What bread making has taught me about entrepreneurship.

I am a novice in the bread making space as I am a novice in the world of entrepreneurship.

Bread, to me, is the most primitive form of cooking. There is something magical about how water, salt, air, and something living can come together to make something edible and comforting. A little time, some labor of love, and LOTS of patience and you finally have a product that is never perfect (no matter how many years of experience you’ve had) and it’s universally connected throughout the world. Every culture has a bread form. Food has been a universal language for centuries. I think the best way to experience any culture is through food because it’s something we can all connect to.

Now, what’s the sticky binder in entrepreneurship? What’s the universal yeast that is a catalyst to why we do it?

Well, similar to the bread making process. We all enter it not knowing what it is. We are intimidated by it but once we break it down, once we find our flow, and practice at it, we can all be bread makers and bread winners.

My love for bread making was inspired by the documentary series on Netflix, Cooked. This series talked about how the elements (air, water, fire, and earth) play into global cuisine. The first episode, air, made me obsessed with fermentation and the entire bread making process. Something so simple is seen as so intimidating. But anyone can make bread, just like anyone can make money. Over the past couple of years, I’ve been obsessed with how fermentation works. Fermentation is a beautiful, living process that has transformed the way we eat but it’s been around forever. Ancient cultures used fermentation as a way to preserve food and to get the most out of a product. It’s resourceful and if done intentionally, can be nutritious.

I think people have the same idea of entrepreneurship. It’s intimidating, it’s structured, it’s hard, or unapproachable. But entrepreneurship and bread making is like your friend with chronic RBF (resting bitch face) syndrome. Intimidating at first, but warm once uncovered.

As I’ve navigated my career early and my passion for bread making, I’ve learned that the two disciplines translate the same. Both require attention, interest, patience, time, and commitment. Bread making has brought my attention to detail because at every step of the process, it’s important to know what is going into it and how it tastes and how it feels. When we build culture or brands, we have to know what things look like at every step. It’s calculated but we can control what goes into it. When things don’t right, we have to figure out another approach to yield a final product. Now we might gotten so far and the bread has been made but it doesn’t quite taste right so we have to go back to figure out why. A few simple ingredients mixed together should yield a beautiful product.

Now that’s not always true.

Bread making depends on the conditions, the quality, the approach, the time. There are so many external variables that go into making a quality loaf. Just like a quality brand. You can have the most refined business model but something external may affect your results. How you grow depends on what you are willing to put into your brand and how much you are willing to wait for it. It takes time for your business to grow but you have to keep going when it doesn’t. On the surface, it may not seem like anything is happening but an entire ecosystem of progression is bubbling.

I’ve loved every loaf of bread I have ever made because of what I’ve learned. There have times where I’ve wanted to scrap the dough and throw away or it just tasted a little too sour. But I learned and adapted to what the dough needed, not my own idea of what I thought it needed. I think that we have this idea that it needs to be perfect every single time. Honestly, if it’s edible or can be made into breadcrumbs I find that to be successful. This translates to lessons I have learned from working on different teams or having different leadership. Whatever you do, even if it’s not perfect, it’s still an opportunity to learn.

What I love so much about what I do is that I get to connect with people on deeper levels. I feel for them. I interact with them closely. I work alongside them to understand their story and to me, food does the same thing. Cuisine allows us to build bridges and connect with one another over a story that’s before us. Every style of food has been inspired by something else. Every brand and every person has been inspired by their journey or people before them. It’s our common denominator.

Developing as an entrepreneur is no different than dough forming. You have your ingredients, a living passion to activate it, and you allow time to feed it so it’s this living, breathing thing that you can share with the rest of the world. If it doesn’t work out, it’s okay because you learned something about the process. It’s laborious but beautiful. You’re taking seemingly small and developing it into something special. Bread starts with a grain. Your company starts with an idea.

The disciplines of both are not easy. They come in so many different forms but I believe that if you’re passionate, motivated, and want to create something special you have the power to do so.

I love what I do. I love to create and bring people together. I am fortunate that it’s translated to this practice. I am so happy to be back to create more beautiful, fruitful things for you all.

Until next time,

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