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Pie Bar's Story: Year Four

Pie Bar's Story: Year Four
Photo: Cody & I celebrating Pie Bar's 4th Birthday. September 2019.


I have loved the amount of time we have spent together over the past few posts sharing Pie Bar's Story: Year One, Year Two, Year Three. Each one has covered an entire year in Pie Bar's life..and soon we will celebrate Year Five for Pie Bar.

Let us all close our eyes, picture that sweet, sweet fireside where we have spent so much time together..and share another special moment together. Tea, anyone?

Every year I look forward to the reprieve that comes during the month of January. It allows us time to breath after the holiday madness. During this time, the shop stays busy, but not packed. The to-do lists are there, but not overwhelming. In general, January is a great time to reset, review our goals for the year, and set a plan for the months ahead. 

In January 2019, we knew things would be different. We had growth plans in place for Pie Bar and I was determined that 2019 was our year for implementation. I had my goal list set and ready, but as much as I did not want to admit it, we needed help.

2019 Goals for Pie Bar:
- Open 7 Days a Week
- Ship Pies Nationwide
- Move into Extension Kitchen

A few days into January, I sat down with my goal list in one hand and a coffee in the other. Cody was to my left and Pie Bar's newly promoted Shop Manager, Vivian, was sitting across the table from us. This meeting was important.

From the beginning, either Cody or I had made every. single. decision surrounding Pie Bar. From big decisions (What are Pie Bar's Hours Going to Be?) to small decisions (What Brand of Toilet Paper Should We Buy?) and every decision in between. You could say we were control freaks. Actually, if you asked Cody he would say I was the control freak..but he isn't writing this so too bad for him. 

I truly believe that the reason we survived the first few years was BECAUSE of this reason. We were making things up as we went along and at the time, there was no blueprint to follow. Sometimes I made the wrong decisions or handled situations incorrectly, but as new business owners and leaders, our number one goal was to survive and make it to the next day. I knew that I was the only person at the time that could make those decisions for my new business, and looking back I know those years were necessary in order to lay the foundation for Pie Bar in the future.

 However, by the end of Year Three, Pie Bar had grown and required a different kind of leadership. If you read my previous email, you know that Cody and I spent a lot of time on the road during Year Three. What I failed to mention was that during that time, I still FELT like I had to be in control..even from far away. We made it through, but I finally started to realize my desire to control every situation was officially stunting the growth of Pie Bar, impacting my relationship with Cody, and prohibiting the professional growth of the people on my team. It was time for a change and a new goal.

2019 Goals for Pie Bar:
- Make Myself Replaceable and Allow Proper Team Development
- Open 7 Days a Week
- Ship Pies Nationwide
- Move into Extension Kitchen

Fast forward to that meeting with Vivian. This was the first step of trusting someone else with something I had poured my heart into for three years straight. She allowed me to begin the process of loosening my grip on the day-to-day operations of Pie Bar and to free up my time to focus on those other goals.
(P.S. Vivian is totally crushing it!!)

- Open 7 Days a Week. Check.
- Ship Pies Nationwide. Check.
- Move into Extension Kitchen. Check.

To be honest with you, I am still working on "Making Myself Replaceable and Allow Proper Team Development." I am nowhere near perfect, and I am sure our team would agree that sometimes I can slip back into old habits. As twisted as it sounds, I have to remind myself that my worth is not wrapped up in my job as a leader, but rather I can only be a good leader if I relinquish some control and allow our team to make decisions.

We are celebrating Year Five on September 1, 2020, and I look forward to connecting with you soon.


Your Friend,
Lauren