Often, our customers will stop by and say "well, what's going on in here today?"...and usually I will answer with something benign, like "oh, we are just here and living the dream." Which is funny only because sometimes we are in a complete disaster when I respond with that (and perhaps thereby NOT living a dream). Or only because sometimes living the dream is as simple as just baking a lot of pies and hoping to goodness people stop by to purchase them before we close at 5:30 and start all over the next day. Entrepreneurship is scientific that way. I've been addicted to The Moth for a while now, first listening online and now reading my second book of essays (both available at the Columbia Public Library). And if you aren't familiar, The Moth is project dedicated to keeping the art of storytelling alive. In short, The Moth hosts live events, creates podcasts, and curates collections of essays for publication that are the sort of interesting stories that you would tell on your front porch to your friends and neighbors...if we lived 60 years ago and gathered on our front porches instead of in front of our devices every night. I'm basically addicted because I'm a sucker for a good short story and I'm a sucker for interesting and random things that happen to people.
So, I just finished a whole collection of The Moth stories that focuses on the concept of grace. And not particularly (or specifically) grace as defined by religious belief, but the idea of extending another person the kindness that is life changing. And in a lot of those stories, there are powerful examples of grace, like answering a phone call that happens to be a wrong number, and then talking to that person for seven hours, ultimately talking them through a powerful drug withdrawal. Or once Joe DiMaggio did an exceptionally kind thing for a woman that allowed her to catch her flight to Washington D.C., wherein she ultimately secured a grant from the National Institute of Health that would eventually fund the research to discover the BRCA1 gene. I know, right?
And when I was thinking about all that yesterday, it made me think about our sweet PJP specifically because PJP (and thereby, Jeanne and I) is a solid example of being on the receiving end of grace that is Moth worthy. Remember that first Thanksgiving that was a complete disaster? One of our customers actually paid to feed Team PJP pizza and then another stayed late to help us clean up from hours of baking. I don't know if I could have had the courage to ever go back without that kindness. (And wait, let's not forget the customers who encountered us on that day of disaster and never judged us, but came back as regular customers to pick up pies with the full trust that it wouldn't be Thanksgiving all over again.)
Not to mention the kindness that comes our way every time someone reads the blog, shares our story with a friend, thinks of us when they need a dessert for a dinner party, or calls when they need 1,000 Jelly Jar to hand out at Christmas to their customers. Or maybe someone never buys a single pie from us, but they have come to know us here in this very small space of the Internet and they think of us often and belong to the #worldpiedomination movement, solely out of love of a good story (and of interesting and random facts...because we are good at that too).
So, I think when I frame it all that way, answering "living the dream" is basically spot on. Don't you?