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I'm thinking about quitting.

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
I've been decorating cakes for five years . I love what I do but I'm not a detail person...I don't work well with others...I'm disorganized, scattered, and worst of all forgetful. How do you deal with your flaws or shortcomings in such a highly detailed career? I try so hard to keep it all together but no matter what I end up making silly mistakes. Does anyone else have this problem?

Here are a few of the complaints I've had over the last six months from the other people I work with.

1. Losing tools when taking them off site.
2. Not being considerate of others( my stuff getting in their way.
3. Not calling people back(customers)
4.leaving details out of orders, messy hard to read
5. Being late for design appointments
6. Scheduling an appointment and forgetting
7. Messing up two birthday cake orders by not doing the design how they asked.
8. Leaving messes for someone else to clean up

All I can say is all of these things are valid. I know I did every single one of these mistakes. There is no excuse but none of it was done maliciously or on purpose. A lot of the mistakes happened during really busy times or during highly stressful times. Pretty much just described my profession. I'm always busy and stressed I make huge messes because my orders are huge. Lots of hand painting, sculpting. I'm the only person at the bakery who does custom orders and wedding cakes.

Not sure what to do. My husband wants me to work from home I think that would only makes everything worse. I'm ready to move on and do something else.
post #2 of 21
Do u see yourself doing something else or is this your passion?
post #3 of 21
Thread Starter 
I'm definitely passionate about what I do and I really don't have a clue what else I would be good at.
post #4 of 21
Do the complaints of the other people bother you? No one is perfect. I work out of my home but if I worked baking with others, it might not be such a good thing. icon_biggrin.gif
Certain things you mention might be easily corrected. I send you best wishes!
post #5 of 21
Some of this is obvious. You need to start picking up after yourself.

However, if you are that creative, and some people are, you should be able to charge enough so that you can hire someone to do ALL of those things.

1. You should keep track of the tools.
2. Pay someone to clean up.(Extra if they already work there.)
3. Pay someone to return calls to customers.
4. Pay someone to make detailed notes at a meeting.
5. Pay someone to go to design meetings.
6. Pay someone to schedule design meetings and above.
7. Do the order right if you want to be in business.
8. Pay someone to clean up.

This is a legitimate answer. Not condescending at all. But if you can't run the business and don't make enough to pay someone, well, the solution is right there.

Good luck with your decision
post #6 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by buttercreammgt

A lot of the mistakes happened during really busy times or during highly stressful times.


You might have an easier time if you were less busy, try raising your prices.
post #7 of 21
your photos of the cakes look great. and if this is your passion I would not be so fast to throw in the towel. I cant imagine working with others on a cake or around them. I am a home baker and I do most my cakes after the dinner dishes have been put away and the kids ready for bed. However the down side is I work 35 hours a week elsewhere and do one or two cakes a week on my own at home. But with your special cakes and if you do weddings you can get the best of both worlds. Best of luck with your decision


PS I have made most of thos mistakes, as well. They are not funny at the time and they are frustrating, The more tired and stressed I am ..l.the worse it gets
post #8 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by buttercreammgt

I've been decorating cakes for five years . I love what I do but I'm not a detail person...I don't work well with others...I'm disorganized, scattered, and worst of all forgetful. How do you deal with your flaws or shortcomings in such a highly detailed career? I try so hard to keep it all together but no matter what I end up making silly mistakes. Does anyone else have this problem?

Here are a few of the complaints I've had over the last six months from the other people I work with.

1. Losing tools when taking them off site.
2. Not being considerate of others( my stuff getting in their way.
3. Not calling people back(customers)
4.leaving details out of orders, messy hard to read
5. Being late for design appointments
6. Scheduling an appointment and forgetting
7. Messing up two birthday cake orders by not doing the design how they asked.
8. Leaving messes for someone else to clean up

All I can say is all of these things are valid. I know I did every single one of these mistakes. There is no excuse but none of it was done maliciously or on purpose. A lot of the mistakes happened during really busy times or during highly stressful times. Pretty much just described my profession. I'm always busy and stressed I make huge messes because my orders are huge. Lots of hand painting, sculpting. I'm the only person at the bakery who does custom orders and wedding cakes.

Not sure what to do. My husband wants me to work from home I think that would only makes everything worse. I'm ready to move on and do something else.




1. When you're finished using the tool (off site), put back in your bag (or whatever you brought them in) to take back with you. If you're losing them because you're cleaning them and leaving them where you wash them, put them in your bag dirty and clean when you get back to your store (or bakery).
2. Bring out things only as you need them, and when you're finished using them, put them away (so they don't get in others way).
3. Have an eraser board handy to write down that you need to return a customers call. Do it in red...so it "sticks out" more.
4. If you're taking orders and leaving out details, and writing sloppy, just slow down...repeat everything the customer has said to you back to the customer to "confirm" their order. If something is left out, they'll let you know right then, and not once the cake has already been finished.
5. As for being late, I can only understand doing this if something happens beyond your control. If it's because you "just couldn't get out of the house on time", consider leaving earlier. Beyond those few "beyond our control" situations, there's really no excuse for being late.
6. Schedule appointments on a calendar right where you constantly see it, and write it in red. Make a habit of looking at the calendar first thing in the morning.
7. Write the customers orders on something like an order form, and attach it above your work station (like a cook looks at a print out of a customers dinner order at a restaurant).
8. Once you're done with whatever you're doing, just have pride in your work space and clean it. Not sure what else to say about that.

