It doesn't happen terribly often this time of year, but today Jeanne and I found ourselves with no pressing need to actually be at PJP Buttonwood. While we are always closed to customers on Mondays, we usually spend at least a part of our day there prepping for the week ahead (or, in Jeanne's case, scrapping dried dough from our concrete floors with a razor blade while wearing knee pads and encouraging me to do the same...and then I decline because the sound of razor blade on concrete makes me ill, opting rather to work on social media and pay the 4,191 bills that are delivered each week to our mailbox...which also makes me ill, now that I think about it.)
But ANYWAY. We were able to accomplish quite a bit in-store on Saturday and so we decided to attack our day in a completely different mindset today. We decided to just sit down together and talk about our plan for this upcoming weekend at Holiday Festival. We also discussed some key Thanksgiving planning items, including drawing the layout of how we plan to utilize our space next door (henceforth known as "Spare Space"). And after it was all done, I thought to myself that if we were able to accomplish that sort of non-baking productivity every week, we might actually be an unstoppable force.
But it is a little interesting to note that as the day progressed, I started to feel a little unsure about how spent our time. As in, perhaps we really just wasted the day because we weren't scraping floors or making boxes or rolling dough. As in, the conversations we had and planning we accomplished simply wasn't as valuable as working in the space on the list of never-ending things to finish.
And I'm not sure why I started to feel that way, but it was disappointing. I would suspicion that there is a bit of safety in focusing solely on the cleaning and the dough rolling. Once it is done, you can see your accomplishment. But sitting down together and engaging in a long conversation about planning is daunting. It reminds us both that holding a small business together is really just a tenuous house of cards (and sadly, there is no Frank Underwood to narrate this one for us).
And as we started to plan for this weekend's Holiday Festival, we started to create more questions than we could answer. Should we take tarts or jars or babies or all three? And how much of each? And what if we sell out and don't have more? What if we don't sell much at all, but we expend the energy that a full festival weekend requires? Are we doing the right thing? DO WE KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT ANYTHING AT ALL?
So maybe the last part is a little dramatic (ahem), but the point is that pushing ourselves to grow and planning for that growth is difficult. It takes the tacit agreement that we are both committed to #WorldPieDomination, as scary as it feels sometimes...and certainly as overwhelming as it seems sometimes. Which is a good reminder for when I start to second guess myself. Or I could just listen to the sound of Jeanne's razor blade on concrete...that would work as well.