Turns out Nike was right.

Remember all those JUST DO IT ads? For someone such as myself who has always avoided anything even remotely resembling athletic competition or exertion they were something I registered then disregarded. Just do it? Yeah sure, whatever, now pass the vodka and chips please.

A little while ago I wrote about the universe as a higher power or force, the idea of putting things out there in a very cosmic and vague way and trusting that things will work out like they are supposed to. I believed in it when I wrote it and the last six weeks or so have taken those ideas, injected some fuck-yeah-fist-in-the-air spirit, and proven to me that both Nike and myself were on the money.

About a year ago I decided that after a few years as a full time stay at home mum and a couple of decades working part time in food retail and hospitality that I would take the leap and go into business for myself. By “I decided” I mean that my husband was firmly pushing me to do something that he believed I was made for, and I went along with it while trying to convince myself that at least we wouldn’t starve when I inevitably failed or chickened out. I looked at businesses for sale, spent time watching their comings and goings, made follow up phone calls, but there was a lot of fear in my heart, a lot of second guessing that I was kidding myself, so much doubt and constant thoughts that a good home cook does not a savvy business person equal.

Then an opportunity came along earlier this year. It seemed too good to be true but since we were heading on an overseas holiday I never made any serious enquiries and pretty much just flicked it away with oh well never mind. We got back from holidays and about two weeks later the same opportunity popped up again. Even I could see that it was calling my name so I decided to take a look. It was exactly what I had been afraid of taking on: a proper cafe that had previously had a big and successful reputation, and was based on cooked to order meals, the one thing I wanted to avoid. I finally admitted to myself that there was a reason that this had been lobbed back at me, so I decided to go and take a proper look.

And what do you know, there was some real potential there.

I spent a couple of weeks hanging around and working for the soon to depart owners and it wasn’t long before I had that ol’ proverbial light bulb moment: I can do this.

Like, I can really fucking do this and do it well.

In the end I had a few days notice of my start date, and naturally it coincided with the absolute craziest time in our family’s birthday calendar which made for the most insanely hectic few days in my whole life, but there was no other option but to grab this opportunity with both hands, prepare to work my butt off, dive in and hope for the best.

You know: JUST DO IT.

There have been light moments peppered with Romy and Michelle business-woman-special jokes, and there have been lots of sixty hour work weeks. {As in, ALL of them}. There have been moments of omg I feel like an inspirational Pinterest quote come to life {yes I think in italic}, moments of wondering what new menu item to try next, moments of questioning if I inherited the right suppliers or if I should shop around, and moments of knowing that I am taking a huge risk but that it’s the right thing to do so it’s not really that much of a risk after all.

Moment after moment of just doing it.

And it turns out I’m pretty good at it.

But I was so scared of trying. Scared of trying and failing. Scared of trying and failing and everyone knowing I tried and failed. Scared of venturing out of my comfortable suburban stay at home mum cocoon and taking on challenges meant for other, more ambitious, people.

And while I am loving the part where I get to spend my days doing what I really love (feed people), what has been unexpected is the sense of achievement and accomplishment. The feeling that all the long hours and countless nights spent working on stuff til I fall asleep with the computer in my lap are for the benefit of me and my family. The pride in knowing how much fear and self doubt I overcame just to commit to this, the pride in seeing that I can, in fact, do this.

I was supposed to be a famous blogger you see. I was so sure that by sharing my pearls of wisdom in the vast ocean of personal bloggers I would catch the right persons attention and they would beg me to keep doing what I was doing and could they please pay me to do it. Cooking was what I did because I had four kids and had decided at age seventeen that I didn’t want to be a complete failure in the kitchen. My food blog was meant to be an online recipe book for the day that my kids moved out and asked me how to make all those things they love to eat. Cooking was never meant to be the money maker. All those years spent perfecting frittatas and macarons was never meant to lead to my own business where I cook breakfast all day long.

Ironically, the one meal I have never really been into.

There have been some customers asking how I got into it; they have long dreamed of owning something similar, how do you find the right business, when is the right time, how did you hear about it, how did you decide on that particular brand of coffee. Their questions make me smile, and I have only one response.

Just do it.

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