Wanna Clean House? Throw A Party!
Not sure where I heard it but a wise man once said if you really wanna clean your house… throw a party! So a few weeks back Laura, the kids and I were talking about the Super Bowl and decided we would throw a family-style Super Bowl Party. It’s a perfect excuse to get together with friends, share some great food, and watch the new commercials. Also a great excuse to finish up those nagging little projects that keep getting put off, right? Some touch up paint here, toss out the cardboard packaging from the Christmas presents that still might have to be returned, you know the drill. All seemed like a perfect plan so off went the invitations.
It was about two days after the invites went out that it occurred to me that my wife had given me an awesome Christmas present… tickets to Foodies! and a hotel room in San Francisco for the night. Can you guess what night the show is? That’s right Saturday the 31st. Awesome…
So a-scrambling we went. Kid juggling, menu planning, and those projects. All had to be done ASAP. As many of you know, I have been spending many more hours in the butcher shop for the past several months. This means that Laura has done pretty much everything else… and I mean everything! We are really blessed to also have a couple of very helpful kids who pitch in with just a little shove.
We also are fortunate to have Michael B., our resident jack-of-all-trades. He handles deliveries and pick-ups for the butcher shop, farm maintenance and repairs, and pretty much anything that needs to get done. He is now on party prep duty. Actually, everyone is on party prep duty!
Laura always teases me that I make things like this way too complicated. Several years ago we planned a New Year ’s Eve party with a bunch of friends. I decided to take on the task of serving 20 dishes over the course of the evening. Some were as simple as bruschetta, some as complicated as grilled romaine salad and a whole BBQ’ed salmon. I cooked for 2 days, only ended up with 15 or 16 dishes and was so exhausted I barley remember getting to midnight. She might have a point….
This time I pledge to keep it simple! Time constraints have a way of helping with that. It also gave me reason to think about working ahead. I have referenced my “seat of the pants” method of business management recently. Now that my advisers have me on the straight and narrow, I have to put more thought into what has to get done next week instead of in the next 15 minutes.
What I’m learning is that a little planning makes the week a lot smoother. We have a pretty specific structure to our weeks because most everything has to be ready for the start of the farmer’s market week on Thursdays. Side note: that is also why it is so helpful when you get your pre-orders in to us on Monday or Tuesday for the week! As I plan my week, I also have to take into account sausage production. While sausage has become a big part of our business, it also takes up a lot of production time.
Now I have adapted a few secret weapons! The most important is Laura herself. She is coming into the shop a few hours three days a week and making a huge difference in how much we can get done in a week. The other new “helper” is we are having our sausage spice kits made for us by a local spice company. I have always preferred to mix my kits myself as I never trusted how specific someone else would be. But it can take as much as 20 minutes to do a kit, and when you are trying to get out 4-6 different sausages each week it adds up.
It all comes back to my new business philosophy: Ask for Help, Dummy! I received so many kind words from so many different people when I put out that plea for help a little over a month ago. The ones that really stuck with me were those that talked about how brave it was for me to do what I did and ask for help. At the time, and even now, I don’t think of it as a brave act. That word should be reserved for our military, first responders, and truly heroic acts. That said, I now know that, too many times, we fail to ask for help out of pride. Not sure why that is, but it is. I did it for years.
At the end of the day, I can tell you that asking for help not only can lead to solutions to the problem at hand, but to other ideas that can help you grow even stronger! So that’s the take away… asking for help can be a little scary but has the potential for huge rewards. And it is no scarier than lying awake in the middle of the night with no idea what to do, right? Been there, done that…