Taking the time to recognize your success

Entrepreneurs, business owners and ambitious people all have one very annoying trait in common.

We rarely stop to take the time to look at what we’ve accomplished. We’re so busy working on the next big thing that we forget to look at all the little victories we’ve achieved.

I’m completely guilty of this. I never stop and smell the roses. I’ve been so engrossed in growing the business that I’ve neglected to acknowledge what we’ve done.

Today I’m breaking that trend if only for 5 minutes. I’m literally going to document what we’ve built before I get back into the mind set of planning where we’re going.

Five years ago to this day, we were busy building out our first retail space in Cohasset. It was to be a cupcake and specialty cake shop open 6 days a week owned and operated by myself and business partner/daughter Dani. We had a total budget of $30,000 to get up and going. We had no college degrees, no MBAs and no previous professional culinary experience.

On October 1, 2011 Wicked Good Cupcakes opened its doors. The line went out the door. People came back 2 and 3 times. We did almost $2,000 in sales that day. It was so overwhelming, I quit at 2:00pm. My mother in law talked me into “coming back”.  I’m so glad she did.

December 2011, one of our newly launched cupcake jars was confiscated by the TSA. Dani and I were deemed a National Security threat. The department of Homeland Security was on our website over 200 times that month. The story went viral. Our biggest online sale day was 75 cupcake jars 4 days before Christmas.

January 2012, the TSA came out again and said that these “were not your everyday cupcakes”. Sales grew a bit more. People re-ordered. We began to see proof of concept. This idea just might work.

April 2012, I apply online to Shark Tank.

April 2012, Shark Tank casting calls.

May 2012, we’re approved to be on the show.

July 2012, we fly to LA to film our segment. A deal is struck and due diligence begins.

November 2012, we appear on GMA’s Steals and Deals.

December 2012, we begin negotiations to secure a spot in Faneuil Hall Marketplace.

January 2013, still no word on an air date for Shark Tank,

March 2013, Kevin’s $75,000 comes through.

April 2013, still negotiating the Faneuil Hall space.

April 2013, we air on Shark Tank. All hell breaks out.

May 2013, we move into our first Faneuil Hall location

So. At this point I should have taken a step back to review what has happened but with all of the growth and demands of appearing in front of 8 million viewers, there was no time for that. We grew 600% the following year. The 5 days following our Shark Tank appearance we sold $250,000 worth of product. Kevin was paid back his initial investment in just 6 weeks.  But we weren’t done yet.

July 2013, we film our first Shark Tank update.

August 2013, we fly to LA to film the Kris Jenner Show.

September 2013, our Shark Tank update airs on the show’s season 5 premier.

A wicked good idea

The cover for our soon to be released book “A Wicked Good Idea”

December 2013, we see sales of 1.8 million up from 320,000 the year before.

At some point we secure a relationship with a family owned and operated 12,000 sq ft  commercial baking facility who we still work with to this day.

January 2014, we add more staff including my husband Scott who has left his tech company to join the Wicked Good team as our CTO and COO.

April 2014, off to NJ. I appear on CNBC’s Squawk Box with Kevin

May 2014, we air on ABC’s special Swimming with the Sharks.

May 2014, we film our first Chronicle episode.

May 2014, cheesecake jars are launched

May 2014 we film a CNBC special about ourselves and Kevin for CNBC

June 2014, Dani, Scott and I begin to do some public speaking engagements adding to our growing to do lists.

July 2014 we establish a customer service team taking up what was once the retail part of our bakery. We no longer offer daily cupcakes. It’s all about the jars.

August 2014, we are introduced to Marcus Lemonis of “The Profit” fame through Kevin. Marcus becomes a strategic partner.

August 2014, we fly to NYC to film the Shark Tank season 6 opener with Kevin at the Nasdaq.

August 2014, a mission is flown in Afghanistan in Dani’s honor for all of the hard work she does for our troops and their families.

At this point we are still growing, sales are still up. (We have yet to hit our baseline.)

Date unclear, we fly to LA to film our Shark Tank/Staples segment.

Construction for our new 21,000 sq ft corporate offices and production facility begins in spring of 2016

Construction for our new 21,000 sq ft corporate offices and production facility begins in spring of 2016

Fall 2014, CNBC begins to air Shark Tank

September 2014, I become a mentor for an MBA student in the Babson College WIN Lab program.

