takes hard , constant and steady work to build a cookie business, Any business for that matter, anything else is a lie or a blatant exaggeration, plain and simple . 

I have been to what I consider the depths of hell and back and learned that  there is no growth without resistance.  As many of you already know , being a Cookiepreneur is filled with resistance on many fronts that we will get into at a later time. 

Focus of this Blog

In short what My blog will focus on is sharing much of what I have learned both through my studies and my personal experiences, my triumphs and failures and what  I consider to be the two main components of successful entrepreneurship.

Component I (MECHANICS)- The Outer game

This is the component of success that  most people are familiar with are the technical in’s and out’s of running a business such as having : A good business plan, a solid costing model in place, great products that stand out among your peers, great marketing strategies, great networking, understanding basic business principles such as  ROI ( Return on investment) and the like, I'm sure you get the point.

Component II ( MINDSET) -The Inner game 

This is the remaining  80% of , which is actually the most important part in both your life as an entrepreneur and your life in general . The inner game is your psychology or mindset and that is what is going to determine the following: How you handle failure and how quickly you can bounce back,  how you deal with difficult clients, how you determine the value of your work, and not feel guilty about charging what it's truly worth,  how you feel about yourself as a business person , how you react to people who do not appreciate your work , how you treat your peers and others, whether you are confident in your work or always trying to hide, whether or not you feel deserving of your success. All these things, if not fine tuned are ultimately are going to bleed into the mechanics of your business and affect your overall ability to earn money through doing what you love.

Think of  mindset  as the soil in which you grow a plant, if it is not fertilized properly, a plant will not grow or reach its full potential. Mechanics is the actual plant.

We will absolutely be discussing some of the MECHANICAL  aspects of the Cookie Business, we will mostly discuss the MINDSET aspects that will prepare you to build a cookie empire if that is what you wish to do, which brings me to the last point of disclosure that I wish to make.

I admit it !

I like baking cookies, I love decorating them.  For me, it’s like therapy and I love the fact that I can play with flour and sugar and have something so beautiful that families share on special occasions. Creating a cookie business has allowed me to discover a talent I never knew I had, to cultivate it and to grow from it.  It helped me get back on my feet financially after a complete holocaust and I continue to run my cookie business and am happy to do it however, life is about growth and I feel myself evolving into a new role.

I must make this confession to you.  My true passion, what keeps me up at night ( in a good way) , what makes me light up like a Christmas tree, is sharing what I have learned with you. So you see, this is a dream for me, and I greatly look forward to serving you in any way that I can.  I look forward to hearing from you.  I will post weekly in the beginning stages and  and as Cookiepreneur evolves and grows, we will have more discussions and I plan to hold conference calls, post videos, and even have live, in person conferences where we can all meet up.

Thank you ladies (And any gentlemen as well) for all of the inspiration you have given me to start these conversations . I will close with my personal philosophy of life.

Persistence is the greatest Key to Success! If you can see it, you can be it! Never, give up ! Never!


p.s If  you have any  general questions or think of a subject you would like me to touch on, please feel free to email me at