Friday, February 4, 2011

"No" New Year's Resolution

Earlier this week, my friend Kathia at Pink Little Cake blogged about a staying up late to do a last-minute order for a customer and how hard it was for her to say "No".  My comment was that bakers as a whole have a hard time saying No.  Is it our compulsion to make for and feed others, or is it as simple as not wanting to lose a paying customer?

It reminded me that I haven't shared my New Year's resolution with you all.  It's to learn better how to say "No" when I know I should. 

Case in point:  February is a horribly jam-packed month for us.  Two bridal shows (1 / 2) and a cake competition to be judged by none other than Duff Goldman of Charm City Cakes (but that's another post), and a special tasting at the Chattanoogan, not to mention the scarce few orders I felt I could take to bring in some revenue for the month..  And then I get a call from my good friend Tara at The Car Barn.  She is so excited and tells me that ABC's Extreme Home Makeover is coming to Chattanooga and she wants me to do a big elaborate cake for the fundraiser.  It broke my heart to tell her No, but I had already committed my time to these other people and projects.

I spent the next few days worrying about disappointing a friend and colleague, and about losing some potentially great exposure, but in the end I know that my customers, my husband, and my sanity will thank me for it!

So the question of the day for the other bakers that stop by is, Do you have a hard time saying No?

PS: If you're in the Chattanooga area, stop by the Chattanooga Convention Center this Sunday (Feb 6) and say "Hi".  We'll even give you some cake!


  1. Yes, I have a very difficult time saying "No"- its SO hard when you have other priorities and when someone asks for a cake you just can't say no because you love what you do and don't want to dissapoint them... I think we have all been up in the middle of the night to finish an order! Its so hard- I have cut back SO much now to only 1-2 cakes per month :) (this was one of my new years resolutions as well)

  2. Yes definitely. In the past, I have definitely said Yes, one too many times. Not for the revenue, but a client was in a bind or a friend or relative asks at the last minute and I just can't say no.

    However, in the last year - I was really good in saying no. This allows me to save room to do last minute nice things for family & friends too - I get freedom for those projects. Although sometimes there is an irresistablely cute kids cake, something super fun or a very last minute guy trying to do something special for his wife or mom.... I still have a soft spot if it is reasonable.

  3. I have to make this comment fast, because I didn't say "No" and I am making SEVEN cakes next week! Somehow, everyone I know is having an event next weekend and I just couldn't turn them down. I have to take two days off of my "real" job so I can get them all done. I think I need to borrow your resolution.... now I'm back to work! Thanks for the inspiration!

  4. I agree with you. I really have to learn how to say no and I am working on it. Money sometimes is an issue..I want to make a little extra to pay for a special class, but staying up until 2 am just because someone didn't do what they were supposed to do on time is something that I am totally done with it. My new thing is to say: I am very sorry but I am book on that day! Thank you so much for your comment on my blog regarding this issue.

  5. This is definitely something i have learned in the two plus years i've been cakeing now... it was really hard to say no at first because of course you want the business and the project seems fun and you think, oh, sure i can do that... but really, now i often say no because i know my capacity for design and crafstmanship. if i take on too much at least one of those orders won't get the attention it deserves... i always pass the job along to fellow cakers though so at least the customer is getting a referral!

    that is a real biggie you passed up -- so GOOD FOR YOU! and thanks for the reminder that it's ok to say "no"... ! ^__^


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