For as long as I can remember I’ve loved chocolate chip cookies (not an insanely original or unique thing, right?). As I’ve gotten older I’ve wanted to consume less “bad foods” in my life and, big-time spoiler alert: Cookies are mostly made up of BAD FOODS.
In the paragraphs below I want to share how my journey to find/create a delicious (and healthy!) cookie recipe became a solid analogy for running my own business.
But, like you, I get frustrated when I come to a recipe and I just want the damn recipe without having to scroll forever. That’s why I’m starting with the recipe itself! You’re welcome!
Okay, now that you have the recipe and maybe you have a batch of cookies in the oven, let’s kill some time with the rest of the article…
What Finding The Perfect Healthy Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe Taught Me About Business
A few years ago I stopped buying break-and-bake cookies. You know the ones… you may even have some of them in your fridge right now. Listen, I’m not going to guilt-trip you about those, but just know I stopped eating them and have been on a mission to figure out a recipe for chocolate chip cookies that’s as healthy as possible #CaliforniaLife.
Anyhoo, recipe after recipe I kept running into small roadblocks. One recipe was great, except it called for a lot of butter. Another recipe was delicious but it tasted awful with any non-refined sugar. One recipe was close but for some reason half the time it tasted weird after baking (no clue!)
I have some pretty hilarious photos on my phone of different failed cookie recipes. If you follow me on Instagram you may even remember a time when I ended up making a “cookie burrito.” Amazing in theory, not very practical to eat.
From cookie burrito to a delicious batch of vegan gluten-free chocolate chip cookies!
One day, I took just a few of my random chocolate chip cookie ingredients and baked a really solid batch of cookies. It was one of those moments where I just told myself I knew I had all the ingredients I needed, let’s just try a slightly different combination and see how it goes. The cookies had:
- No refined sugar
- No butter
- No eggs
- Non-dairy nut milk
- Gluten-free flour
- And didn’t taste like carboard!
Ummm, did I just hit my own personal chocolate chip cookie jackpot?? 😱
The next day I baked another batch and they were just as good. Then a few days later another batch, same positively delicious results. I’ve now baked at least 30 batches of these cookies and they are consistent and scrumptious!
I know the recipe like the back of my hand and I can have a tray of warm cookie-goodness ready to eat in just about 30 minutes (damn you oven, requiring so much pre-heat time!)
Besides just talking about how great cookies are, how does this relate to running a business?
My journey to find the best chocolate chip cookie recipe is a lot like trying to solve problems in business. We WANT the perfect recipe, blueprint, or roadmap to lead us to the promised land. Yet, when we actually try to apply a blueprint or roadmap we don’t end up with a perfectly Instagrammable batch of cookies, we end up with a messy (yet tasty) cookie burrito.
Where we ACTUALLY end up solving problems in our businesses is when we’re willing to roll up our sleeves, experiment a bit, make a mess, and let things take as long as they might need to take.
That doesn’t mean you sit back and cross your fingers, it simply means things may take longer than you can account for and you have to be okay with that if your goal is to achieve a certain outcome.
For over a year, our journey with growing Wandering Aimfully’s membership has felt akin to my chocolate chip cookie journey. Some things work, some don’t, and I’m a bit frustrated by not being able to figure it out.
I’m guessing you might relate to this and know what it feels like to be frustrated with trying to grow your business? Well, guess what? That’s the way this life and business stuff goes. Through a few recent conversations with Caroline and my good friend Greg, I’m allowing myself to get more in the mindset where I was a few months ago with my chocolate chip cookie recipe.
Mindset shift: I’ve tried a lot of things and I’ll continue to try stuff but I’m going to put LESS pressure on myself and just see what happens.
Who knows, the right recipe for attracting more paying customers for Wandering Aimfully might pop up in a few weeks but it also might take another year (and I’m okay with that!)
We all succumb to trying to find the easy road when doing hard or unique things.
We have to stop and remind ourselves there are no silver bullets to success. Instead, we need to do the work, take action, experiment, and allow the results to come from all our experience and effort.