December 2014, annual sales reach 2.4 million – up from 1.8 million th previous year. We’re beginning to burst at the seams for space.

January 2015, more speaking engagements.

February 2015, niece Samantha proposes her cookie jar idea.

March 2015, we drive to our PA facility to film a segment for Food Factory

March 2015, we film a segment for Beyond the Tank

April 2015, I’m nominated for the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year

April 2015, we fly to NYC to film a segment for 20/20

May 2015, we film a segment for Startup USA

July 2015, we go to Nantucket to film our Something Wonderful Shark Tank update.

July 2015, we hire our President, Melissa Hamlet.

Sometime 2015, (This is where we begin to get really crazy) we’re back to NYC to appear on the Meredith Vieira Show.

October 2015, Samantha’s Cookie jars are launched

November 2015, a deal is struck to co brand product with Cinnabon.

November 2015, our pie jars are launched

December 2015, another record breaking year in the books. Annual sales reach 3.4 million.

Now we’re struggling for space. People are literally sharing desks. Scott begins the plans for a new production facility/corporate offices.

May of 2016 we open our new Faneuil Hall location in the center Rotunda. Sales immediately double compared to our previous location

May of 2016 we open our new Faneuil Hall location in the center Rotunda. Sales immediately double compared to our previous location

January 2016, we film our second Chronicle segment

January 2016, I fly to NYC to meet my girl crush and fabulous mentor Kat Cole.

January 2016, Kat and I appear on Fox Business News

February 2016, our Chronicle segment airs

February 2016, our Beyond the Tank segment airs. We have a record breaking Valentine’s day/month.

February 2016, I start to organize some of the writing I’ve been working on in my “spare time.”

February 2016, an editor is chosen and work on my book “A Wicked Good Idea” begins.

March 2016, we find our new production facility location. It’s 21,000 sq ft empty building in Hanover, MA – plans begin to build our corporate headquarters and a new kitchen/production/shipping facility.

April 2016, editing for our book begins.

April 2016, we begin talks with a very well known Boston apparel brand for co-branded product (deal still not available to be announced publicly).

April 2016, I appear with Kevin on QVC

April 2016, I am nominated again for the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year.

May 2016, more book edits, then off to the printer for our first proof.

May 2016, plans approved for the new facility in Hanover.

May 2016, construction begins.

May 2016, a deal is struck for a co-branded product with nationally known Boston Apparel brand to be launched, Holiday 2016 (stay tuned for big announcement)

May 2016, our new kiosk in Faneuil Hall Marketplace opens in the rotunda, Quincy Market

May 2016, Dani and I travel to Toronto for our first International speaking engagement.

May 2016, another great Mother’s Day. Still haven’t hit our sales baseline.

June 2016, book put to bed and off to print.

June 2016, construction complete in Hanover

June 11, 2016 we move our corporate offices to our new facility in Hanover, MA

June 11, 2016 we move our corporate offices to our new facility in Hanover, MA

June 2016, first wave of our move to Hanover begins with customer service.

July 2016, date set to film our next Shark Tank update.

And beyond this? Who knows! That’s the exciting part of this journey.

Nora, our social media guru and brand ambassador once asked me if I ever looked back at what we had accomplished. I told her no. I was too afraid to take even a second to stop and look back. After all, you can’t drive the bus forward if you’re looking at the rear view mirror.

But today I’m changing this thought pattern of mine.  It was amazing to sit here and list our accomplishments (at least what I could remember).  There are so many other things we’ve done not chronicled here including all of the charitable organizations we’ve donated to or provided product for. All of the interns we’ve taught. All of the high schools and college’s we’ve shared our story with, Scott’s love for and dedication to up and coming entrepreneurs involved in Mass Challenge, new product development, website updates…The list goes on and on.

I guess it took moving into our dream facility to make me realize just what we’ve done. Five years ago today we were baking in our home kitchen. Wow.

In closing, I ask that you take the time to recognize just what it is that you’ve accomplished. Allow yourself that much deserved moment of satisfaction. Be grateful, recognize those who have helped you along the way. Re-energize yourself. And then as you would while driving, adjust the rear view mirror and then shift your eyes forward again. There’s still a lot of untraveled road ahead of you. Hit the gas and go for it. Anything is possible. That I can promise you.