How New Year’s Dinner almost Ruined my Business


POSTED IN: Business, Goals

Being from the South and from a long line of Southerners, our New  Year’s traditional dinner is pretty important. There are all kinds of stories about why we eat what we do, and how it’s going to bring us good luck and good fortune in the year to come in both our personal and business life. Plus, it’s just really good food. I mean, what Southerner doesn’t enjoy a good mess of black eyed peas cooked with ham hocks and some really good collards.

Confession 1 – not me. At least the collards part. I know. Shame on me.

Collards and A Wedding

Until I came across the sweetest girl, Elizabeth, whose wedding Norm and I photographed a couple of years ago. And y’all, they had a southern spread for their reception like I’ve never seen. On that spread? Southern cooked collards, of course. So I figured, well, I’ll try them. And y’all, my family has been cooking collards since way back when. Like growing, harvesting, and cooking those suckers up. And I have never taken a single bite. But you know, tastes change, and they looked really good. And because of that one wedding, with that one spread, with one bite of collards and hot sauce all over top of it, I. Fell. In. Love.

So I aimed for me to cook up a mess of those for New Year’s a few weeks ago.

And it was total disaster.

As in, I thought I was going to have to throw out one of my best hard-anodized boiling pots bad because the liquid had been boiled entirely out of the pot, and all that was left was some charred black-and-green remnants of what used to be collards. It was a nightmare, and I was sure it was the worst omen for 2017. I mean, seriously, what Southern girl can’t cook collards. On second thought, don’t answer that – since clearly I failed. And since collards are supposed to symbolize wealth (get it? Green? Dollar bills?), I just went into this desperation that our wealth was all going to get burned up. Waa. Waa. Waa. And I pity partied, while Momma made up some fantastic black eyed peas. Super delish. Of course.

Take 2

Well, I had one more bag of those fibrous greens that I’d bought from the store, and those babies were frozen, and honestly, it’s not in me to just give up on something. Especially when my Southern heritage and cooking lineage is at stake (my momma’s maiden name is Cook, after all).

So, since my  better half is in Texas on business this week and he wouldn’t eat them anyway (or witness another disaster), I figured this was the week that I would try my hand at them again.

No recipe.

No stressing.

Just get in that kitchen and do it. Start with bacon, add some onion and garlic, then simmer that green goodness in some chicken broth.

And y’all, they were perfect. They were the most delectable, delicious collards I have ever tasted. Everything was perfect, really: the fried chicken, mashed whipped potatoes, creamed corn. And of course, sweet tea. And the success of it was the sweetest part of all!

Business is Like That, Too.

That process is a patter I find in business. Getting caught up in the details trying to have everything perfect. Making all the nitty-gritty stuff just so, trying to have it all in place before the big dramatic reveal to others, and what winds up happening? The collards get burnt. We get so worried about other things that we miss the whole point.

So y’all, wherever you are in your business, wherever you are with your family, whatever it is you want to do or accomplish, my encouragement to you today is to just get in the kitchen and do it.

Want to start exercising? Start with 15 jumping jacks. Or find a daily workout blog like ToneItUp.com. If the gym is more your thing, do that. If you need accountability, grab a friend to walk with, or join a group fitness class.

Want to spend more quality time with your kids? Turn off the tv. Leave your phone in your desk, or somewhere tucked away so you won’t be distracted. Then get outside for 15 minutes. We’ve started keeping the tv off until after dinner, when the boys can split the time playing their video games. And it’s working great! We’re talking, they’re getting their chores and homework done without complaint, and I’m not having to fuss at them. It’s nothing short of a miracle, I assure you.

The point is, take baby steps.

Just as an ant hill is built one grain of sand at a time, a hive of honey is built one pollination spit at a time, as long as you start taking action towards your ideas, you’re going to make forward momentum.

Forward momentum towards your goals. Towards joyfulness, fulfillment, happiness. And in the process, I’m going to bet you’ll find that you are fulfilling others along the way.

What baby steps are you taking today? What are you intentionally doing to work towards where you want to be in 3 months, 12 months, 5 years? We have been inspired to take baby steps towards a new journey in our business. Aside from the portrait studio and photographing weddings, we want to help educate others to building and working toward their goals and dreams of having the same freedoms that we’ve experienced from our business. We have some really exciting plans in the works, that will come to fruition with a roll out date of March 23rd. Those baby steps aren’t going to be easy – think how hard it is for babies to begin walking! – but with your encouragement and support, we know it’ll be off and running in no time!

Share with us below what intentional baby steps you are taking so we can encourage you along in your journey! And sign up for the newsletter so we can keep in touch with you on our baby steps and you can be the first to know when it’s ready to make its debut to the world!

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