Visit to Russia, my home country, brought fresh perspective on my life here in Turkey. As I described my Istanbul and Sapanca living over and over again to my Russian friends and relatives I got to realize a few things. Like in that professor who explained a theory so well that he eventually understood it himself.
My lifestyle business
Things slow down in winter: people travel less and to much warmer places than Istanbul. I do fewer food walks and cooking classes. Short days tempt you to do less and think more, or even better stare at the enchanting fireplace to the howling sound of the wind outside.
In between doing what you used to do and thinking what you can be doing there is the third state of being – experimenting. Usually rather risky affair calling for time to run the trial-and-error and yet not promising a certain outcome experimenting sounds very right to do off season.
When I say I had a chance to help a few chefs at their small kitchens people say “wow” and something to that effect. Little they know (and so did I before) that when assisting a chef the first thing you get to know is dishes. I mean, dishes! Save your aspirations to learn the recipes and cool chef tricks for later as the first skill you will hone to perfection during your apprenticeship at a restaurant kitchen will be dishwashing.
I have spent a good part of Sunday helping with the breakfast at our countryside restaurant in Sapanca. You would get surprised how much attention it takes to do an open buffet for 40 people over 4 hours. I was only helping with refilling the buffet, bread basket and stock of tea glasses (imagine a Turkish breakfast without the properly brewed strong tea!). Couple of times I went down to the kitchen to speed up dish washing. In between I edited a post, sorted some photos and replied to a couple of emails. Then I spent the afternoon running between the computer, supervising hotel room cleaning, doing our own laundry and ironing restaurant table clothes. The day has passed like that – in the errands of the family business and little chats with the family members in between.
I have been an exemplary of perfectionism: I take ages to share photos and publish posts because I believe they are not good enough. Yet. I am a baker who kneads her dough for a bit and then sets it aside to rest and grow. But I get to the actual baking much more seldom than I wish to. Because the dough has not risen well, I reckon. That’s been my social media strategy in a nutshell too and social media doesn’t have much in the store for the long-taking bakers.
Once in a while this day comes. I turn off the alarm-clock and choose seeing dreams featuring unlikely plots and unlikely people engaging in the unlikely actions rather than getting up and embracing a very likely set of events and very real people. Once I am back from dreaming I would stay in bed for another good hour finding all good reasons to ditch the plan I had for the day. I embrace procrastination: I open the door and invite her to get in, we sit down for a cup of tea and talk for the whole day.
How would you define a business that draws on a big passion rather than a calculated business plan, gives you freedom to decide when to run it or take a break and gets you enough money to finance our lifestyle without creating an empire? Business like my Istanbul food tours and cooking classes. Lifestyle business is the word which I have picked from a recent blog post by Penelope Trunk.