I’ve been trying to start a bread business for almost a year. It’s a simple business: relatively small startup costs, no immediate hiring necessary, and eligible for a federal Self-Employment grant. But it’s never simple, is it?

In the past year, I’ve seen dozens of kitchens in church halls, community centers, private clubs, charities, businesses and colleges in the hopes of finding a production space for this business. I’ve received four verbal commitments, three of which were broken without a second thought, two within days of a prospective launch date.

I’ve depleted my personal savings, depleted my lending opportunities from both official and unofficial sources, and I ended a perfectly good career in academia.

As of this moment, I have nothing to show for it, except a basement full of bread making supplies and yet another verbal commitment.

I am frustrated, exhausted, anxious and broke.

There’s a rich irony here, which is that bread feels your feelings, good or bad. If you try to make bread in a bad mood, it won’t turn out. It’ll overproof or underproof, be too wet or too dry, stick to your fingers while you’re shaping, bake unevenly. Bad mood, bad bread.

I’m fighting the urge to tie this blog up with a tidy little nugget of wisdom, and truly, I don’t think I have one. Even if I did, you, like me, are probably all full up on unsolicited advice.

Perhaps, then, a reminder from me and the team at LJS & Associates, rooting for you from before your first sale to your millionth, to put on a brave face. To carry on, to push through, to be patient, to trust the process.

Don’t let the bread smell your fear.

By: Madeline Bury