Hello. My name is Casey Steele and I am the writer of this here blog. I rarely ever refer to myself as an entrepreneur. Heck. I can barely spell the word, but it is one way to explain what I am and what I do. There are 2 main reasons I choose to blog about my work.
1. It is a means to share with others. Through my work I get to meet extraordinary people and I thoroughly enjoy talking about them.
2. Through writing I get to offer insight. How helpful this information is to others is entirely up for debate. But as long as the internet is still a thing, I can put things out into the world wide web and pretend I know what I am talking about. That makes me feel special.
Over 5 years ago I had some thinking to do. I graduated with my Master’s Degree in Architecture in the spring of 2009. Sure, the economy was bad, the industry was laying people off left and right, but I wasn’t too worried. I found myself not trying all that hard to find a job in my field and even if the economy had been booming, I’m not sure I would have tried much harder then. I found myself a job working at the YWCA women’s shelter. At that point I had never held a job for more than 2 years due to high school, moving away to college and an overall unsettling need to not settle.
I love where the road has taken me. I met and married the handsome devil hiding behind those sample glasses of Liene’s. Marrying him was not me settling. I definitely got the good end of this deal. He has to deal with me and his ability to do just that astounds me. He is patient, understanding and beyond supportive. He married a girl who was supposed to be an architect but has always stood by me and my decisions to be difficult. The picture below from our wedding dance was taken by the talented folks at Milestones Photography. Awe geez, look at those love birds.
My father started his own business when I was a wee-little child. My mother became a big part of that business and I learned firsthand what hard work looks like. Another amazing thing about them – they both were still loving, available parents. Everyone today is so busy, too busy and just flat out busy. Sure – I’m busy. But I really do want to have a life. I am not yet 30 but I feel like I am much older than I am. I know I still am fairly youthful but my start-up business philosophy has left me feeling like I am not young. I won’t be surprised when my hair starts turning gray within the next couple years and wrinkles appear. Pssh. Battle scars, that’s all they are.
You definitely don’t need to start a business to find yourself struggling to find time for yourself. I worked a full time job and started my baking business, Love in the Oven Bakery, on the side. It was tough but it was something that I had to do. I knew what I wanted and I was ready to sacrifice time to make it happen. In the summer of 2014 Love in the Oven turned 4. My little bakery is growing up so fast and with time is taking me down new and interesting, rather unexpected, avenues. Square One exists only because I started Love in the Oven. If I hadn’t gone that route who knows what I’d be doing. Food has taken me down a new road.
The first year or so of Square One I lost some social skills that later had to be restored. Finding that balance between what I’m doing as a career (which I love) and hanging out with my people and doing things I like to do (which I also love) is a challenge but it’s all about priorities. We make choices. Chances are good if you are reading this blog you are likely an adult since the pictures I post and the words I write probably don’t interest many kids. Really it came down to how tired I was of hearing how busy people are. Not just that, but also how much they complained about how busy they are. We do this to ourselves. I know, I don’t have children and that creates a whole new level of busy-ness, but parents add layers to their busy schedule that sometimes may not be necessary. My parents had 4 kids and their own business but I never felt as if they didn’t have time for it all and really, Square One and Love in the Oven are quite similar to children. They require lots of attention and though I may not have to run them to basketball practice every Monday and Wednesday evening they are not self sufficient. They also bring me joy (most days, let’s be realistic here).
So what exactly am I saying? Good question. This appears to be one of my most scattered brained posts as I have started it, worked on it and walked away from it several times. It’s not easy to prioritize but it’s essential. Delegate if you can. Personally I am not a great delegaterer (not a word) but I am learning because I know I am not good at everything. There are things I do well, things I do even better and things I am flat out not good at. Delegating allows for you to not only to hand off tasks to better qualified folks but it also allows you to make time.
Choose wisely and though you are always moving forward in your business/career be sure to not lose sight of what drives you outside of that path. If you thrive off of working 60+ hours a week then more power to you! If you’re like me and need to socialize with people off the work path or spend some time all on your ownsome make it happen. You’ll feel better when you do. If you find yourself too busy to do the other things in life that you enjoy then pause, look back and figure out what rearranging/prioritizing/delegating you can do to make yourself a happy self. Trust me. It’s worth it. It doesn’t always work out as planned but when it does it’s absolutely wonderful. It will bring you great joy. Like when our dog Kenzie runs full speed and jumps off things. Bliss.