Over the weekend, I facilitated the 2-day Agri-Food Business Planning Workshop in the beautiful Creston Valley of BC with Marketing Guru Greg McLaren of Left Field Marketing and the help of Paris Marshall Smith of Fields Forward. I can’t get over what a beautiful experience it was. We had a sold out workshop, with twenty producers and processors participating from as far away as Summerland and Hedley. The session was jam-packed with goodness. We discussed relevant information according to the course modules, but more importantly – we networked and connected. I can say with confidence that we all learned so much. I even learned how to crochet! 😉 Thanks Colleen!
This morning I had some phone calls scheduled and client work to do, but found myself struggling to stay focused. By the time my phone call was over, my brain was actually hurting, despite the fact that the call was with a very fun, inspiring and wonderful entrepreneur (jerky, pasta, frozen meals, buffet, butchery…you name it, he’s doing it). So what was my next move, you ask? I cancelled the rest of my day, put on some music, had a hot bath and continued to crochet (I’m hooked, can you tell?).
When was the last time you took time off to nuture yourself? Admittedly I don’t do this enough. Today, I am doing just that. This is what my self-care and reflection time looks like:
- Hot Bath
- Crochet like a Boss!
- A glass of Baillie-Grohman Wine (Recolte Blanche, if you’re wondering what kind to try)
- Reflection on learnings from the workshop and how they will shape my business strategy
- Mapping out how I will move forward
I find that in business I often feel like we all keep our insights and “intel” to ourselves to make sure we have a competitive advantage but I’m throwing that all out the window today. Here’s what I learned from my afternoon of self-care:
- I don’t actually love hot baths – they’re too hot. Hot springs are more my thing. But the advantage of doing this is that when we’re naked, we’re vulnerable. And when we’re vulnerable and embrace this feeling, we have the opportunity to move past this vulnerable feeling.
- Crocheting is addictive and an awesome creative outlet. I can’t have too many hobbies or projects on the go.
- I love Baillie-Grohman wine. It’s excellent and I’m worth every penny.
- I learn so much from each workshop. Specifically from the Creston workshop:
- Learning and business growth isn’t just about information delivery but more about the confidence that’s imparted to students. Discussion is so relevant!
- Accept myself and be confident that I’m doing my best to help bring financial viability to small- and micro-scale food production in the Kootenays. I judge myself far more harshly than everyone else does.
- People don’t necessarily recognize the importance of the operational side of their food processing business. I want to help people so see that all parts of their business are equally important. Let’s use a “whole hog” approach!
- We’re operating in an environment where we have a logistical disconnect. Industrial agriculture and food production was built on the supply chain model. But the Kootenay food industry is more complex, we’re real people with interwoven values and the way we associate with one another is more than just “point A to point B”. We network and operate a values-based system. We’re people, not corporations. So there’s a huge gap in how we move things (information, materials & finished goods) around.
- What I’ve learned will shape how I grow Foundtree Product Design, and this is how I’ll do it:
- Schedule self-care and take the time to nurture creativity. It’s too valuable and refreshing to not be a priority.
- Spend more energy connecting with the people that matter. It’s the human element of what I’m doing that inspires me, and since we’re not able to always meet face-to-face in a great setting like the workshop this weekend, the next best thing is social media. So let’s connect:
- Don’t be shy – Become a member of the Kootenay Food Industry Listserv: www.foundtree.ca/listserv/
- Read about and be inspired by what’s happening in the local and global food industry, my entrepreneur-ish life and other businesses like yours: www.foundtree.ca
- Watch and absorb the technical and creative stuff (Master Your Small-Scale Food Processing Operations) in my Vlog (Foundtree TV on YouTube): https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC78GifvV9n9d4bZtRtPCOBA
So in conclusion, I had a crazy wonderful and exhausting weekend, took time for myself, reflected on what I learned and my next steps. Now I can move forward with clarity and confidence, AND my brain doesn’t hurt anymore! I hope you take the time to do the same.