It feels like a lifetime ago when I first started my relish business.
And, having to go back to the beginning of it to write my book has shown me just how different I am to the relish-making Sarah who passionately laboured and birthed Relish This into existance, almost 8 years ago.
Looking back from this safe, secure and serene, post-business perspective I’m at now, I can see how instrumental Relish This was in the development of my own personal growth – and how differently I see my business (and myself) in comparison. Back then I was so busy “in it” I didn’t get much of a chance to stop, look up and out, or reflect. And now, I’m so far out of it that I can easily see the big shiny lessons but struggle to remember all of the smaller, detailed steps and influential experiences that lead Relish This to it’s success.
Even the ones I thought I’d never forget…
You know, like when people spit out your relish sample onto the ground in front of you (and around other customers), at your market stall, then go ahead and buy two jars…
Haha – not in a million light years did I think I’d forget that.
But I did!
Thankfully, I have a trusty sidekick who’s helping me remember all these forgotten finer details!
A red hardcover journal.
Not quite R2D2, but just as dependable and old school!
I finally decided to bite the bullet last month and open the red hardcover Relish This journal I had (sporadically) kept, since starting Relish This.
It has been hidden away in a dusty, small red box of files I’d put aside for when I would eventually write the book, which included documents and momentos I’d thankfully chosen not to burn in the wild fire of rage that engulfed me when I was dealing with the closure of the business back in 2012.
I’d put off opening the journal – and the box – for months, and knew once opened, it would unleash the can of emotional worms I knew were hiding within.
Ones I thought I’d really struggle dealing with, and would possibly delay my book writing.
But I was wrong!
And it’s a pity I hadn’t had the courage to open it sooner!
Reading my hand scribbled entries took me back in time – way back into the deep waters I was wading when first starting Relish This in 2007.
It was comforting and unsettling. But more comforting.
I re-read of my anxiety when launching my very first jars of relish at my best friend’s babyshower, how scared I was leading up to, and during, my first farmers market, how excited I was about my new sexy, waterproof labels and the news that a famous Sydney food blogger had heard about my saucy jars of relish and wanted to get her hands on them.
And there were lots, lots more.
As I reminisced over all the trials, triumphs, wins and crazy experiences over those five years, a lot of mixed emotions came crawling on in. Just as I had suspected.
Some were friendly, some not so much.
I smiled. Felt some old fears. Giggled. Felt gratitude. And let my heart soar from the amazing memories and amazing people I’d found along the way.
I felt my old anxieties. The pressures. The guilt and some sadness. A sadness that held no regrets or anger, just acceptance.
I even cried.
Just a little bit. Blame it on the hormones!
It was emotional, raw and re-inspiring.
It was fantastic.
And just what I needed to remind myself of all the tight-knit little adventures I’d experienced over those emotionally, jam-packed years while on the Relish This rollercoaster.
“Keep a diary and one day, it will keep you” – Mae West
It inspired me to change a lot of the chapters in the book by redefining each little adventure in correct chronological order and adding more heartfelt character into each chapter. This altered my book outline – again – and changed my book writing schedule.
Excitingly, it lead me to finalise all of the chapter headings, subtitles and inclusions for each chapter and section, and I have released an exclusive peek of these to those on my sneak peek email.
These previously inked journal entries have helped me to remember so many more “How I did it”, and heartfelt “Behind the scenes” experiences I had during those years – one that at the time you’d never think you’d forget.
But you do, which is why you need to keep a journal for any and all creative adventures you are taking. You just never know where that content is going to end up or what you could create from it in the future… particularly if you are keen to write a book oneday or share your journey with other people (which you probably don’t think you would, but trust me, that can all change – that’s what happened to me!).
BIZ TIP: If you’re about to, or plan to, create a new product, write a book / eBook, start an online venture, transform into a new career or produce anything – start keeping a journal and START HOARDING CONTENT NOW.
Keep a journal of what you’re going through and openly express your emotions / insights / ideas. Draw illustrations.
Take photos of your creations – even the ones you don’t keep or like and store them for later.
Keep crazy momentos from your journey, collect objects that will keep your memories alive and note down influential quotes that inspire you at the time.
Either way, hoard it and hoard it good.
Doing this can provide you with an amazing framework for a product or service or new brand you don’t even know about yet. Do it, you’ll kick yourself later if you don’t.
Remember, we ALL have a story (or five) in us to share – your life is your content!