Director of Short-Term Planning.

Most corporate organizations employ a Director of Strategic Planning...someone to create and implement three, five, and even seven-year growth plans for the company.  And if you count "World Pie Domination" as a growth plan, then Jeanne and I completely have the strategic planning for PJP covered.  What I've really noticed that we need at PJP is a Director of Short-Term Planning.  Here is a brief conversation between Jeanne and I that might give you a frame of reference: Me:  Are we making Sour Cream Cherry today? Jeanne:  I don't know.  Should we?  Did they all sell last Wednesday? Me:  Hmmm...I don't remember. Jeanne:  What pies are we doing tomorrow? Me:  Should we do tarts tomorrow? Jeanne:  Maybe we should do one of all the special pies tomorrow?  That would be cool. Me:  Where are we going to store those? Jeanne:  We should buy a new cooler for out front.  A big one with double doors. Me:  We can't afford that. Jeanne:  We can't afford not to. Me:  Maybe after Thanksgiving we could... Jeanne:  What is our plan for Thanksgiving? Me:  We should make a list of what we need for Thanksgiving.  Like a bouncer, and velvet ropes, and a drive-thru pickup line. Jeanne:  And we should make tarts and give them away to people waiting in line...and we should wear headsets! Me:  Tarts?  We struggled to finish PIES last year on time.  No on the headsets. Jeanne:  True.  But we did better at Christmas.  Should we make a list of what we need for Christmas?  Did we sell Sour Cream Cherry last Christmas?

And look, reading that conversation alerts me to the reality that Jeanne and I drive the struggle bus when it comes to focusing on TODAY.  We are both people with big ideas and if you know us well, you know that while we can't tell if whether we should make tarts tomorrow, we can tell you eighteen different ideas for expanding PJP to all 50 states.  Or perhaps starting three new businesses based on different concepts.  And oh, seven new packaging ideas for pies.  And maybe cookies.  And an idea or two for a complete change in color scheme inside PJP Buttonwood...(you know...for something to do in our spare time).

I don't feel bad about our farsighted focus for PJP at all.  It is one of the things I like about our partnership.  Except when the very nature of our business also requires immediate focus on the NOW.  As in, what are we baking today?  Who are we asking to work today?  What food do we need to order today?  We could hire someone to make the NOW decisions for us while we focus on the future, but we aren't quite ready for such dramatic relinquish of control yet.

And so the struggle to be cognizant of the need for 20/20 focus on the today - and the long-term PJP plan - is very real.  I try to be cognizant of our tendencies to think big picture and rein it in, but trust me when I tell you that I sometimes fail at it.  On occasion, I overcorrect us to a singular focus on the day-to-day operations and get nothing done for our long-term plan.  It is as maddening as it seems.

One day, when I have it figured out (ahem), I'll write a whole book on how to do it all and spare future business owners the struggle.  Except that book probably already exists and I don't even know because I'm too busy baking pies or working to systemize our food costs for future stores that we don't own yet.

But if you are curious, we did make the Sour Cream Cherry today.  So there is that.