Core Values

Core Values

Recently I have been reading a book called "Traction." This book helps you put a process in place for your business so that you are set up for success and can deal with challenges along the way. The very first thing that they mention doing is to write down your core values. I believe that everyone has core values but we don't often think about what those are or what is most important to us. I think that not only businesses need core values- individuals, families and other groups need them too. It describes what is truly in our hearts and what is at the core of what we do and why we do it. 

At my weekly entrepreneur's meeting our group coach helped me come up with my core values and why they were important to me. I think this exercise was so powerful to help me think about what is most valuable not only to me but how it affects others that I come in contact with. I believe we are all connected in some way or another. If I do something it has a ripple effect on others. That is why it is paramount to keep core values in mind before you take any action.

Because very soon I am going to be working with many others in a different setting I need to go through the process of defining the core elements of who I am and why I do what I do. In this way I can be sure to keep a sense of integrity in my work wherever I am. Here are my core values- what are yours? Can you have this discussion at work? At home? With your team or group? I'd love to hear how it goes for you! 

The Cheery Chef Core Values: 

People: Caring about people I encounter is very important. The customer is first. I think holistically that everything I do creates a ripple effect. I feel people's problems because I am an empath. 

Care: I care about what people really need. I like to provide food for special diets and I love to get to know people on a personal level. 

Attention to Detail: It is important to: keep things organized, make sure orders are correct, make sure things are done in a timely manner and put out the best quality possible. 

Community: It is important to make all people feel welcome and included. 

Quality: I believe it is important to have high quality ingredients. 

Gluten Free: Offering safe, healthy gluten free baked goods and meals is so important to provide for our community. 

Thank you so much for joining me on my journey! I look forward to hearing from you about your values and what matters most to you. 

Change & Transition

Change and Transition

Sometimes we plan change, sometimes it's gradual, or sometimes it's sudden. Many times it can be completely out of our control. As human beings, our lives are a series of changes, of growing and adapting either by choice or by circumstance. Sometimes change seems scary and sometimes it seems welcome. At times it can feel like the worst thing to ever happen to you, but at the same time the very best blessing. 

This is the complex situation I am facing right now with a very major, recent change that was out of my control. A few days ago I found out that the meal service platform that I use to have customers order meals to go from me- will be shutting down on March 30th. At first it was shocking and upsetting. It was a very emotional time for me and for all of the cooks on the platform. I know that the folks at Josephine did all that they could to keep things running, but as with all startups and something that really is so unique and out of the norm for most people, it was an uphill battle. I commend them for working so tirelessly for all of us and for really giving it a go. 

After the first couple of days of initial shock, and even during that time I went back and forth between feeling utterly devastated and intrigued about the new possibilities and new things I could do out in the community. The morning after I found out about the shut-down I had to sit there and cry for a while. It is important to me to let my emotions flow so that I am able to move on from difficult news. After that, I began to communicate with lots of people about the news and began to get some ideas from them. This started me thinking about the possibilities out there. Even though I am excited- some mornings I wake up elated that there will be new things to do and others I am terrified of starting over again. I think that all of this is normal and it is the process of letting go and surrendering to what is and what may be. 

In the end I truly believe that the universe is "kicking me out" of my home business to really get into the community, learn from others in coffee and food businesses and move closer to my own cafe. This is the path that I come back to again and again and it is what I have always wanted. The steps in between are for me to learn and grow and explore along the journey to "a place of my own."

As opportunities and possibilities open up I am thrilled and a bit scared still all at the same time. But in my deepest heart, I know that this phase will help me grow, change and keep on walking on my journey. 

I'd love to hear from you about changes you've had that have been "out of the blue" and what you have learned from them. 

Persistence & Patience in Your Life's Work

The Mastery Journal

In this rare post that is not a recipe post I am going to share with you some of my journey towards realizing my life's work. This journey is not a smooth one, with the path laid out in gold, or clearly marked yellow bricks. This one is a windy, twisty journey with a road that sometimes is paved with rainbows and other days with roadblocks, mud puddles and stones that you trip over. However, it is the only road I want to travel because I know that it leads me every day one more step in the right direction of my life's work. If you are looking to take this windy path that will lead to self discovery, goals met and so many positive things along the way, then this article is for YOU! 