Are you sure you're not just suffering from a bit of a burn-out? Sometimes people get sloppy when they are. If you love what you do, try to come up with ideas so these issues aren't issues anymore! Best of luck! thumbs_up.gif
post #9 of 21
Thread Starter 
I would definitely say I'm suffering from burn out! More from the relational aspect of working with others. I don't think I have it in me to launch my own business from home at this point. I'm not sure it's worth all the time and cost it takes.
post #10 of 21
How about taking less orders? just limit yourself to as few or as many as you think you can handle per week?
post #11 of 21
I know where you are coming from. Quite a few of the things you mentioned have happend to me as well.

Work on one point at a time. Pick the one that bothers YOU the most and make an effort to avoid making this mistake from now on. Take measure that will help you to achieve this. For instance, when scheduling an appointment make it mandatory for yourself to write it down. Actually mention it to the person you are making the apponitment with "I am writing this in my calender right now" and repeat back what you have written down. It will not work 100% from the start but you will get into the habit of doing it and it will cease to be a problem after a little while. Then tackle the next thing.

And say NO if it is too much. As it seems not to be your own business you are working in you are not so much under pressure to pay bills. Sit together with your employer and agree to limits of what you can do without burn-out syndrome lurking around the corner. It will help nobody if you eventually break down. Ask me how I know, I am skimming close to burn out at the moment after working 100-hour-weeks since the beginning of the year. But as I have my own business I have less of a choice.
And while you are very busy, stay focused to the task at hand. Structure your work day, sit down before you begin and decide what has to be done in which order and stick to it, working at one task at a time. I have found this to help me enourmosly.

Don't give up if you don't want to, there are ways to organise yourself to avoid many of your trouble-points!
post #12 of 21
Sticky notes. The big ones. Don't answer the phone or plan a shopping trip or discuss a design without a pen in your hand and sticky notes to write on. And then put them where they'll be in your face. I didn't realize just how I depended on this until my dd called and I told her to hold on until I could get my sticky notes to write on. icon_rolleyes.gif
post #13 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by jgifford

Sticky notes. The big ones. Don't answer the phone or plan a shopping trip or discuss a design without a pen in your hand and sticky notes to write on. And then put them where they'll be in your face. I didn't realize just how I depended on this until my dd called and I told her to hold on until I could get my sticky notes to write on. icon_rolleyes.gif



Yep! I use my Notes ap on my iphone several times a day and make sure to write things on both my phone's calendar and the one hanging on my wall. Also, I never talk to a customer without my notebook in hand. If I don't write things down, I WILL forget!
Just don't lose your sticky notes, phone or notebook! icon_wink.gif
post #14 of 21
I work 50 hours + at my first business (daycare) and do cakes (my second business) on nights and weekends. With 4 kids and a hubby (who is the most understanding person in the world about me being a workaholic) things were getting stressful! For lost tools, I put tools that go together in organizing stackable boxes. When they are dirty, they go in a large cup (so the little things don't get lost. When I wash them, they do not go in my regular sink. I put them out to dry separately and then put them in their respective boxes. I just have to make myself do it. For orders, I have started to keep a portfolio next to my computer, which is by my phone. I was always loosing my scraps of paper! The portfolio holds them until I tear them loose and put in a protective sleeve. The protective sleeve then gets taped on my cabinet so I can see it! They are in date order so I know what is coming up. I also write the name on a calendar so I can see it every day. I then make an email confirmation with all of the information that I gathered, including pictures, and all of the changes. Once that is confirmed (they have to say Yes, that is what I wanted) I print all of that out and put it in the protective sleeve. That way, I know exactly what I am expected to do. I keep the orders in the sleeve until I get feedback. If I don't hear from my client, I will always try to do a follow up call or email. Then I file it away.
As far as working with someone, I have not worked with or for someone for 17 years. Don't know if I could! Office politics can be more stressful than the work itself! I do work on cakes with hubby though. It is our bonding time! icon_smile.gif He picks out the music and we rock through our cake orders! Now, having said all of that, your co workers may be stressing out too. I would get frustrated if my tools were missing or I had to clean up after someone. I get aggravated when my kids don't do it. Sometimes, you just have to step back and say "how can I make this better". You may even have to turn down a few projects if you are too busy. I had to and it has done wonders for stress level. If caking is a passion, you shouldn't give it up. Nothing else will fill the void. I know. I tried to quit daycare 11 years ago. Couldn't fill the void and wasn't fit to live with! Best wishes to you in whatever you decide. icon_smile.gif
post #15 of 21
OP do you work for yourself or someone else? Are you able to hire someone to help to take on some of these issues? Good Luck icon_smile.gif
Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming. What do we do? We swim, swim, swim.
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Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming. What do we do? We swim, swim, swim.
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