Sunday, 18 December 2011

Courage in a cupcake

Courage - noun
:the quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, without fear; 

Courage? What is it? Something you rarely see. Or you see on the tele, once a year (on Noel’s Christmas presents.)

It’s not always about saving lives or doing something worthy of a Pride of Britain award from Carol Vorderman. To me it is so much simpler. Yes it’s about bravery, but not necessarily about being a hero.

Courage is really pushing yourself to do something you don’t feel comfortable doing, but for the right reasons. There’s an element of being a daredevil about it. It’s being out of your comfort zone (and all those other clich├ęs), taking risks that others wouldn’t take, putting yourself in a place you’ve never been before.

In the last 6 months I’ve been taught all about courage from an old work colleague. I doubt she even realises how brave she is.

Like many people in the last 2 years she was offered redundancy. She wasn’t out of a job, her job was relocating. She could have taken what I consider to be the ‘safe’ option and kept her job, but travelled further. But she decided to run the risk. She chose redundancy and crazier still, decided to invest that redundancy in a shop.

So with the support of her partner and family, she opened a Cupcakery. She works 14 hours a day 5 days a week, getting up when it’s dark, going to bed when it’s almost the next day. On her 6th day she works for someone else. And finally, on her 7th day, she rests (rather like someone else we all know).

I doubt it’s a roaring success 6 months after opening and although she has many loyal customers (me for one), I don’t think she’s ‘rolling in it’. It takes 3-5 years to build a solid business (so she tells me) and she seems to be in it for the long haul. She turns up for work every day with a smile, as do her family, and it’s a pleasure to go into her shop.

To me, she epitomises courage, bravery and determination. She is living proof of grabbing life by the scruff of the neck and living it to the full. She makes me ashamed to be in my (not-so-safe) local government job.

Emily from Nom Nom Cupcakery in Nailsworth (cupcakes and gifts to order, and amazing coffee) shows what it is to have courage. It’s a mental attitude, an approach to life and a determined spirit. It’s about responding positively to negative situations and living life the way you want to – not the way someone says you should.

Courage – a quality of mind and spirit, without fear, to set up your own shop in a recession. 

Congratulations Emily on making 6 months. Keep calm and eat a cupcake.