Every day on this journey I work on myself, I work on my destiny, I work on my contribution to the community and society. Over the past 2-3 years as I transitioned from being a part-time English as a Second Language teacher mainly teaching classes at night to running my pie business to starting my business The Cheery Chef I have undergone many personal and business changes. I have sought to learn from others through books, videos, audios, coaching and more. I have learned to start reaching out for help and look for more resources and ways to stretch myself. I want you to start growing, reaching out and thriving along the path on your journey as well! 

Last year in 2016 I came upon a wonderful way to really go for my goals and to stretch myself- The Freedom Journal. This journal was created by John Lee Dumas from the amazing daily business podcast EO Fire!  I was able to complete two major goals last year with the daily accountability that The Freedom Journal provides as well as the accountability within The Freedom Journal Facebook Group.  I am also part of group that formed within that group OTED or One Thing Every Day- a small group where we post a photo of what we are working on that day.  In 2016 I managed to accomplish my two goals: I published my very first cookbook: Recipes for a Cheery Life: Gluten Free Brunch and I was able to record and publish to Facebook and You Tube 100 videos about positivity and inspiration- by asking questions of others. Because I did a great job in accomplishing my goals I was also featured on episode #1564 of EO Fire!

This has spurred me on to work even harder in 2017 on my goals. 

Never underestimate the power of daily accountability. You are more likely to take steps every day towards your goals if you are accountable to a journal and to a group. If you just set the goal on your own and hope to accomplish it, it is very unlikely that you will take the daily steps you need to in order to accomplish that goal. Daily check-ins with your Freedom Journal and with the Facebook group are a wonderful key to success. 

Even though I have accomplished a lot in the past year, there have been many obstacles to overcome. This is where Persistence and Patience come in for you. These two things, practiced daily will lead you to success. Sometimes it may seem like you are stuck, going nowhere, even though it seems like you have gone miles and miles down the path, trying lots of strategies, doing lots of work, putting yourself out there, stretching yourself. I have felt this a lot during the first part of 2017. In the summer of 2016 I decided to go for it and become a cook. This means that I am able to cook and serve meals that local folks order online from me and then pick up twice a week. I started off slow in 2016 and then started to gain momentum. By mid-December I had really gained some traction and had a good customer base. However, as often the case at the beginning of the year in January things really slowed down for me. We also had a major snow/ice storm in our area that really slowed business for so many people locally. Finally, when the weather cleared I had a great week of many more clients picking up meals towards the end of January. Then, there was another pretty slow week. It can be frustrating at times to have momentum working in your favor, and then to hit another roadblock. This is not the time for you to give up though! Please keep stepping over those stones on your path, they will lead to sparkling jewels for you in the future. 

You can keep going on your journey and find success if you work towards it daily. For this reason, during these slow times instead of feeling sad and defeated I have decided to reach out to others for ideas, create more recipes, create more menu ideas, do events out in the community, talk to more people. I know that these activities are like sowing seeds along the path on your journey. Right now the seeds are germinating in the soil along the path. Each day I sow more seeds there. The beautiful rain is coming down to water the seeds and the sun shines to give them light. The more seeds you sow along your path, the more daily actions you take with intention and positivity, the more flowers you will see start to pop up all around you in the form of small wins and successes! Those flowers for me are a new client, an email from the library to join in an author's event in the fall, a friend introducing me to their friend who has expertise in an area I need help in. Those are all flowers you can enjoy, be thankful for and enjoy the benefits from. 

Today, February 6th, 2017 is the first day on my journey that I am using The Mastery Journal to remain focused on my tasks throughout the day! See the Kickstarter campaign here to claim yours today:

You can use this journal daily to lay out your morning routine, set out 4 focused work sessions and then rate yourself for the day! I am so amazed at how productive I have been so far! I finished my first task early so I was able to spend a few minutes getting ready to write this post. Then, my second session is set up to write this blog post for all of you. Now, I have 2 more sessions left to accomplish even more! By following these sessions with Patience and Persistence I know I will win each day and that is a great thing to know. I want you to win each day too! That feeling will carry you through the times that are not as you would hoped. Don't let those times deter you, use Patience and Persistence and some great tools to help you along the way. 

I want to see you succeed and thrive in 2017, so I urge you to pick up copies of The Freedom Journal and The Mastery Journal. I know that by using them daily I am going to go farther on my path this year than in any other year in my life. I want the same for you. I want you to know that we are all waiting for your life's work. You have so much to give and we all need to see you go for it! Please feel free to reach out to me if you need help on your journey. We all do better if we help each other!