Commit to Your Legacy

You don’t have to have 20/20 vision to see that my mom and I do most things together when it comes to cupcakes. Speeches, panels, TV appearances: we’re arm in arm.

Things changed this past weekend where I was asked to speak at Manhattan College in New York City. I’m not a big city chick. I prefer open space in comparison to crowded streets. My time in the Big Apple is always fun though because Scott and Mum are with me. Their own experiences in NYC have helped shape my time there. This adventure wasn’t going to include them this time. It was just me and my best friend and brand manager, Nora.

Wicked Good is still small so I try to pinch pennies. Instead of a hotel in Manhattan, we sprung for a hostel in the Bronx. Rather than smooth ride on a train from Boston to Grand Central Station, we plopped our behinds on a bus. Between getting to and from Boston along with the hostel stay, our bill came to just under $350.

dani manhattan college

The details in my trip to New York were noticeable, though. I got locked out of the hostel close to midnight, the taxi bills nearly gave me a heart attack (going in and out of the Bronx is not a cheap endeavor), and I had to share a bathroom with a floor full of strangers. These are where lessons come from though: I will be better about keeping track of things (like house keys), I will take a chance on unfamiliar public transportation to save a few extra bucks, and I appreciated how incredibly clean the bathrooms were. These experiences are temporary so that lessons can be permanent.

On a lighter note, the speech went really well. I was actually proud of myself! About fifty students came to listen to me. They wanted to know about running a business as a young person, they wanted to know my story! My experiences were to them as Scott and Mum’s are to me: worthwhile.

The things I’ve been through and the things (and people) I had to give up for what I have now seemed incredibly validated in those 60 minutes. Reaching cupcake royalty is amazing, don’t get me wrong. It’s humbling and I love every second of it. But in that moment in front of those students, I became a witness to my own legacy.

I guess that’s why we do these things, these small ventures. I mean, why do anything? Why go to NYC on a strict budget? My appreciation for my business’ financial future goes deeper than a comfy bed. People still ask me, “Why cupcakes?” I don’t know; why not? I’m good at cupcakes and it’s how I plan to leave my mark on the world. We create our own endings in life through the choices we make in the beginning. When I shut off my presentation and saw groups of students swarm me with questions and compliments, that’s when I knew I had done something worthwhile.