On occasion, and most likely to keep us humble, the universe hands us one of those days that leave Jeanne and I thinking...WHAT THE HELL HAVE WE DONE? And there was nothing in particular about today, save for writing large checks for uninteresting expenses (totally talking to you, IRS), burning pies because of forgotten timers (totally talking to myself), and conflicting emotions about 3,142,908 things (totally talking to those 3,142,908 things). But rather it was the combination of EVERYTHING that left both Jeanne and I emotionally spent by 5:30 this afternoon and feeling a bit overwhelmed.
Ok, a LOT overwhelmed.
The big fat secret that no one tells you about owning a business is that most of the time, it will feel like one step forward and two steps back. And the footnote to that dirty little secret is that sometimes, it will feel like one step forward and 10 steps back (or maybe even 100 steps back). And there isn't anything you can do about it (except maybe remember to set the freaking timers on the oven). When everything goes swimmingly well, it is easy to be lulled into a false sense of security that perhaps we've mastered this game and become legitimate entrepreneurs.
(I don't think I've seen a chapter in any New York Times bestseller book on business entitled "Ways We Totally Sucked Today", but I'm totally making a note to myself to include one in the PJP memoir.)
And perhaps today was emotionally sketchy only because I've been insistent on reminding myself that in order to run a successful business, mistakes can never be made, people can never be disappointed, and we say yes to everything. Obviously, we want to avoid mistakes. Clearly, we never want anyone to be disappointed (unless that person is the one incessantly calling me about participating in a deal-of-the-day program and can't seem to accept no as a legitimate response and so he keeps calling and calling...that dude can totally be disappointed in me at this point). And saying yes to everything is unrealistic. So why did I ever set myself to believe perfection equals entrepreneurial legitimacy?
Only kidding...sorta. In our overly edited, completely photoshopped world, it feels like everyone has it all together, all of the time. Has Martha ever wanted to beat someone up because she burned 12 baby apple pies? Probably...but not that we would ever actually know it because her image prevents that sort of transparency. Who wants to buy fancy pie plates from a chick that burns pie, anyway?
So, here is the truth: we burned a bunch of stuff today, it was well after noon before we even had any pie boxed for sale, we couldn't make any easy decisions about a new project, and I hmpf-ed at the mailman because I was sick of him bringing bills...like it was his fault. By no means perfect, right?
But 100% real. And one step forward.