To commemorate a whole year of full time chefpreneurship I am writing a love letter to myself. As women we are often taught to humble ourselves. To not be too confident. To not boast. Well today I am going to toot my own horn to celebrate myself! I have learned and have accomplished a lot in just 1 year. So I deserve to treat myself with the support and kindness I give to others. Check out my letter below!
It has been 1 year since you quit your 9-5 job and started working your dream job as a full time chef in the midst of a global pandemic. I am writing this letter to you, because while you are always celebrating the accomplishments of others and sending waves of support, you often forget to do the same for yourself. Especially as of lately. You have experienced one hell of a year and I am so proud of you!
You started this journey without even knowing what was to come or exactly how you were going to do it. Yes you had your plans but some of those plans changed as you learned more about what it took to become a successful business owner. It was definitely more than you bargained for. However, you researched and reached out for help as needed. I am so proud of you for seeking resources and people to assist you on this journey. You know how hard it can be for you to do that especially when you become overwhelmed.
Huh. That word “overwhelmed” has been a recurring theme, wouldn't you say? Let's talk about it. You felt this word every step of the way and that's okay. You know why? Because you are human and doing your work with no business experience, so the feeling of being overwhelmed was inevitable.
You know what is also inevitable? GRACE! Yes, grace. That is your favorite word throughout this experience. It is a word that has been at the forefront of your mind every time OVERWHELMED “joins the chat”. You had to remind yourself constantly that you must give yourself grace. You have leaned on your support system to help in the times where you weren't able to give yourself as much grace as you preached ever so often.
So many necessary pep talks from friends and family. This entrepreneur experience is not for the faint hearted. So Michaella, again, I am so proud of you for toughing it out. I am also proud of you for not toughing it out and just taking a break when you needed it. You still struggle with feeling guilty for doing so but we are working on that. That's what we have our therapist for. She has been a pillar on this journey as well as your awesome husband. Shout out to them!
Michaella, you have learned so much in the span of a year. You even made an entire blog and Instagram post dedicated to some of the things you learned so far. You have also accomplished quite a bit on your own and with the help of others. Lets list them, shall we:
Creating majority of your website on your own
Participating in vendor opportunities to create awareness about your business, (and to collaborate with other entrepreneurs!)
Instructed several successful virtual cooking classes to people all over the country
Featured on Buzzfeed Tasty to educate others about Fufu and soup
Reached over 2,700+ followers on Instagram
Collaborated with other chefs to educate others about West African cuisine
Collaborated with other content creators doing Instagram lives
Booked 3 successful private dinners
Booked a catering job with Duke University plus other ever catering events
Created your own menus, flyers, social media content, blog posts, and organized it all on your own.
Utilizing your resources to teach yourself how to even do all of this!
YOU HAVE ACCOMPLISHED A LOT GIRL! YOU DESERVE SOME SELF PRAISE!!!
One other important thing you also learned is that it is ok to re-evaluate your goals and adjust your plans as you see fit. Life is not linear so setbacks do not mean something has ended. It just means it's delayed or redirected. No need to fret. You know to always trust your gut feeling and follow your heart as you have always done.
Michaella, you are an amazing human being, empathetic, graceful, empowering, beautiful, hard working, aware, loving, supportive, educated, transparent, intellectual, creative, humble, confident, and bad ass woman! Because you are so intuitive, you lead with your heart and that's what makes you so dynamic. You have inspired others on your journey through your transparency and vulnerability. You have truly poured your heart into your work and it shows.
Everything you do has a little bit of love and a lot of thoughtfulness in it. Even when your anxiety heightens and things may seem dark just continue to shine your light. One day you will look back and be glad you did. This journey is far from over but because you are an instinctive person, you know when it is time to re-imagine and re-evaluate. Again, that's okay. Don’t beat yourself up. Go at your own pace. Be kind to yourself every step of the way (treat you how you would want little Michaella to be treated). I love you so much. I am so proud of your growth! You got this queen! Cheers to year 1 and many more to come!