Archive for the Entrepreneur Category

Serial Entrepreneur Part 3…4….5

Posted in Entrepreneur, Essential Oils, Finding a Job, JenDelicious Cupcakes, Personal, Photography, self-employment with tags , , , , , , on June 29, 2016 by JenDelicious Cupcakes

Feel like I’m falling and I can’t get up!

So I think I must be a little crazy.  I keep trying all these new ideas in the hopes that one will take off and show me the way to make enough money to help support my family yet keep me from having to go back into the traditional workforce.  In the last two years since my last post (wow!) my cupcake business is still alive, barely.  My real estate photography business is alive…again barely.  My Choffy business totally went under…but that’s partly because the company changed the way they distribute their product and partly because sales is just not my thing.

I realized these other efforts were actually costing me money so I’ve started yet another business from home.  I work part time for a business broker doing a lot of his routine admin work and marketing functions so he can focus on the sales part of his business.  I truly enjoy this because I like my boss who is amazing to work with. Also this business doesn’t require me to do any sales, I can set my hours and work at my own pace.  I don’t make a ton of money doing it but it’s paying for my daughter’s braces, so every little bit helps.

I’ve also recently started using essential oils and in order to receive a discount on my products, I decided to become a wellness advocate.  I’m not making much at this because I just don’t like to sell stuff but I’m finding that I really am starting to believe in the power of these products. My husband and girls are believers too.  My upline leadership believes that if we just talk about how we use the products and what we like about the products, that will do a lot the sales work for us.  I guess we’ll see.

After several years of doing this entrepreneur thing…I’m still trying to figure it out.  I really need to find a better way to make money that isn’t tied to someone else’s schedule. In order to do that, I guess I need to figure out what type of business is my strongest suit, makes me reasonably happy and pursue that.  Having 5 or 6 micro businesses is definitely not making me any money right now.  It’s just making me tired, overwhelmed and frustrated.  It doesn’t help that I’m trying to work on my MBA at the same time.

A Serial Entrepreneur… I think?!

Posted in Cupcakes, Entrepreneur, Photography, Real Estate with tags , , , on August 14, 2014 by JenDelicious Cupcakes

I haven’t written on this blog in a very long time!

Wow… I didn’t realize just how long it’s been. I’ve been pretty busy in the last year and half. I left my defense contracting job, started a local cupcake bakery out of my home and am now considering starting a real estate photography business.

I really enjoy baking cupcakes but with the restrictions that Florida has on home bakers, there’s only so far I can take this business before I have to either move to a commercial kitchen, open a storefront or be satisfied with the small amount of orders I can complete from home.

So, I’ve started to look at other avenues to bring in a little extra money while still fostering my need to use my creative side. A friend of mine is in the real estate business and after seeing some of the pictures I’ve taken of my cupcakes and of my husband’s band… she asked if I would be willing to photograph a home that she has listed.

I’ve been in the home before and it’s lovely… so I thought, what the heck… let’s try it and see how it goes. So, I took a deep breath, grabbed my tripod, my Canon 7D DSLR camera and a couple of lenses and jumped in. The link below is to the home that I photographed. They will be having a broker’s open house next week which my friend invited me to and I’m super nervous about it.  I’m hoping other agents like my work but I have no idea what to charge especially since I’m a newbie and still building my portfolio.

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I’ve started looking at a lot of online real estate photographs to see what I like and what I don’t. I’ve been checking out real estate photography tutorials to get some pointers on lighting, tips on using Lightroom and Photoshop to help me optimize my photographs and how to determine what to charge but there’s a lot to learn.  I have good equipment, good lenses and decent software… now to get some clients and start building that portfolio here in the Apollo Beach/Riverview, FL area!

Wish me luck as I start embarking on another new journey!  Who knows where this one will take me!

New Beginnings – Part II

Posted in Choffy, Cupcakes, Entrepreneur, JenDelicious Cupcakes, self-employment, Wine with tags on July 30, 2013 by JenDelicious Cupcakes

So it has been a LONG time since I’ve written and a LOT of things have happened.  I’m still working my Choffy business albeit mostly for personal use for myself and a few of my friends!  AND…I left my government contracting job!  Why you ask??

Well, we’ve started baking cupcakes.  Last year, when our youngest daughter was turning 10, we dropped by a local bakery that had been in business for 20+ years and picked up some beautiful cupcakes.  Unfortunately, those cakes tasted like Crisco and cardboard…certainly not worth the $3.50 per cake we paid… so my hubby and I thought we could do better.  Over the last year, we have developed some fantastic recipes and have started our own cupcakery in the Riverview, FL area.  We decided on the name JenDelicious Cupcakes as a play on our names… Jen… is kind of obvious… that’s me… Del is my hubby and fellow cupcake engineer so he’s the Del in Del-icious!  So… JenDelicious Cupcakes was born!!

