Spinning is for Cycling

Feeling crazy vs. being crazy.

There are definitely days when I forget there's a difference, but I am sane enough to remember (more on this in a minute...) that if I just count to ten, my "whirled" spins back into my "world". It's taken a while for me to have that confidence. That's why I am less fearful of the bakery's commotion and why I appreciate the calm. It's all in my mind. It's a head game I know I can win. But don't let that stop me from making it interesting....

In mere moments, I can see a stack of orders pile up... and then watch another stack of "changed" orders pile up next to that. The sounds of boxes quickly being formed, baked goods being counted, and masking tape being unfurled to seal everything shut is the white noise that competes with my morning dose of NPR and my morning coffee. Every time I look at my printer, another label is coming out. And that only stops when we need to change the toner cartridge. This flurry happens before we've even opened for business. The minute I step away from my desk, my phone lights up like the Manhattan skyline (so it's gonna be "that kinda day is it?). I see deliveries go out, and yet...I'm sure my eyes are playing tricks on me. When are we gonna catch up? When can I write an email without all this hubbub around me? I know it's always 5 o'clock somewhere, but is it still considered a lunch break anywhere at 3:30?

Then I breathe and remember— it's my business that is all around me, even if there are times when it feels up to my neck. I created this activity. My hopes and dreams created this office! What I'm hearing is the energy of all my best laid plans. That realization centers me. Like a great wave on the surf, I swim directly into it, let it lift me up, and ride it to shore. Yes, it is an odd metaphor for a city boy. But I do live on an island, so....

Right now, the bakery is going through a major growth spurt. How can I call it growing "pains?" it's happening because I've created something that matters very much to me and it turns out other people like it too. And quite a lot. Our treats have met up with more customers than a sold-out Madonna concert. We're considering new business ventures that I never could have dreamed up (and I grew up on musical theater.) Possible new markets are on the horizon that were never in my baker's dozen. True, there is uncertainty with every inch of expansion, but still, nothing about that sounds painful, right? I know I am lucky. I also know that luck grew from my passion to make this bakery happen.

Instead of letting fear and doubt barge in (because they never just "creep in" for me), I take a breath, I take a moment, and then I can't help but smile from ear to ear. I have to enjoy what life has to offer. Mix in some chaos, I don't care. It's the small price of coming to work at The Protein Bakery every day. If I still feel overwhelmed, I ask for help. This is where my sanity appears. (Wisdom + age + more wisdom!) From my amazing and amazingly sharp staff, or from my stellar friends and family outside the office. No wonder I always feel like my head is in the stars. I like living on an island, but I do not need to be one.

My life and my business life...I'd be crazy not to love it all.


Stephen Charles Lincoln

Author