Friday, November 12, 2010

All That Glitters Is Gold...

(Disclaimer, if you are the mom I am referring, don't get mad, but at least now you know my feelings)

Hey now, you're an all star, get your game on, go play.
Hey now, you're a rock star....

Only shooting stars break the mold!

my Eiffel Tower glittered and I LOVED it!

Today at a play date, another mother approached me and said she wanted to "pick my brain".

Now, I'm fine with sharing, in fact, I love to brainstorm to come up with great ideas for a mom to use to make a great birthday cake or party or whatever.  I don't think I am selfish with my "talents" (though I am in no way "talented"...I mean, check out some of those party blogs if you start thinking that!), sharing ideas and tips with others from time to time.  (this is where my title comes into play...just cause i sparkle doesn't mean i'm gold, lol!)

Well, this mom who wanted to pick my brain was wanting to know how I started cake decorating, how I got customers, how I baked cakes, how much did I charge for said cakes, etc, etc.  Could she come "watch me do my thing" one day because she was very interested in getting in the business and selling cakes.

See, she is interested in getting into the "cake business" (though I would barely call what I do a business, more of a fun hobby that makes my friends fat) and wanted some tips.

I don't know why but I just felt really frustrated by this.  I mean, my mom worked hard to learn how to decorate cakes so that I could one day call her up whenever I wanted to ask questions that are already answered on one of her DVD's or on her blog.  She attended many classes, spent tons of money, and baked a lot of cakes to get where she is today.  And I, as her daughter, get to steal all her knowledge for free, whenever I want.  :)  Now, here is the thing...I am not my mother's competition, nor will I ever be.  This mom, to me, could potentially become "competition"...I think I would have felt differently if it was a mom talking over a birthday cake for her child or 90 year old great grandmother or something like that.

And that made me clam up and want to escape.  I LOVE to share cake baking tips that my mom has shared with me, but I just couldn't bring myself to share some of them.  I guess I could direct her to my mother's Start to Finish DVD and give her a fighting change...but another part of me just wants her to figure it out on her own.

Is that just too selfish and ugly of me?  There's little I love more in bloggy land then a good tutorial, out there for everyone to see and share and make their own.  I love teaching fondant classes and how to use the Cricut or any electronic cutter (SILHOUETTE LOVE!) to decorate cakes like me...but, I'd get paid for that.  Not a lot, but still...

I don't know...I'm tired, I've got a cake to finish decorating (it's a 3 cake week this week!), I'm going scrapbooking tonight and tomorrow is a fun my mind is not quite putting into words my frustrations.

Do you think I am being selfish to not want anything to do with this or should I embrace the chance to get to share the skills part of my "talents"?  I mean, remember, I've stolen all my skills from my mother.  If she offered me money to teach her, would that change the tune of my song?  IDK...maybe I am making a mountain out of buttercream mole hill and just need to take a nap.

Anyway, where do you stand/stop on sharing your trade secrets? 

5 Words to brighten my day:

Bean Sprouts said...

I would be angry too.
I would kindly tell her that you have worked hard to learn your secrets of the trade, but maybe offer her a few tips to get her started, like perhaps your favorite store to buy supplies, favorite book, or a local bakery that teaches classes etc. If she keeps insiting just tell her that bottom line, this is your business, and you can't give away your secrets of your trade. Then be sure to give her your business card and tell her to give you a call when she needs her next birthday cake ;)

Caroline said...

I have been where you are, not cake decorating, but crafty stuff. It is hard and you feel the fire burn inside of you with anger.
For me though I see that God has giving me my "talents" and I don't see it as fair to keep it to my self.

I use to make tutu's and one day a girl from HS ask how I do them and I told her. To this day she sells tutus and stuff. I stopped selling them and God developed something else for me to work on, dishwasher safe labels and boy it it explode. If she does become competition and that door is shut for you, just know another will open as long as you are obedient to Him.
I am sorry to bring my faith into this, but I can relate to the feelings your having, trust me they are normal.
Plus, I do see it totally different when this is something you learned from your mom. Only you know what is right for you. I just want you to know I can relate.

Kimberly said...

Oh boy! I can't blame you! I make cakes (not a business, just to make my friends fat, too!) and I had one lady who was a real whopper! I made a cake for a lady from church for her son and two of his friends for graduation. The cake fed 150 people. I usually just let people pay me what they want (I don't do this anymore!!)--well, one of the other ladies decided that she would give me her 1/3 of the price. $10! She thought the cake that fed 150 was worth $30! I was okay with that...whatever. The church lady wound up giving me a much larger check. Guess who I get an email from the next week...$10 lady. She said the cake was so moist and wonderful--could I please give her my recipe and tell her how to bake one for her daughter.
I was livid. It happens...just makes you wonder where people get the gall to come and "pick your brain."

Alexis said...

I'd be upset as well. But I agree with bean sprout. Just give tips on where to find info and where to get supplies etc... business is business and unfortunately business is a dog eat dog community especially in times like these... your a kind helpful person so give her just a stepping stone of information to let her start her way...


miss yall

LJD said...

Happens a lot in my "day gig." Here's the rub, she's not asking because she wants to develop a hobby, but because she wants to reap the benefit you reap.

It's one thing to ask an expert how to recreate something on your own for personal use, but there are schools/classes/books to teach a person how to be in business.

Too many people want something for free, nevermind what it costs the "giver." I'm all for sharing knowledge, but not if it does (or will!) cost me what I work so hard for.