Currently, we are a cottage based business so there are a lot of restrictions on what we can sell and where we can sell our products… but hopefully, as we build our customer base and gain more exposure we can create a store front or at least bake out of a commercial kitchen!  We are learning  the ropes as we go.  We’ve provided cupcakes for local preschool graduation ceremony, a military promotion ceremony and we are preparing to provide cupcakes at a wine event at Strong Tower Vineyard in Spring Hill, FL.  We are super excited about this challenge as pairing wine with cake has to be done carefully in order to bring out the best in both the cake and wine!!

Anyway, below, is an example of one of my favorite cupcakes… an Irish Surprise (or better known as an Irish Car Bomb cupcake).  It’s a Guinness based chocolate cake, filled with a Jamison’s Irish Whiskey and dark chocolate ganache and topped with a light fluffy Bailey’s Irish Cream buttercream and finally sprinkled with a little green sugar for decoration.

You can find us at www.jendeliciouscupcakes.com or on facebook at http://www.facebook.com/JenDeliciousCupcakes.

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New Choffy Distributor

Posted in Brewed Chocolate, Chocolate, Choffy, Entrepreneur on January 27, 2012 by JenDelicious Cupcakes

So I did it!  I took the plunge and am going to start my own Choffy business.  Ok… I’m going to be a distributor for Choffy… but it’s still a business right!  I really love this stuff.  Not sure how good of a sales person I will be but I really enjoy drinking it so I should be able to sell it.  If you are interested in learning more about Choffy, check out my link under great products on the side bar.

http://www.drinkchoffy.com/deljenlane

Choffy Time

Posted in Brewed Chocolate, Chocolate, Choffy, Entrepreneur with tags , , , on January 22, 2012 by JenDelicious Cupcakes

Alright then, here comes a new year and a new post… finally!

Last weekend I decided to take my kids to the Festival of Chocolate at the Tampa’s Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI).  Even though I started a new Weight Watcher’s diet, I decided to torture myself and try to behave amidst all that chocolate.  Boy am I glad I went.  I ate the best Guiness Beer and chocolate mini cupcakes ever, my girls got to make their very own chocolate lip gloss and I was introduced to a great new drink…  Choffy!

Choffy is similar to coffee and tea.  Choffy is made from cacao beans (cocoa beans) that are roasted and ground for use in an automatic drip coffee maker or French Press.  My introduction to Choffy was their Ivory Coast version with French Vanilla creamer.  I was really impressed by the brewed sample they provided and went back and purchased a full size cup of the stuff!  I also grabbed a business card because I was so impressed so I could check them out at home.  The next day, I decided to purchase a French Press (because they said that was the best method to get the most flavor out of the grounds) and three small 12oz bags – one of each variety they carry.

I received the items about 4 days after purchase and loved the Ivory Coast version at home just as much as I liked it at the Festival… tasted exactly the way I had remembered it.  The La Espanola and Mamberamo are also good but have slightly different tones to them that I don’t care as much for.  Don’t get me wrong, they are good, but just not the same as the Ivory Coast version that I first tried. My seven year old loves the Ivory Coast as much as I do, my husband likes it but prefers his Keurig brewed iced french vanilla coffee and my nine year old likes the taste but says it upsets her tummy a bit.  So the home reviews are a bit mixed.  I also introduced the Choffy to my good friends and they both liked it a lot.  Considering the fact that brewed chocolate has lots of antioxidants and supposedly doesn’t give you the jitters that regular coffee does, I figured it’s got to be better than those high calorie, hi-fat Starbucks white mochas that I have been trying to break an addiction to!  That said, I’m still testing it out on myself, my friends and my family… so I will have to decide if that’s hype or fact based on my own personal experiences.

In the four days since I received my French Press and my Choffy, I’ve also started experimenting with different creamers and varying levels of sugar to see what I really like.  So far, I’ve tried French Vanilla, White Chocolate Mocha, and Italian Sweet Cream in my Ivory Coast.  My favorite, hands down is the French Vanilla with the Italian Sweet Cream next in line.  Not fond of the White Chocolate Mocha but that could be because I accidentally picked up the fat free version, so maybe that has something to do with it.

Anyway, I’m pretty impressed with the stuff and see lots of potential for the market.  I’ve contacted the distributor from the Festival to ask some questions about distribution and to see how many distributors are already in the area since I don’t want to start up something in a market already being worked heavily by someone else if I decide to take this up as a side business.  Once I hear back from her, I will decide whether or not to plunk down my money to get into distribution myself…

Can’t wait for Girl Scout Thin Mints to get here… so I can sit down with them and my Choffy!!

Until next time!!

Long time…

Posted in High Five Motor Drive, Modern Mayhem, Music, Photography, self-employment on November 13, 2011 by JenDelicious Cupcakes

So, it’s been quite a while since I’ve had the opportunity to create a new post.  Life has been passing by very quickly.  Lots of family issues, job drama, and homework.  After several years of working on college classes while working full-time and raising my children, I will finally be getting my Bachelor’s of Arts in Marketing on November 15th.  I was considering moving right on to working on my MBA… but life has thrown a huge array of curve balls lately and I think it’s time to take a break.  Not to mention, I’m not sure how beneficial the degree would really be…

Besides all the family issues, job drama and finally completing my degree, I’ve picked up a new hobby… photography, both still and videography.  Right now, most of my photography revolves around my husband’s two different bands so I am struggling with lighting issues not to mention trying to understand the best way to capture the music when you can’t place the video camera directly centered on the band and there’s a lot of ambient noise from crowds talking and laughing! I’ve gotten some really good shots of the bands, but am still learning composition too and how not to be obtrusive yet still capturing the feel of the evening.  It’s much more challenging that I would have thought.

I’ve got some decent consumer level cameras…but I don’t plan to invest in really the good stuff until I get more of the basic photography and videography stuff figured out. Who knows, maybe I could turn my photography from a hobby into a way to make money!   The pics below are samples from camping trips, visits to the beach at sunset and one of the more recent gigs that my hubby played at here in our local area with his band Modern Mayhem.  He still had his Halloween wraps on his kit that’s why the RIP and skulls.

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So, it’s been awhile… lots of news

Posted in Eldercare, Family, Finding a Job, Personal, Prescription Drug Addiction, self-employment on January 13, 2011 by JenDelicious Cupcakes

So I haven’t posted for a while because life has just gotten in the way lately.  There have been lots of changes in our lives recently.

My husband and I spent November with his mother during her last days on earth.  She had been struggling with COPD for the last year and lost her battle on December 1st.  She had been a smoker nearly all her life and in the end it killed her.  It was so sad to see her struggling for breath during the last month.  We were able to get her to hospice about a week before she passed so her final days were relatively pain-free.  We were in the room with her when she passed and my husband was holding her hand.  I’m glad she’s no longer struggling to live but she was a pretty solid rock in my husband’s life and kept him pretty grounded.  He seems to be dealing with her loss much better than I would.

A few weeks after we returned home from settling my mother-in-laws affairs, my brother finally got into a rehab center (just before Christmas).  The whole family was holding out hope that he might make some changes to his life now.  Amazingly, he got into the center on a scholarship.  A day or two after New Years, a little over a week into treatment, he was kicked out because he supposedly purchased alcohol for another client.  Of course, he says he didn’t do anything but he lies SO much and about everything, it’s really hard to know if this is the truth or not.  My gut says it’s another lie because there are a lot of inconsistencies in his story and I doubt that he’d have been kicked out of the program if they didn’t have a solid reason to think he made that purchase.  Besides, I think he only went to rehab just to make my mom and dad happy and to say he tried.

He’s been asking for money to keep his wife out of jail because she owes tons from her probation agreement and then he started asking for money to pay for a hotel since he only has a car to sleep in.  It’s so very hard to say no to him but we’ve put out SO much money over the last three years and seen absolutely no improvement in his situation.  I told him he needed to go to a cold weather shelter because we were done with supporting him.

He and his wife do NOTHING to fix the situation they find themselves in and we are so tired of all of it.  Sometimes, I wish we had never moved back here.  I just wish I could do something to help their son but they use him to play on everyone’s sympathy.  I just don’t want to see that sweet little boy grow up just like his dad.  My brother had a strike against him genetically because my father was an alcoholic and now my brother is addicted to both drugs and alcohol.  My brother’s son has two strikes against him and it will take an act of God to keep that little boy out of the same pattern.

On a good note, I finally landed a job and will be starting with a local company next Wednesday!  Yeah!!  I’m quite nervous about it since it’s something I haven’t done in quite a while.  I know I’m capable of doing the work… just have to dust off the cobwebs in my brain!  I would love to start my own business someday but I still need to figure out exactly what I want to do when I grow up.  Not to mention, I have to figure out if I have what it takes to be a successful business owner.

I am still plugging away at my degree program.  If all goes well, I should be done by August or September this year.  So, 2010 went out on a very sad note and was a tough year all around but 2011 seems to be starting on a relatively positive note … at least for me personally.  Let’s just hope it continues!